Born and raised in San Diego, CA, I grew up going to shows at the legendary venue, SOMA. Since I’ve only been shooting professionally for a little over a year, I had never shot my favorite venue or my home city, other than Warped Tour this past summer. I went home for Thanksgiving break and it lined up perfectly with Sleeping With Sirens’ “End the Madness Tour” featuring Waterparks, Tonight Alive and State Champs. To get a little nostalgic, my first show in our scene was about 5 years ago in that same exact venue, and the bill opened with SECRETS and closed with Sleeping With Sirens. It meant a lot being able to wander around backstage, see posters of my favorite bands glued to the floor, their names graffitied on the walls, and see the group of kids that I used to be part of, lined up around the block.
The first band was Waterparks. Waterparks are a 3-piece out of Texas and who just put out their debut record, “Double Dare”. From their extremely identifiable brand on social media to some of the smartest lyrics in the game, Waterparks are definitely a band to watch out for. They’ve even got a U.K. tour with All Time Low coming up this spring. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know them a little more and they’re such genuine people with the best intentions. Awsten and Geoff rock all out and shuffle across the stage with Otto keeping the backbone of the songs intact. If you haven’t listened to them yet you need to go check out “Royal”.
I saw Tonight Alive at my first ever Warped in 2013 and they still have as much energy now as they had back then. The Australian vets are now using their music to encourage self-empowerment. It is so great to see them giving their fans a deeper meaning beyond their songs. Like Waterparks, they’re another wonderful group of people I’m always so happy to see.
Direct support was State Champs. They're some of my really close friends from Warped Tour this summer due to our thriving friendships through flip cup, and honestly have one of my favorite pop-punk bands for years. I was studying abroad back in 2015 when they had just released, “The Acoustic Things” and it quickly became my most played record (and still today). They’ve been on an absolute tear, truly, around the world and back again.
And finally, my friends and family in Sleeping With Sirens. I love this band and their crew through and through. Each one has embraced me and welcomed me into the team as if I was on tour with them again. It can be a lonely business sometimes, especially for me, whereas I’m still new and most people are hesitant towards me and just trying to figure out who I am. But, Sleeping With Sirens have been there for me since day 1. They played an epic 16 song set, hitting every single record, leaving every fan ecstatic. On top of that, they had some of the craziest production I had ever seen. I’m talking light panels, an 8 foot high drum riser, video walls and cold sparks, they seriously didn’t hold back. I’m extremely proud of them and I will always love seeing the energy and the love they give to their fans. As a big fan myself, it was my favorite Sleeping with Sirens show I’ve ever seen. Thank you guys, and thank you to the whole End the Madness Tour for a special night!