Vans Warped Tour @ AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX
Review & Photography: TJ Martinez
From Waterparks to 3OH!3 to The Maine, there was bound to be a band for everybody at the 2018 Vans Warped Tour. With seven stages and over 70 performers, it was non-stop fun throughout the whole day. There were countless merch tents, non-profit organizations, sponsors and vendors at Warped.
I started my day shooting one of my favorite bands, This Wild Life. After that, I made my way over to 3OH!3’s set. Upon entering the photo pit, the security guards warned all the photographers to be on high alert- this set was going to get wild. That it did! I think the whole town heard us screaming along to “My First Kiss.” Between sets and breaks inside from the 100° heat, I visited tons of tents. At one booth, I learned about the egg industry and even had the opportunity to stand inside a tiny cage much like the ones that factory farm chickens are kept in. I considered it but chickened out of that. At another booth, I was educated on sex trafficking prevention and got loads of free goodies from them. The Truth tent was giving away free pizza beanies, enamel pins and bracelets just for subscribing to their texts with information about the dangers of smoking. Curiosity lead me to the I Am Second tent where one of the vendors prayed that my injured wrist would survive the long hours of shooting I was to do at Warped Tour. Intrigued with the whole environment of this non-profit, I asked about the notes on the walls of the booth. They were personal testaments on mental illnesses and common struggles that we may be dealing with. Religious or not, I have to recommend making a stop at I Am Second.
Soon after, I made my way over to YUNGBLUD’s tent and jumped out on a limb by asking if he was available for a portrait shoot. To my surprise, he was! Despite the pouring rain, he as energetic as could be during his set. The English sweetheart jumped around on stage, marveling at the fact that a crowd of fans all the way down in San Antonio, Texas knew the words to his songs. Immediately following his set, he had an hour long meet and greet. I finally snagged him away for a few minutes and snapped some photos of him. Mid-day I had the honor of meeting Kosha Dillz (his pickle hats for sale most definitely attracted me). I ended up taking some portraits of him, photographing his set and spending whatever free time I had with him at his merch table. My favorite part of the day was seeing how excited Warped fans became when they saw his shirts with Hebrew writing and got to talking about their Jewish roots.
Later on, I caught Waterparks and Makeout’s sets. The crowd reaction and involvement with every artist was phenomenal this year. Just as I was about to leave, I noticed the one and only Kevin Jordan at his merch table. I took a few flowery portraits of him and then a selfie because I’m still a bit of a fan girl like that. This is the final full cross country run of the tour so if you’d like to go, check out the rest of the dates and purchase tickets at vanswarpedtour.com. Keep up with the tour at @vanswarped tour on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!