Adventure Blog

5 Seconds of Summer – Meet You There Tour 2018

Check out my write up and photos in Pittsburgh Music Magazine, here!

Let me start off by saying that last year, I never would have thought I’d be writing this right now. I mean, just reading the headline gives me chills.

September 13th was one of the best days of my life. Getting to see and cover 5 Seconds of Summer’s show was a dream come true for me. If you continue reading on, you’ll begin to see just how much this night really meant to me.

Australian alternative/pop/rock band, 5 Seconds of Summer, after 3 years of silence, finally released their newest album in June entitled, Youngblood. It was highly anticipated, especially after they released their singles “Want You Back” and “Youngblood” which are absolute bangers. Kind of fitting once you listen to the full album and realize that every single song is incredible. That’s just my opinion, but you can listen for yourself. With inspiration coming from a multitude of facets, they had massive success once the album was released to the public. Youngblood brought them their 3rd Billboard #1 album, making history. This milestone made them the first Australian act to land 3 albums at #1 on the Billboard charts.

With a new album comes a tour, almost always. They didn’t have a stop in Pittsburgh or anywhere nearby so I decided to treat myself for my birthday and buy tickets to the York Fair show. My boyfriend, having loved the album, was 100% into it too so we began our 3.5 hour drive after my class on Thursday.

On their cross country tour, they brought along alternative/indie/pop rockers, The Aces, who originate from Utah. I hadn’t heard a single thing about them prior to the show so I was interested to find out what they were all about. They began their set with a song that starts out sounding kind of like a 1975 song, “Volcanic Love“. That is a really fun song and I found myself tapping my foot while I stood in random positions to shoot. The Aces are an all female band, which is unique seeing as though you don’t see that all too often. You only really have Fifth Harmony and Little Mix that even remotely compare. Even so, The Aces have a much more unique and funky sound which makes them stand out.

The crowd was on their feet the whole time, a good bit were singing along and dancing like crazy while they played. Lead vocalist, Cristal Ramirez was very interactive with fans and made her way around stage which made for some really nice and different shots. They played some of their most popular songs in their 30 minute set such as “Stay”, “Strong Enough“, “Fake Nice”, and ending their set with “Stuck“. Overall, they put on a fun, upbeat, and rhythmic set. A great adrenaline booster, before the headlining act came on.

By this point, adrenaline was rushing through my entire body. I didn’t have any set times, so I ended up being in the pit super early. But I made friends so it was okay, haha. Before I knew it, the filler music faded and the lights dropped. My heart was racing, along with the hundreds of girls behind me. I realized who was standing before me when I saw Michael’s hair when he appeared at the mic. “Babylon” was the intro song and really got the crowd on their feet… if they weren’t already. I had a moment, when the lights turned on and they all appeared in their positions, where my jaw dropped and I felt the surrealism of the moment. I quickly had to get myself focused and start shooting. This did not come without a mini jam session as I worked, I can assure you.

They followed up with “Talk Fast” and I just need to mention how cool the lighting was. I realized, as I was in my post processing phase, that the lighting included all the colors within the cover art of the album and it was epic. I couldn’t appreciate it at the time because I automatically thought they would all need to be black and white since red light washes people out. “Moving Along” was next and was the final song in the first 3 songs I was allowed to shoot. It is also my number one favorite off of the new album because it is just a jam.

As soon as the last one was over, I went back to my seats, which were upgraded earlier and were so much better, and I broke down. I’ve dreamt of that day since I started shooting shows and it was better than I could have possibly imagined. It was at this point the full fangirl in me could be unleashed.

They continued their set with singles, “She’s Kinda Hot” and the song featured in Ghostbusters (2016), “Girls Talk Boys“. They played another oldie, “Waste The Night”, before playing a couple of the bangers from the newest album. These songs included “More”, “Better Man”, and “If Walls Could Talk”; all three of which fell super high on my rating list of Youngblood.

The next segment, as Calum Hood (bassist/vocals) pointed out, was the ballad section… aka the most emotional part of the evening. “Ghost of You” was up first. When I first heard this song, I knew it was going to be one of my favorites. It was so beautifully written and had haunting lyrics (no pun intended). Some of my favorite musical lyrics come from this song. “We’re too young / Too dumb / To know things like love” and “That my feet don’t dance / Like they did with you”. Ugh. I bawled my eyes out almost this entire part of the show, no lie. They continued with “Amnesia” and “The Only Reason“, with Michael Clifford (guitar/vocals) putting his own little twist to introduce “The Only Reason”.

The transition back into the rhythmic music, Luke Hemmings (lead vocals/guitar) played the first verse of “Lie To Me” on piano, which then transitioned to the full band, which I found to be epic.

They played a few new songs, “Why Won’t You Love Me” and “Valentine” next. Before “Valentine”, Ashton Irwin (drums/vocals) got up from his drum set, as they were introducing the next song, and sprinted across stage. And he disappears into the crowd. Next thing I know, he’s standing directly behind me holding up a sign that says ‘I’m from Australia’ (I filmed the entire thing, by the way). He then makes his way back up to the stage to continue his “I’m-your-biggest-fan, please-let-me-play-drums-for-your-next-song” comedic skit. I bawled my eyes out the second he left, mostly because he, single-handedly, was a source of my happiness for a long time. He has perfect skin, in case you were wondering (Ash, if you’re reading this, give a girl some tips).

Anyway, they continued the show with “Meet You There”, with Ash’s epic drum intro, “Jet Black Heart“, and “Want You Back”, before exiting the stage to come back out for the encore. Fans were screaming, some clearly not seasoned concertgoers since they began to trickle out.

They ended the show with “She Looks So Perfect” and “Youngblood”. With the last bit of adrenaline the audience had left, they screamed every word. That’s something I’ve noticed about 5SOS shows that I enjoy. They let fans sing every single word and give them the floor for a line or so; just to listen and let the pure energy of the room practically explode. They did that a lot at this show.

Having been 3 years since I last saw them, I was anxiously awaiting the next show. Attending the Meet You There Tour was an incredible experience. From the lighting, to the stage, to the music, to the fans and the overall show itself, it was beyond my wildest expectations. If you haven’t caught a show yet, I highly recommend catching one. It was by far the best day of my young life.

5SOS, thank you for everything you’ve done for me these past few years. Thank you for your absolute showmanship and amazing songwriting. For your dedication to your art and for never giving up. For always being there. I thought I’d felt the highest of highs, but you came and topped them all ūüėČ

Don’t ever stop doing what you’re doing. I love you. #5sospuns


As per usual, some of my favorite photos are featured below and the rest are on my Flickr. This is the biggest and best show I’ve done to date so I highly suggest giving them a look.

Thank you for reading, I know this was a long one. I’m just so emotionally attached to this band.

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Four Chord Music Festival 5

Hey there! Been quite some time since I’ve posted. It has been crazy busy from moving into my senior year of college, to being a part of orientation weekend, to starting classes, it has been a chaotic 2 weeks. But here I am with another blog post and brand new photos for you guys so here we go.

Four Chord Music Festival: an annual pop punk music festival put on by Rishi Bahl, a ridiculously talented human being, and friends. Seriously though, I don’t know how he does it all. From 6 undergrad degrees and 2 PhD’s to being in his own band and putting on this festival… it’s wild. I’ve been to all of the festivals but the first one and they have consistently topped each other every year. This year, it happened to be the night before classes started so I only stayed for the first 7 hours.

It was cool because this year I happened to become friends with a couple of the bands who were opening the festival. Like I said, I was only there for the first 7 hours, which if you ask me is plenty of time at a concert. While there, I shot Atlantic Wasteland, bloom., Look Out Loretta, Patent Pending, Eternal Boy, and Will Pugh of Cartel. I’ve shot a few of these bands before but it’s always fun to see how my skills have improved since I last shot them. Plus the lighting was great. These are some of my favorite photos, honestly. So, without further ado, read on about the bands I shot while attending Four Chord 5.

First up, we had Atlantic Wasteland, which if you follow my blog, you are very familiar with. I’ve become super close with them and they’ve been the subject of some of my favorite photos recently. And actually, Evan Yester from Hear Tonight (another band I shoot a lot) was filling in on drums for them. I was thrown off at first because I had just gotten to the show not 10 minutes prior and Sam of AW, went on the mic, causing me to run down to the pit to start shooting. The times were a little messed up throughout the whole show but I got used to it. But they were great as usual. They kept the crowd’s attention and kept them on their feet, jamming. They are always a fun band to shoot and watch play. As always, a fantastic set and worth catching a show. If you’re into pop punk, which is the genre of most all bands who played this festival, you will enjoy them. As usual, I tagged their Facebook page above!

Right after Atlantic Wasteland’s set was over, I ran to the second stage because bloom. started playing. They’re a band local to Boston, with members who went to Berklee College. I shot a show of theirs before whenever they came to play at the Smiling Moose. One of their members, Tyler Knatz, is the drummer in Vertigo as well, which is how I know them. They put on a great show also. I noticed the crowd bobbing their heads, as most do at harder core shows, and enjoying the set. They’re on tour currently, but next time they come through, I suggest giving them a go. They’re definitely underrated. Their Facebook page is linked above.

Next up, we had locals, Look Out Loretta, another band you’ve probably seen me post about. Their newest album was released this past spring and the audience knew every word. I even got a few crowd shots during their set, which was pretty cool. For an underground band with a small amount of followers on social media, I’m always impressed with the amount of people they bring in for a crowd. They rocked out as the audience rocked alongside them. Their Facebook page is linked above.

After a small food and caffeine break, I came back just in time to shoot a band I’ve (shockingly) never shot before; Patent Pending, a rock/punk/pop punk band from Long Island, New York. They’ve played almost, if not all, of the last 4 Four Chord Festivals. They have become good friends with Rishi and seemingly, the entire Pittsburgh pop punk scene. I’ve watched them play every time they played the festival, just never shot them. I’m not entirely sure why, but I just never did. Last year, I watched them play a song that, ever since, has been an absolute earworm. Despite being extremely creative, it’s almost too catchy, lol. ‘Hey Mario’, a song with over 2 million listens on Spotify, is their most popular song. It’s on their 2013 album, Brighter and it is great. It’s a song basically about a guy telling his friend that he’s better than the girl he’s chasing after, that won’t give him the time of day. The creative part? It’s all music made to sound like it’s from Super Mario Brothers and it is uber cool. Anyway, they always have known just how to keep the audience’s adrenaline pumping. They were actually the ones to play several extra songs to fill in the time that got misconstrued earlier that day. They were very fun to shoot too. Joe, lead vocalist, jumps like a madman and actually got me my first really dope and clear jump shot that I’m HYPED about. (See below) So, next time you see that Patent Pending is playing in the area, get to that show if you want to have a super fun time. And by the way, if you end being front row, be aware that Joe sweats a lot and you’ll likely get sweat on, hahaha. I had a few drops on my lens, which I found to be very comical.

Next up, we had the man himself… Rishi Bahl and his band, Eternal Boy. In case you haven’t heard of them, they are another local pop punk band I would definitely consider them on the milder end because I’ve come to really enjoy their music. Harder core stuff just isn’t my jam, so if you’re like me and enjoy mild core pop punk, they are for you. They are always great and put on a great set, too. Their most popular song off of their album (under The Spacepimps name), Eternal Boy, ‘Party Foul’ was actually turned into a pale ale beer brewed by Dancing Gnome. I’m not a beer person so I can’t say so myself, but my boyfriend is very into craft beers and was very excited to try it. He loved it… even had 2 while we hung out at the show. Audience members screamed along, and even moshed a bit, while they played. Nothing out of the ordinary for a local pop punk band, really. If you haven’t heard of them or liked their page on Facebook, I linked it above.

Lastly, the vibe was toned down a bit for this next act. Will Pugh of Cartel, from Atlanta, played a little acoustic set. This was a new thing for the festival. In the past few years I’ve attended, there hasn’t been an acoustic act before. I thoroughly enjoyed it, to be honest. Acoustic sets are ridiculously underrated because they are so raw and real. They showcase what the music really sounded like before it became what it was, with just a voice and a guitar. Truly great music can be toned down like this and sound just as great as it does full band. I had never seen Cartel play before, but if I enjoyed the acoustic this much, I’m sure the full band doesn’t/didn’t disappoint. I was worried the crowd wouldn’t react well being that you come to a pop punk show expecting to mosh and act like maniacs. But they seemed to really enjoy the break. It also helps that Pugh has a damn good voice. It was mesmerizing to listen to him play, while I moved around pondering creative shots I could take. That was tough. Having just a man and his guitar makes a photographer’s job a little harder, but I had fun with it. I also think I did a good job also. Pugh put on a great acoustic set and I was thoroughly impressed.

As I said, I only stayed for a bit so I could go back to campus and get editing started. I mean it’s a good thing I did cause even this post took forever for me to put out. However, I was satisfied with what I had seen. It ended on a relaxing note and I felt I got some amazing shots. Bravo to you, Rishi, as always.

Hope you enjoy the shots I took as much as I do. As always, only a handful are featured below and the rest are up on my Flickr page. (Psst… go look. These ones below barely do the bulk justice)

 

Erie Adventures – Part One

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Adventuring is my favorite pastime. Exploring new places and places I’ve been before is always fun. You get to be in a new environment than the one you’re used to seeing day in and day out. Now, I’ve been to Erie several times in my life. But, ever since Chris and I started dating and made it a yearly thing to visit even just for a day, we’ve tried to do something new each time. But we mostly stick to our general plans each year. T

his year, we planned a weekend trip with our friends, Evan and Kelly, in August, so we wanted to explore Downtown Erie since that is where our hotel is located. We made the plan to drive there after our time in Presque Isle and find out where our hotel is and just explore a bit.

We began the day with a quick breakfast close to home at Perkins. I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad meal there. Not too expensive either. Then, we made the trek up to Erie. Fun fact: I checked the weather beforehand and the radar had rain in¬†all of Pennsylvania¬†except Erie… which was great news for us. We didn’t actually hit any of it and it was an easy drive. Well… for him at least. I’ve never done any highway driving since I got my license last year. So we decided since from Pittsburgh to Erie is a completely straight shot up I-79, I could do some highway driving….
It was terrifying.¬†I thought it would be way easier but I was on the white knuckle express. Going 70 wasn’t something I was comfortable with, but I did it.

Once Chris took over and we got there (much quicker with him driving, might I add), we booked it to the beach and just relaxed for a bit. He also enjoys being knocked over by waves so I joined him until I got water in my eyes and then I went to dry off… lol. After about 2 hours of sun(burn), we went to a pizza place that has become a favorite of ours, located just outside of Presque Isle, Stevo’s Pizza.

After we got our stomachs filled, we went to find our hotel. As you know, we are coffee shop¬†fanatics. Chris found one online called Ember + Forge and we decided to park and make the trek through the city to find it. It was so good I got an iced chai while we sat inside and I got another to go. Now, the city was chaos. We later found out that the following day, they had their Roar on the Shore Bike Weekend. So, so many streets were blocked off for set up, which drove us nuts since the GPS didn’t account for that… ugh. But we made it.

Next, we went to see the Bicentennial Tower, which is apparently a famous landmark in Erie. It was crazy beautiful. It was only $8 to get us both in and up to the top. We could see all of Downtown Erie and the length of Presque Isle, which was just wild. The wind was insane though.

After such a breathtaking experience, we went back to Presque Isle and got a little walk in before heading to Tim Horton’s, the annual trip since there are none back home, and made the long journey home. Overall, as usual, it was a great day and we got very lucky with the weather. I’m so excited for our weekend in a couple of weeks! Stay tuned for that post and photos as well!

I included my photos from the trip below!
If you’d like to see more of my work, visit my Flickr page!

Harrison Hills Park

Hey all! Hope you had a great 4th of July and enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend! I certainly did.

I spent Sunday exploring a new park! Chris and my friends, Evan and Kelly, had gone to this park before, called Harrison Hills Park located in Natrona Heights. The back story, is they were there just hiking and exploring and got to one of the steep cliffs and Evan was looking over the edge and sitting, and his phone fell. It fell down on to another ledge and he went to get it. Now, it’s a steep cliff… very steep. If I were Kelly, I would have¬†killed him for risking his life like that. He did manage to get it and it was unharmed and he came back with just some scratches and bruises. Kelly has been telling us we need to see this to understand how terrifying that situation was. We finally got a nice day and made the journey out there.

It was quite the hike. A good 2.5 miles(ish) up hill, over roots, through water, and steep down hill. I was tired, sweating, and my calves hurt so bad. But it was great exercise and a nice way to spend the day a little aways from home.

After our hike, we went to a local Italian place called Philippi’s and it was actually so, so good. That pizza was amazing.

So yeah, that’s pretty much our little adventure at Harrison Hills Park. We did a good bit of hiking and Chris played PokemonGo and it was a great time.

I featured some photos below and the rest are on my Flickr!

 

Hallowed Grounds

Back at it again with the coffee shop adventures! This one was an impromptu trip. Chris had heard about this cafe, called Hallowed Grounds Coffee Roasterie, from a friend at work and our previous plans got rained out, so we needed to come up with a Plan B. He told me about this shop located in New Brighton, which is about 20ish minutes from Cranberry. It turns out, my college friend and roommate, Allie, works there when she’s home. We ran into her there… small world, haha.

Anyway, I enjoyed seeing a new shop and exploring a new town. This one was different than most others we go to because they sell their own coffee grounds with all different kinds of flavors. They also have different types of tea bags as well. You can also make your own “butter”, such as honey butter and almond butter.

It was a smaller shop with not many seating areas, but rather than being a cafe, it was more of a shop that you could sit at rather than would. So if you’re an in and out kind of person, you’d enjoy this. But I will say that it is nice to have the option to sit and relax and if it’s busy, you would likely not be able to get a seat. We sat, but it wasn’t busy by that point in the day. Because of that, I give their environment a 6/10.

For their menu choices, they have¬†so many. I’ve never seen so many different iced chai flavors, omg. I want to go back to try them all! I ended up choosing their pumpkin iced chai and it was delish. The flavor hit me, initially, but after a few sips, I got used to it. Very, very happy with all the different choices customers have the option to pick from.
Pumpkin Iced Chai: 8/10

Chris was very excited about his because he loves Oreos and pretty much anything cookies ‘n cream flavored. He got the cookies ‘n cream iced latte and was in Oreo heaven.
Cookies ‘n Cream Iced Latte: 8/10

Overall, it was a nice little adventure away from home, a bit. Exploring coffee shops in places we have never been before is a crazy cool experience. If you like coffee or tea, I suggest doing it wherever you go rather than just going to the closest Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. Who knows, you may find the best coffee or tea you’ve ever had!

Below, I featured a couple photos from our visit to Hallowed Grounds. I have the rest on my Flickr album, alongside my other coffee shop adventure photos.

 

Vertical 48 at The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls

Here we are yet again, guys! I am now introducing to you a¬†brand new band! How exciting. Well.. they aren’t new to the scene, per say, but they’re new to my adventure blog followers. Or photography followers in general. Anyways…

So I came across this band last December when I shot VictoriaDrive for the first time. Chris (my boyfriend) and I came to the show whenever they were on stage and instantly took a liking to their sound. The songs they played were catchy and I was tapping my foot on the barstool. We then saw them¬†again at the St. Patrick’s Day show at Mr. Roboto, with.. none other than VictoriaDrive, lol. They are good friends and play together a lot to the point it’s become an inside joke. But, like before, my liking to their music was re-ignited and I found myself enjoying their set from afar. It wasn’t till after that show that drummer, Chris Ferre√®, inquired about having me shoot one of their upcoming shows. Of course, I jumped at the chance, for one, I loved their music, and two, getting another gig.

Finally, we have show day. They were opening up for a band called Future Generations, whom I’d never heard of before. We came inside and met Chris, along with his bandmates, Vinny (guitar) and Mario (vocals/keyboard/everything else) and just chatted. They are super nice guys, let me just say. Then watching them on stage, and really watching this time rather than passively watching, was wild. Despite having a small crowd, their energy and passion for their music never waivered. Vinny plays some killer guitar, that which I know Chris (my boyfriend.. I have to specify now) was very impressed and practically hypnotized by. Chris (drummer) is crazy good on the drums and never ceases to impress crowds with his deep rap included in two of the songs they performed. And Mario, well.. he plays practically everything and he gets so into it. I caught him dancing to the beat whenever he wasn’t singing and that is something I like to see. You have to have a passion for what you do, or you may as well not be doing it… especially with music.

Vertical 48 is a local Pittsburgh pop/rock band. If catchy tunes are what suits your fancy, go check them out. You won’t regret it… or maybe you will… mostly because their songs are so¬†damn catchy. In fact, I currently have “Real World” in my head as I write this… lol.

Anyway…below are some shots from their set on Saturday and the rest are uploaded on my Flickr album. Go check ’em out if you have a second. Forreal. And as for any bands wanting to inquire about a shoot, click on my contact tab!

 

Plain White T’s at Jergel’s

“Hey there, Delilah, what’s it like in New York City? I’m a thousand miles away but girl, tonight you look so pretty, yes you do…”
If you didn’t sing along while reading that, you live under a rock. “Hey There Delilah” is one of the¬†classics in current pop music. No matter what type of music you like or listen to, you know that song. The Plain White T’s brought their classic pop tunes and most recent songs, all the way to Jergel’s, located in Warrendale (the outskirts of Pittsburgh), to up the hype for their upcoming album, “Parallel Universe”.

On their Pittsburgh stop, they had locals, Hear Tonight, open up for them. If you’re reading this and are a frequent visitor to my adventure blog, you know that they’re one of my favorites. I preach constantly about how upbeat and fun their music is. Their sound makes me think of the best parts of summer and that feeling you get driving by the beach and watching the waves crash. It’s amazing that they capture it so well in their music. Friday night was no different. They were a great first act to help get the crowd pumped and ready for the rest of the night.

On their tour, the Plain White T’s brought along Chicago natives,¬†Fairview. They were discovered, and soon signed by member, Tom Higgenson, giving them their kickstart into the music business. They were very talented. Each member played with love and passion, which was great. They had a lot of slower ballads and love songs, and clearly some good writing went into them. The two leads, Lizzy and Matt, had beautiful voices and their chemistry put that much more meaning into their lyrics.

Next up, we had the privilege of getting to see¬†Ocean Park Standoff¬†from Santa Monica, California. They were¬†everything you could ask for when it came to pumping up the crowd for the headliner. Ugh… I loved them. They were great. Chris and I found ourselves surprised when they began to play “Good News”, as it has been a popular radio hit, and it plays on the speakers at my part time job. We found out it indeed is their song and not just a cover and we were partially star struck… lol. Their lead singer, Ethan, had absolutely crazy energy. It was definitely contagious because I noticed more and more people find their way to the dance floor for the rest of their set, and probably to get their spot for Plain White T’s.

And of course, we had¬†the¬†Plain White T’s. A classic pop/rock band, popular with millennials, most of all. They are the band most of us heard in the early 2000’s when we were in our earlier years of schooling. I, myself, didn’t discover them till I really got into music, in the early 2010’s, but that’s beside the point. I have to say that I was very impressed with their live performance. They had the perfect mix of new songs, PWT classics, and some sneak peeks to songs being released on their “Parallel Universe” album on August 24th. I found myself enjoying a lot more than just the classics and even found some new favorites. One of those was “Your Body” which sticks a little bit to their roots, but also includes some more current musical elements. The crowd was very diverse; you had those older folks who came for the music to feel young again, those who came to accompany their under 21 kids; you had the millennials, who came to see a band they’ve enjoyed listening to since middle school; and you even had little kids who may just be starting an obsession with music and likely may be the product of their parents. But, age aside, when they played their classics, such as “1, 2, 3, 4”, “Hey There Delilah”, and “Our Time Now”, we were all singing along in practically one voice. And that’s why I love music so much.

The Plain White T’s new album “Parallel Universe” comes out August 24th, and they mentioned they will be back on tour after that release. So if you missed out on this show or are now intrigued to see the next one, keep your eyes peeled for some more announcements on their band social medias.

Below, I have featured a few of my favorites from this shoot. The rest can be found in my Flickr album.

My review will also be up in Pittsburgh Music Magazine! – coming soon