Warped Tour is like Comic Con for music fans. It's big, confusing, there are a lot of pale people, and for most of us, it's the event of the year.My best friend Andrea and I got to the coliseum at 11:30, and the show was already off and running. There are so many stages and tents that it's easy to get lost in the chaos and give up on yourself, curling into fetal position on the asphalt as the flat-bottomed shoes of the world pass you by. Since the setlist and set up changes everyday, it's hard to plan ahead of time, so as you head to landmark stages, it's important to take note of the tents you pass, especially the free water refills at Sigg, the signing locations, and the companies you want check out. It's easy to miss something you want to do, so try to visit your favorite bands' booths as early as you can so you can get tickets for signings and find the signing locations.
Also, make sure your bag isn't full when you get there, because you'll need space for merch, tickets, and free swag.
Also also, I reapplied my sunscreen four times and still got burnt, so make sure to SPF it up.
At the Warped Roadies tent we got airbrush tattoos and by chance met Danny, one of the members of the set up crew. He liked our hair.
At the William Beckett tent, the merch guy was missing 90% of the time, which made completing my goal of meeting William Beckett very difficult (and at the end of the day a large group of us got stuck waiting for three hours while William was held up in interviews). But despite not getting to meet him officially after shooting his acoustic set, I did get something for my trouble. While Andrea and I went through our photos under the trees by the buses, William walked by, and when he smiled and waved at me, I almost had a heart attack.
Hanging around the buses is the best way to see band members, but don't hang around there if your planning on jumping on people for autographs. The buses are the safe haven for everyone on tour, and since they can't be home for two and a half months, you gotta treat that space like it's their house. So no sneaking on the buses. Unless you think it'll work. I'm not endorsing this. I'm just saying.
I'll have photos from the shows up soon, featuring photos of:
We Came As Romans
Sleeping With Sirens
I wrote this blog post in the summer of 2011 after finishing up a summer working for Red Light Management in New York City:
I Will Now Be Wearing Sunglasses Indoors: A Tale of My Most Recent Foray Into the Music Biz
This summer I had the magical opportunity of interning at Red Light Management, thanks in no small part to the nicest, most wonderful band I have ever met/ considered as family, O.A.R. I have been working with their manager Heather all summer doing desk-worky things like charting album sales and researching whimsical topics like concert venues (and on Tuesday when we had the catastrophic earthquake (catastrophic as in somebody’s yogurt cup probably fell over or something) I found the live stream news report that blew up thanks to hashtags on twitter).
Today, however, I roved the city, rubbed elbows (literally) with rock stars, and got my shoes very very wet.
I started out my adventurous morning at WFAN studios, where OAR (well, Marc, Benj, and Richard, as Chris and Jerry’s flights were cancelled due to the end of all days that is apparently coming with Hurricane Irene) was performing/ being roasted by dear friend Craig Carton. He didn’t appreciate that his thank-you was second to last in the liner notes.
He probably shouldn’t complain, because interns were thanked last. Just sayin’.
Anywhosies, Heather and I ran back to the office for about half an hour after the broadcast, and then we set out on a grand adventure.
Our first stop was the viacom building for an MTV/VH1 radio interview with Marc and Richard. I geeked out a little bit.
I dream of being on MTV or VH1 or Fuse one day, interviewing rock stars that smell nice and even some that don’t.
Hurricane Irene kicked in just enough to be annoying (and fro-inducing) once we got there, so we stayed later waiting for the rain to die down, and I stared awkwardly at all the stuff on the walls for a little while longer. They’ve got some classy (and almost entirely abandoned for the Music Video Awards in LA) digs.
They discussed Jersey Shore and (duh) music and plaid and all other manner of things I want to spend all day talking about.
As chief researcher of the planet, I provided amply to the discussion of evacuating the city. Marc has invited himself over to my house to party if his neighborhood is evacuated. I will go grocery shopping, and I will buy rock star party food, and it will be awesome.
Next we headed over to Fuse, where we met up with Benj and where I geeked out further, because there were posters for Mark Hoppus’ show everywhere.
Richard had a nice time, especially when somebody opened a door on his wrist and yelled at him for standing behind the door. Because rock stars love standing behind doors.
I got to get ice.
I was really excited to get ice.
I got to be useful at Fuse. Don’t judge me.
His wrist actually looked really bad when we left. Swollen and red and not capable of playing guitar. That should work out really well for their show tomorrow night.
Next Benj, Marc, Heather, and I went to MLB fan cave, which used to be Tower records. Even though it is no longer Tower, it’s still way artsier than I expected from a place called a “fan cave". There was gumball art. That is art made of gumballs.
We ended our tour of the city with an interview between Benj and somebody who was somehow related to Dave Matthews. Which was far less entertaining because I didn’t even geek out. Also, I was kind of sleepy, because I don’t sleep a lot and walking between subway stations is far more exercise than my fragile little body is used to.
I love OAR. The boys are all so sweet, and Benj and Marc are kind of like really awesome big brothers/uncles that tried to keep me from getting wet when we were outside. And they didn’t even squish me too much sitting between them on the hump seat in the taxi.
To summarize: my grandma is very proud of me for entering the world of show business. I have a really cool nonrelated extended family. I should get out of the house more.
Random bands have started to follow me on twitter and tumblr, and it does amazing things for my ego. In this segment, we talk about the bands that have followed me this week.
Mr Fisher and the Hospitality
Off the bat, the sound reminded me a lot of We Were Promised Jet Packs, something that has a spiraling, enveloping quality lying behind the jolting, raw vocals. The Albuquerque, NM band has two EPs, "Stay Safe" and "Our Friends. Our Family. Our Troubles." "Stay Safe" is more assertive and arresting, but not quite as cohesive throughout as "Our Friends." I liked the bass parts better in "Our Friends" too.
Verdict: Definitely worth a listen if you like We Were Promised Jetpacks or if you like feeling as though you're in a lush green forest of sound and emotion
I was not expecting what I heard. And that's a good thing. This is some real, back to the roots emo. This isn't format pop punk, this is emotion and fluidity and original punk sensibilities. There's a restraint that makes the rawness of the music even more powerful. It feels like running down the wet streets of New York at dusk, trying to figure out why you moved to this godforsaken town in the first place. So I can relate. Several good releases here, "Break Me," "I Feel Alive," "Place Called Home/ Southtowne Lanes," and a 2012 demo album.
Verdict: Saving pop punk
SherwoodSo for starters, this band is about ten years old and broke up, so me writing a review isn't going to do a whole lot. Most of their songs sound pretty similar. They categorize themselves as indie pop, but there's a definite rock influence that makes their music a little tangier than the indie pop that's infecting college radio stations right now.
Verdict: It's better than whatever they're playing at Urban Outfitters
I've been working on the Messenger Down street team for about two weeks now, and so far there's a lot less street than I thought there would be. Messenger Down is based out of North Carolina, and I'm in New York, so obviously I'm not working physically with the band, but I have been able to talk to their manager, which is cool. There are 19 members of the street team, and that includes me, the manager, and the lead singer of the band. So far the missions have been social media oriented, trying to get attention to the EP the band put out last month called "The Gentleman's Guide To Keeping Away From People Like You," getting votes for the band to play Van's Warped Tour battle of the bands, and getting more likes on the band's Facebook page. I even made a dinky little graphic:
Hopefully soon I'll get to put up flyers and go out to venues and talk to people about the band. So far though this has been a great way to meet some cool new people and support a band I really like. If you have the chance to join a street team I'd recommend it.
While I was living in Third North, I made friends with a lot of RAs. One of my favorite RAs was AJ Smith, a fellow Steinhardt student and fellow DC kid. He won UVL his freshman year, and released his debut EP,
Dragons In The Sky" his senior. He played a few shows at Webster Hall while I was at school, and he also happens to be a top ten artist in Australia.
Anyway, AJ is a super cool dude voted one of the most influential students at NYU. If you like OAR, you'll probably enjoy AJ's music. His music sounds a lot like summer, with some strong piano and ska beats.
Fun fact two, AJ wrote up my roommates for alcohol use in the dorms once.
Anyway, AJ just graduated about a month ago, and he's starting to tour off of his album. He did a show in New Jersey recently, and will probably be touring more soon. He's a great guy with catchy songs, and I'd recommend checking him out or just hanging out with him. He also likes Disney movies and wearing baseball hats.