Since ’97, every summer I make the annual pilgrimage to Philly/ Camden for the Vans Warped Tour. I’ve been going as a fan for half my life already but last year was the first time I went not only as a fan but on assignment. This year’s no different other than I hit up Scranton’s Toyota Pavilion as well.
Everyone who’s ever been here warmed me about this venue. They told me about the long trek down the hill from the parking area and the stairs. Even with this forewarning, I was still not prepared for how much walking was needed to just get to the gates. This show was almost cancelled because of the severe thunderstorm but after huddling from the rain in the amphitheater the storm passed and the show continued. Other than the heat and massive hike around the venue the I had a great time!
Every year, everyone makes their checklist of bands they want to see. Unfortunately for me, I wanted to see/ cover everyone. The first band I caught was We The Kings. Though not too familiar with their material I figured I’d capture their performance anyway. I wish I knew some of their songs because they put on one amazing performance and got the crowds amped up for what was to come the rest of the day.
While interviewing Tonight Alive, it started to pour. We had to cut the interview short and evacuate the press tent and hide in pavilion. Also during this interview Lostprophets were just at the beginning of their set right before it stormed. After a half wait, the storm passed and the show continued.
After all these years, I have never seen Yellowcard live until today. I’m glad I finally got the chance to also be photographing them as well. These guys just released their eighth studio album Southern Air and have been getting a lot of plays with their current single “Always Summer” which was the perfect soundtrack for the season.
We actually got to interview frontman Jimmy Stadt of The Polar Bear Club a few years ago when they came through Allentown on the AP Tour. It was nice seeing him on stage and actually got to catch up with him afterwards at their merch table.
Breathe Carolina are one of my favorite groups to see live. With their blend of electro-pop and rock these guys always gets people moving. Still high off of having just gone Platinum with their hit single “Blackout” from Hell Is hat You Make It, these guys have been on a non-stop joyride pushing this album since early Fall. (Luckily my buddy Mikey was on tour with them so he was able to give me a heads up when the Super Soaker came out!)
Every Time I Die was one of the bands I really wanted to see this summer. I loved their new album Ex Lives and was excited to see these guys were added to the tour. Unfortunately, due to the weather, they weren’t doing interviews or signings at this stop.
Making a big name for themselves this Summer was Miss May I. There’s been a lot buzz going on about this band this year. I’m really happy these guys are where they are today. I recall seeing them on a supporting slot on Silverstein’s Winterizer tour and meeting frontman Levi outside in the parking lot trying to sell copies of Monument for $10 and nobody would give these guys the time of day (I picked one up from him as well as a lithograph!) Now fans are rabid around them.
Closing the night was long-time Warped Tour vets, New Found Glory. I have seen these guys so many times, I’ve lost count. These guys were jumping around all over the stage, it was actually difficult to even capture them on camera. But with at the end of the day, I thought their high-energy set was what everyone needed to book-end this crazy day.
Overall, despite the weather and the odd placements of the stages throughout this venue, I probably wouldn’t mind coming back again the next year now that I know the correct locations of the entrances and exits here. I’ve learned that you should always carry an extra bottle of water with you when you run into girl vomiting at the back of Breathe Carolina’s tour bus. Also, I’d like to thank the guys from Breathe Carolina for letting me cool off on their bus to escape the heat. I didn’t get do as many interviews as I had hoped because of the weather but luckily I’m hitting up Camden, NJ’s stop of the tour to pick up anything I missed. Stay hydrated!
[Click here for more shots from the Scranton date!]
Photos: Henry Chung
This post was written by:
Henry Chung – When Henry’s not busy updating this page and speaking in third person,he’s busy shooting and editing pictures from concerts and designing logos for bands.