Warped Tour Blog #2: Production, Pomona, & San Diego

Summer has sprung and work has begun and I’m feeling alive! 

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The first unofficial day of Warped is called production day, where everyone meets and gets on the same page in terms of logistics, organization, rules, etc. That day also featured my favorite hobby of all: collecting free stuff from sponsors. If I’ve learned anything from my mother, it’s that you don’t pass up free things when they’re offered.

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I’ve made a ton of new friends (God, this sounds like I’m writing home from summer camp. Does that make all of you my new moms?), including people Doll Skin has worked with in the past, as well as some new friendly faces. Lauren from Sharptooth is an absolute delight, and Jar, a photographer on the tour, is a ton of fun.

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The non-profit I’m riding with didn’t go to production day, so I spent the night in Doll Skin’s bus. I ended up passing out at around 10:30—anyone who knows me knows that my usual time bedtime is around 2, so this was certainly different for me. I’m glad I “stocked up” on sleep, because it looks like our day will usually start around 7—again, very out of character for me.

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The first day was super wild, as we had our street team leaders from both the U.S. and the U.K. there, along with some other social media friends. It was so, so, so cool to see everyone come together and form a physical version of the amazing community Doll Skin has online. 

 Melanie, Chloe, & Aria

Melanie, Chloe, & Aria

 

I was finally able to hook up with my non-profit that day, and they’re just as kind and generous as I expected them to be. While I do miss the girls in the evening, it’s great to be surrounded by one wonderful group or the other every day. I’ve settled into my “bunk” well—I use the term “nesting” to describe it, which basically means piling all my belongings around me until there’s barely enough room for my body. It’s not a great habit when you’re in, say, an apartment, but on a month-and-a-half-long road trip, it can actually save a lot of time.

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The NPO and I were planning on dropping by the first-day barbecue, but we were told it really starts picking up around midnight, and we all agreed we were too tired to stick around. Instead, we dropped by In N Out and started the very short drive to San Diego.

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Day two involved what I call “growing pains,” and it’s inevitable on any tour. It’s the frustration, anxiety, and confusion that come with trying to establish a schedule, delegate tasks, and figure out your relationship with your crew. I try to keep these tour blogs honest, and truthfully, I’m feeling these growing pains more than I have on any other tour. Then again, this is a totally different ballgame than any other tour I’ve been on, so this isn’t surprising at all. On the bright side, I have a month and a half to get in the rhythm!

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I’ve been trying not to push myself too hard, so my goal every day is to shoot one or two other bands on the tour, not including Doll Skin. I also make it a priority to take at least an hour for myself to charge my electronics, keep up with my family and friends, and recharge myself. It means I probably won’t be able to cover everyone, but it also means I won’t work myself to the bone.

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The first day, I caught Don Broco, who I just got into recently. Their set was great, although it was unfortunately cut short so I only got to shoot for one song. On day two, I shot Sharptooth, which was a ton of fun. They’re super energetic, and their message is super powerful. I actually started tearing up when Lauren gave her speech. I work with women a lot, so to hear one say into a microphone in front of hundreds of people that she was raped was incredibly powerful. I found her vulnerability hugely inspiring.

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Obviously, Doll Skin has had amazing sets, although I feel like I don’t really need to say that. I think I’ve seen them perform somewhere around 20 times, and they never fail to make my jaw drop. It can be easy to lose perspective that I get to hang out with rock stars every day, but every time they step on stage, I’m incredibly humbled.

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Day three is supposed to be much cooler, and it’s a sold out show! I’m definitely excited to see what the rest of the tour holds—growing pains and all—so I hope you’ll stay tuned.  

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