the gig life tour

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ART SCHOOL | LAUREN ASTA  (Chicago, IL) | Vans US Open of Surfing 2017

We’re excited to spotlight the artists for this year’s 2017 Vans US Open of Surfing that is set to begin July 29th To August 6th in Huntington Beach, CA.   Our first artist spotlight starts with talented, hard working, and art touring muralist and public artist Lauren Asta!  Starting with a massive 3,000 sq ft mural at Faction Brewery in 2015, Asta has been non-stop mural and art touring, bringing her signature black and white, free flowing and spontaneous doodles to walls and buildings all over.  She’s not only extremely talented but also straight up fearless, as we find out in this Q&A with Lauren, where we talk about how she got started painting murals, her art background, and what event she’s looking forward to see at this year’s 2017 Vans US Open of Surfing. 

Photographs courtesy of the artist.

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i am so thankful for revolution radio. i found green day because of this album. deciding to attend a gig on this tour changed my life in ways i never anticipated. i made countless new friends all over the world. i traveled to places i never thought i would go and did things i never thought i would do. i saw two new cities!! all because of green day! i ate chinese food at 2am in philly and slept on the streets of nyc, i walked balboa park and coronado beach in san diego and got my picture in the paper at rose bowl stadium thanks to revrad. laughter and tears and sleep deprivation and stress and elation. i can’t wait to see where this band takes me next. thank you, revrad. and happy birthday.

OneRepublic – Singapore, 15 September 2017

I was upset that OneRepublic didn’t do gigs in Indonesia, but my trip to Singapore for them is thankfully something I do not regret. I love Formula One, I watched Singapore GP back on 2014 and I thought, “Nah, one time is enough. I won’t be coming back (to Singapore GP). The expense wasn’t worth the whole package”. So when OneRepublic decided to do gigs in Singapore GP, my first response was, “Aw hell. I should tighten my wallet for next few months”. Anyway, I survived, I went there and ended up really happy with my decision.

I rarely watched live performance of OneRepublic on YouTube, so I definitely came to be surprised. They are four albums deep, lots of bangers, makes you wonder how they’re going to build the flow for a two hours performance. And this is how it went..

  1. Opening: They went with intro of NbHD, which is what could be more kicking than this?? I saw they opened once with Love Runs Out, which was cool choice, but back then, they haven’t released Oh My My yet. So this pick is awesome. I realized by third quarter into the show that this choice is fit perfectly to the whole set list.
  2. Stop and Stare: It started a bit shaky, not really a smooth transition from kicking intro to moderate beat of Stop and Stare. But, everybody was singing anyway, so no fuss here. And Ryan began to show off his vocal skills from here to … end of the list I think.
  3. Secrets: Another track that everybody can’t help but sing along. The original track is full on strings, right? I am grateful that they don’t take it away from the live performance. In fact the strings was enhanced, which I find it remarkable. Kudos to Brent and Zach!
  4. Kids: I like how they play the echo at Ryan’s vocal at some of end verses. I missed it from the original track, but I find it on the live gigs. Wasn’t that amazing?
  5. Good Life: So this gig is part of OH MY MY tour. The album’s ambiance is kinda dark. But Good Life is a happy song. Successful single as well. They have to make it work into the theme somehow. So they did this creepily nice transition with synth (if I hear correctly. Kisses for Brian!) and it fit!
  6. Wherever I Go: This song was really fun to sing along. I love the second chorus part where they’re jamming between “..but I won’t lie to you-jeng jeng jeng jeng-wherever I go, you’re the ghost in the room..”. I was laughing over it.
  7. Better: I don’t really enjoy the original track of this. But it’s nice to see they brought it live. Brent was kicking ass here and Zach and Eddie played well together back there. Oh, and Brian synth was eerie!
  8. Feel Again: But those eeriness is locked well with intro of Feel Again. Cleverly played.
  9. Halo: So Ryan brought this to live on piano with Brent on cello. Okay, I got a confession to make. I am not a fan of this song. So there’s some tiny bit of disappointment here that they made time to perform this song, when I think they still got their own other hits that I’m sure somebody’s rooting for to be performed live. But it seemed I’m the weirdo here, so yeah. We moved forward.
  10. Happier: I like Ed Sheeran, I listened to Divide, though without putting all my mind to it. So apparently I miss this gem. Foolish me. I don’t know Ryan wrote this until he told us. He sang it like he owned it, which was heavy on piano with Brent on guitar. But when I listen to the original track, it doesn’t really show Ryan Tedder’ trace there. I’m not sure why. Anyway, you learn something new every day! [put Happier on daily playlist]
  11. Come Home: This is one of OneRepublic song that didn’t do well on chart but I love it #personalreason. Allegedly there’s glassy eyes involved here. Thankfully they played it without the bridge and in jamming style. So no tears fell down.
  12. I Lived: This song could also be a tearjerker, but they brought it in upbeat way that you feel like celebrating life is always worthy. On technical notes, I am a sucker for a performance where the artist plays things in loop? They played few beats, record it, then layer it with another bars, all did on stage? I think Drew did that here. Yeay, Drew!
  13. All the Right Moves: At the end of this song, that I realized that they really want the dark, creepy theme of OH MY MY album to dominate the whole performance. So lots of synth play when they move to the next song. Keep the audience on their toes to guess of what’s next. I dig it.
  14. Let’s Hurt Tonight: All passion was pouring over this song. Start from the kicking intro to shaky vocal from Ryan. I thought the highlight of this song is Eddie Fisher. It really felt cathartic to watch Eddie here. Seriously, I thought if this track brought out to live, it’s going to be a jamming song. But, what a nice surprise we had. And Ryan Tedder’ endurance is like a pro athlete! I don’t know how he didn’t collapse with all those bangers, and this one is like over the top
  15. Zach Filkins solo guitar as intermission. Man of the day! Birthday guy! I got another confession to make. If I were asked to do Sexiest Men Alive list, Zach will be on top 10 rank. #blush
  16. Apologize: no additional notes needed.
  17. Rich Love: Seeb is one of my favorite DJ/Producers. So when this song came out, I actually felt afraid that something bad gonna happened to me (I’m a believer of `you cannot have too much of a good thing`). Because all my favorites in one track?? C’mon!! I thought they’re going to bring “No Vacancy” instead of this one, because it’s not easy to bring heavily influenced-EDM track to live performance. But they did! And they nailed it! They don’t erase Seeb’s vibe there! I’m really happy with how it turned out. 
  18. If I Lose Myself: I forgot that OneRepublic has nailed it before (bringing EDM track to live performance). They brought If I Lose Myself Alesso remix to live and it was superb. What I love the most is that they bring the bridge as well (which Alesso didn’t bother with). “Take us down and we keep trying..”. The track is full of percussion, which is like a candy land for OneRepublic. They smashed everything! Ryan took place in one of the percussion at first, then he threw the stick to the audience, Eddie came forward filling in, Zach moved back to hit the other drums. It’s really fun to watch. Definitely losing myself there.
  19. Counting Stars: You think “Apologize” bond the audience together? You’re not entirely correct. We got more attached on Counting Stars by making our own stars. #1Rfamily totally gorgeous
  20. Rumor Has It: This might be Ryan’s favorite song to write for Adele, but I know Eddie had too much fun in here. Ryan’s falsetto was terrific and bold if I may say so. Zach also seemed to have fun at the coda.
  21. Love Runs Out: big number to end big gigs. Period.

Additional notes:

  • Ryan’s vocal acrobatic is incredible. It might be hit and miss in some places, but I salute his bravery and boldness to go with it.
  • The whole package of the performance was outstanding.Great sound quality, no disturbing noise and unwanted echo. I don’t really hear any sound troubles and the lighting is great. I’m grateful that there’s no pyro, because I stood close to the stage and I can’t stand the heat. Confetti, I can do. I don’t mind with papers sticking to my sweaty skin (in fact I took them home as souvenirs #weirdo). Overall, kudos for all the crews!

First order of business: Guide to Warped Tour

I’ve been going to Warped Tour since 2007 and in that time I’ve learned a lot about suriving a festival such as this. Keep in mind you can find a huge amount of helpful material on any official Warped Tour website, blog, social media outlet, etc. This is just my take and I am not professionally associated with Warped Tour in any way.

Every year I have a sort of check-list/game plan for every date (as since 2011 I have done no less than three dates every summer).

First, you need to plan what you need to have with you at the festival. It’s important to prepare but not to overdo it with the items you bring along; you don’t wanna carry around a bunch of unneeded crap all day.

My list of items is simple:

- SEALED water bottle (they will let you in the gates with it and you can refill all day for free at a designaed location - otherwise it’s like $3-$4 for a bottle of water)

- Sun screen - DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF NOT APPLYING SUN SCREEN. You WILL burn and it WILL suck. I reccommend a high SPF and the spray on type. It’s easier to apply throughout the day and less messy.

- Phone/portable charger

- ID, cash and a credit/debit card (optional). I usually don’t bring in my whole wallet.

- Sunglasses

- Sharpie

- Small draw string bag or back-pack or shoulder bag. (Please don’t be that person to bring a back-pack/bag big enough to travel Europe for three months with).

**Keep yourself updated on the projected weather for your date so you know if you need to add any rain gear to this list which would be either a poncho/hoodie and a plastic sandwhich bag to keep electronics safe.

Moving onto what to wear…I keep it simple/practical every year.

Hair - If it’s long, tie it up and if it’s short you’re good to go (if you plan on dying your hair a vibrant color don’t do so the day before because you will sweat and it will bleed all over your skin. Dye it like a week or so before to prevent that as much as you can)

Upper body - Tee-shirts, tank tops, sports bras (with or without a shirt), badeus, etc. Anyhthing light and airy that you can also get physical in and still be comfortable throughout the day.

Below the waist - Shorts. Don’t try to wear jeans, it’s fucking summer and it’ll be hot. I like to wear shorts that I can get at a Model’s or any other sporting goods stores because the material keeps me cool and they’re MADE for physical activity. But jean shorts are good too. High-waisted shorts are a good way for girls that want to stay cool and functional but also keep it on the stylish side.

Shoes - VANS obviously are acceptable. I either wear those or regular running sneakers because they offer more support and you’re on your feet all day. TOMS, sandals, flip-flops or anything that leaves your feet exposed or easily fall off are just a NO. Doc’s are a good option but are heavy on your feet - that’s up to preference really.

***And for God’s sake WEAR SOCKS. You’re feet WILL sweat and no socks = a smelly ride home later.

Make-up/accessories - This comes down to preference/how motivated or not motivated you are. At Warped I personally don’t put on make up or wear and type of necklace or bracelets (with the exception of my NTIO bracelets). If you don’t get the right make-up you’ll just sweat it off or it’ll run everywhere and an arm full of rubber bracelets will make you sweat on your forearms so much faster than if they were bare.

***Again the accessories/make-up you wear is your choice, as is everything you choose to wear. This is just my take on what works best for the setting/weather.

How to handle the day…

Warped Tour is a long, hot day. But it’s also fucking amazing. That being said, it can be an overwhelming environment for first timers. So, here are some tips.

- If there’s a band you want to make sure you get a wristband for meeting then you NEED to get there early. In additon to that, make sure you bring $5 bucks, canned goods or an old cell phone with you to hand into the Feed Our Children tent for an early entry wristband (they will be located outside the main gates at every date)

- Going off that ^^ turn on notifications for the bands you would like to see/meet and the tents they’re signing/meeting at (I.E. Alt Press, Kia, Journey’s, etc.) because then you’ll know as soon as it is released as to WHERE those bands will have wristbands available for meet and greet.

- If you’re trying to meet high priority bands (like Black Veil Brides, Pierce The Veil… basically the main stage bands) as soon as you’re in the gates run in and find the tents you need to, to get wristbands. They’ll go fast.

- After I get my M&G stuff for the day I make my way over to where the bands and set times are listed (you can’t miss it, it will be a big, blow-up wall that says ‘VANS’ on it and all the stages, bands and set times will be listed). Put all the bands and their times/stages you would like to watch into your phone (or bring paper if you’re scared if you’re phone dying later) and then you have you schedule for the day. Make sure to also include any M&G times you’re doing in that schedule.

- Now usually I go with a group of people and I’ll tell you right now if you’re in a group of like 4 or more it’s very unlikely you’ll stay together all day because you’re going to want to do different things and not always see the same bands/performers/artists. So, make sure to have everyone’s number (maybe make a group chat) to stay in contact and make a place to meet at the end of the day (or a certain time of day) if anyone’s phone should die and they can’t get in contact.

- As far as merch goes, if you’re planning on buying A LOT don’t load up on it at the beginning of the day. Because who wants to carry all that? I know I never do. If you just want a few pieces or small things, then I would get it ASAP and just get it out of the way. However, shopping for merch is a good way to kill down time between sets/meet and greets.


That pretty much covers it… other than that, just have fun! Warped Tour is the highlight of summer every year for me and hope it will be for anyone reading this too.

Before I leave you, a few words on safety…

- STAY HYDRATED. I cannot stress that enough. It is HOT. You NEED water. And try to eat at least once during the day. Your body will need it.

- Be AWARE of yourself in the crowd. There will be moshing, pushing, shoving, crowd-surfing, etc. If you feel overwhelmed get yourself out and if you can’t figure how to do that or you’re about to pass out/have a panic or anxiety attack ask for help in the crowd. We’re family and the people surrounding you should know how to help get you out. If you happen to be on barricade or very near it get securty’s attention and get pulled out.

- DO NOT leave the festival with anyone you DO NOT KNOW. I don’t care if they’re in a band or not. YOU DO NOT LEAVE THOSE GROUNDS or EVENT AREA without someone you know/came with.

- KNOW THE LOCATION OF THE FIRST AID TENT. If you’re hurt, feel sick, etc. go to them and get help. Seeing/meeting a band isn’t worht getting hurt or getting sick or passing out.

That should be it I think. If you have any remaining questions about anything specific in this guide feel free to inbox us!

MARCH OF THE SAINT

They call her St. Vincent, and she exists among the forward-thinking, boundary-pushing art-pop elite–here, as we look ahead to the upcoming year in music, Guitar World digs in deep with Annie Clark, a modern day guitar hero.

[By Brad Angle, photos by Travis Shinn]

Annie Clark is officially one step ahead of us. We’ve always suspected as much, but this fact was confirmed the moment she emerged from hair and makeup for her inaugural Guitar World cover shoot holding a guitar… and wearing a dress that featured a print of a bikini body, just like the kind you’d find hanging in the window of a kitschy beach shop.

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