Warped Tour — Backstage!

The Academy Is... @ Warped Tour

William Beckett and Michael Guy Chislett of The Academy Is…, photographed outside their tour bus

Warped Tour 2008 marked a really fun, fast-paced assignment for RollingStone.com, with a large number of bands on the punchlist and a lot of hustle to make it all happen. Aside from live coverage, the backstage shoots were a big part of this year's Warped coverage as we photographed Paramorer, Katy Perry, Anberlin, Jack's Mannequin, and more.

Locations for most of these images took place in the press room and immediate area, with the exception of The Academy Is…, who invited us onto their tour bus for the interview and shoot.

Here are just a few of the group shots made during the day.

Family Force 5:

Family Force 5


Paramore @ Warped Tour

Paramore @ Warped Tour

Paramore @ Warped Tour


Amino @ Warped Tour

Greeley Estates:

Greeley Estates @ Warped Tour

Greeley Estates @ Warped Tour

Forever The Sickest Kids:

Forever the Sickest Kids @ Warped Tour

Jack's Mannequin:

Jack's Mannequin @ Warped Tour


Tat @ Warped Tour

Set Your Goals:

Set Your Goals

Set Your Goals


Anberlin @ Warped Tour

Anberlin @ Warped Tour

Oreska Band:

Oreska Band @ Warped Tour

Cobra Starship:

Cobra Starpship @ Warped Tour

Cobra Starpship @ Warped Tour

Katy Perry:

Katy Perry @ Warped Tour

Katy Perry @ Warped Tour

Katy Perry @ Warped Tour

Norma Jean:

Norma Jean @ Warped Tour

Norma Jean @ Warped Tour

The Academy Is…:

The Academy Is... @ Warped Tour

The Academy Is... @ Warped Tour

Charlotte Sometimes:

Charlotte Sometimes @ Warped Tour

Gabe Saporta & Fans:

Cobra Starship @ Warped Tour

Shooting Notes:

When I was planning for Warped Tour, I knew backstage shots would be a sizable component of the deliverables, which was an exciting charge for the assignment.

As a whole, all the bands were incredibly nice and open to all suggestions, which made this set a lot of fun to shoot. Naturally, it's always nice to see a group have fun with a shoot, even if it was literally a matter of seconds.


While I initially thought about bringing only one external flash, I'm very glad that I packed two speedlights for these shoots, which helped immensely in the flexibility on site. Most of these shots came together with about 15-seconds of planning, so being able to work dynamically with Nikon's wireless flash system was a huge boon.

I shot with one Nikon SB-800 as the commander on-camera and one SB-600 as the remote for the majority of these images.

End Notes:

If you haven't done so already, check out the live coverage of Warped tour of these acts and more:

Warped Tour: Katy Perry, Paramore, Say Anything, Gym Class Heroes

Warped Tour: Jack’s Mannequin, The Academy Is…, Against Me!, Angels and Airwaves

Once again, I have to thank Bethany, the on-site press coordinator for Warped Tour, as a lot of them would not have been possible without her hard work. She was on top of everything, from setting up shoots, contacting bands, and was generally awesome in making it all happen.

Bethany even went out of her way to suggest bands she thought would be fun to shoot, including Family Force 5, Oreska Band, and others, all of which made for a fun time.

I would have to say that Bethany holds the distinction of being the all-time most bad ass rep out of all the bands, tours, and festivals I have ever shot. If you see her out and about at Warped Tour this year, please give her a high five for me

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon Z 7:
I use two Nikon Z 7 for my live music photography. A true do-it-all mirrorless camera with amazing AF, great speed and fantastic resolution.


Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8S:
The 24-70mm is my go-to lens. The range is ideal for stage front photography and the image quality is superb.


Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR:
A perfect pair to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I can basically shoot any job with the midrange and this lens. Superb image quality.


Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8:
Ultra-wide perspective, ridiculously sharp even wide open at f/2.8. I love using this lens up-close and personal, where it excels.

See My Full Kit for Concert Photography

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