This post is being written on June 22nd, and that is exactly a week away from the 2017 Vans Warped Tour date in Atlanta, Georgia at the Lakewood Amphitheater. I'll be hitting the road on June 29th and heading to Atlanta to photograph as much of the festival I can because the Warped Tour has really become one of my favorite events to work. I didn't go as a fan in my youth so I take great pleasure in getting to experience the festival as a photographer but also as someone who is seeing things with fresh eyes. This will be my third year photographing a tour stop, but I do hope to record a lot more in the coming years.
I know a lot of photographers whine and moan about covering the Warped Tour or act like they're too cool for school in regards to it, but, well, that's their problem. I sincerely hope I never get to the point of their negativity and inability to enjoy things. That's why I wanted to write up a little preview post for the 2017 Atlanta tour stop regarding some of the acts I hope to photograph this year.
My approach to the tour is photographing bands that will provide a visual pop and those that stand out from the crowd. I think this year's tour really does have some gems in the bands people know about and those that people might not be aware of now. Since my time at the venue will be limited, I can't cover all these acts, but they are the ones I'm putting priority on when I see the schedule for the Atlanta date. In the past, the tour has allowed me to really discover and enjoy acts like PVRIS and Mother Feather. Both are now two of my favorite acts going today. Shots from those performances are above and below this section.
If you are going to the Atlanta Warped Tour date on June 29th, I would suggest checking out these bands:
- I Prevail - Left Foot Stage
- Bowling for Soup - Left Foot Stage
- New Year's Day - Left Foot Stage
- Jule Vera - Left Foot Stage
- CKY - Left Foot Stage
- Memphis May Fire - Right Foot Stage
- Hands Like Houses - Right Foot Stage
- Andy Black - Right Foot Stage
- Save Ferris - Right Foot Stage
- GWAR - Mutant South Stage
- Microwave - Skullcandy Stage
- War on Women - Skullcandy Stage
- Barb Wire Dolls - Skullcandy Stage
- Sonic Boom Six - Skullcandy Stage
- The Ataris - Hard Rock Stage
- Bad Cop / Bad Cop - Hard Rock Stage
- Creeper - Full Sail Stage
- The Fantastic Plastics - Full Sail Stage
- Courage My Love - Full Sail Stage
- The Dukes - Full Sail Stage
That's a lot of variety so, if you are stuck on what bands to check out, this should give you a good baseline and starting point. Some of these acts I've had the pleasure of photographing before at the Warped Tour. The photos above of New Year's Day and Memphis May Fire were taken during the 2015 Warped Tour stop in Atlanta. I have also photographed GWAR before in an indoor venue setting, and I CANNOT WAIT to see how their act translates to an outdoor festival like the Warped Tour. That show is going to be absolutely nuts in the best way possible.
In regards to acts I have not seen before, The Fantastic Plastics and Jule Vera are topping my personal list. I can't get enough of The Fantastic Plastics' science-fiction based new-wave pop, and their visual look is quite inviting. I will do whatever it takes to photograph their performance on the 29th. As for Jule Vera, I'm checking them out because they are from the Opelika, Alabama area, and it's great to see an Alabama band getting such a prominent position and push on the tour. Many think they are going to be doing really big things.
The Fantastic Plastics and Jule Vera are two acts that are also going to be doing brief portrait sessions with me at the Atlanta date. Other acts include Bad Cop / Bad Cop, Creeper, and Courage My Love. Doing these portrait sessions, like the one above of Bad Seed Rising (Who are also on this year's tour) in 2016, are always fun because it is a chance to get a full band shot, let their personalities come out, and produce some images different from the normal performance setting.
Even though it will be hot and humid on the 29th, I'm thoroughly looking forward to getting to Atlanta for this year's Warped Tour stop. It is a chance to see and photograph a bunch of bands I don't normally get to see, and, hopefully, get turned on to some bands that will become personal favorites of mine. I love that concert photography can do that for me and expose me to different acts that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.
Photo links from my previous Warped Tour visits can be found at "Warped Tour 2015 in Atlanta" and "Warped Tour 2016 in Atlanta". If you're going to the Atlanta Warped Tour date, let me know! I'll be on the lookout for you, and, who knows, we might run into each other at the venue!