8:00pm, 1/16/2016 – Las Vegas, NV
Set number two of my run with Mainland just finished, which is when an important wave of my photographer responsibilities begin. I’m sitting in the greenroom starting the process of downloading, rendering, editing, and uploading images for the band to access. The turn-around is precarious. Tedious tasks clash with time sensitivity. And after two years of touring it’s not something you learn to do faster, so much as you learn to deal with the stress a little better. The hurry becomes the new normal, and it’s worth the added value of fresh content. Minutes-old fresh. Relevance in social media content goes from “a few days ago” to “this set we just played.” It’s one of my favorite parts of the job, though it’s generally not perceived by the fans viewing the content on the other side of Jordan Topf’s iPhone.
The rest of the day had a much more relaxed beginning. We met in Hollywood for van call after an extremely successful show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, and a night of bonding at bars and in photo booths. LA became home for me less than two months ago, so it was whole different kind of special experience, even though I’ve been through LA shows on tour countless time before. That’s actually what made this tour possible for me, as I decided mere days before to hop in with these guys. A five hour stent in the van feels like nothing these days, and we spent ours in awe of the picturesque, sunny desert listening to some R&B and other obscure jams from the archives. We’re heading out with radio industry contacts for some post-show hangs, then off to Tempe in the morning!
Below are a handful of snaps from the two weeks I spent with Mainland:
1. The very first show with a band is always a memorable one. This was just down the street from me at the iconic Troubadour in West Hollywood. It was a sweaty good time.
2. A couple of the guys brought automatic film cameras along that they used sparingly for some memorable surprises after tour is over.
3. Riley, our TM was brought on last minute and crushed the manager, style and van DJ game.
4. “Fading Friends” is my absolute favorite live song from the set. It quickly became a fan favorite as well.
5. Always stretch before you go on!
6. If you think about it, there are infinite peace signs in this photo.
7. The high is the highest when the band walks off stage right after a killer set.
8. We stopped in the middle of nowhere (Las Cruces, NM) for some desert vibe group shots.
9. I loved that this group was always down for anything cool as weird when it came to photos, especially the late night we spent together in a Vegas Hotel with crazy curtains.
10. The most tedious cluster I’ve dealt with on any tour to date was this van break-down in El Paso, TX. Pep Boys parking lot jam band!
11. When you’ve spent it all on the show, sometimes you just gotta take a breath in the nearest photo booth.
12. We fit all personal, gear and luggage in one 15-passenger van (we didn’t make Joey ride in the back).
13. One of my favorite things about tour is all the spontaneous opportunities for group shots, just anytime the moment and location are right.
14. “Where’s Jordan? There must be a thrift store nearby.”
15. Pre-show snapping ritual, or something.
16. The guys spent an afternoon with Andy Schrock, who hooked them each up with a Revive skateboard.
17. The later half of the tour was freezing. I did not pack enough coats.
18. How to stay sane (or not) when you live inside a green room every day.
19. Jordan made fast friends with the front row each night.
20. The amazing band and crew of Marianas Trench, we miss them so much already!