Max Baker

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The Struts Invites You to the Body Talks Tour with The Wrecks & Thunderpussy
Luke Spiller of The Struts     *disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!

Luke Spiller of The Struts

*disclaimer: if any photos from the following article are to be shared on any social media platforms, please take the time to tag me @maxbakerphoto and give proper credit. Thank you!


Anaheim was not ready for what the night had in store at the House of Blues. With a sold out show, the night before daylight savings, and a killer lineup of rock n roll, there was a rush of electricity that entered the venue with the talent that filled the room. The UK’s very own coming of age rock band The Struts made their way across the pond to bring the U.S. the Body Talks tour, in promotion of their 2nd album release. Having opened and being recognized by legends such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Motley Crue, The Struts are on their way to making history and restoring the heart that rock n roll desperate needs in this day and age.

Molly Sides of Thunderpussy

Molly Sides of Thunderpussy

Warming up the night, Seattle based quartet known as Thunderpussy started the show, glitz and glam in a matching red ensemble with a twist of their personalities. If you didn’t know who they were, you would not forget their name after the vibrant and killer performance. A stage presence like no other, lead singer Molly Sides put a spell on you with her picture perfect moves and silky voice, while guitarist Whitney Petty reminded the crowd guitar skills reminiscent of Keith Richards or something of the like. After wowing the venue, the next act set the mood in an unexpected way - Los Angeles group The Wrecks had to compromise for an acoustic set (something they hardly ever do) as they explained to the audience their van along with their equipment was stranded somewhere in Arizona. Nonetheless, there was an aura about these guys that made you know they have that special something that people look for when discovering new artists. A great sense of humor, crazy good lyrics, and a chill attitude with getting high and a tad bit buzzed on stage with some fans, The Wrecks definitely had new fans coming out of the night.

Fans of The Wrecks join the band on stage for their one of a kind acoustic set

Fans of The Wrecks join the band on stage for their one of a kind acoustic set

At last, the wait was over; it was time for The Struts to take the stage and give it their all for eager fans. Opening with an incredible number of their song Primadonna Like Me, with lead singer Luke stating a play on words of the song, “Anaheim, don’t you know who I think I am?”. And of course there was no shock to the glamorous style the band brought out with them, from feathers, leather, and all the glitter one could possibly desire. The energy was never ending, even with a two hour long set; who could blaim them when they have a lead vocalist such as Luke? I had heard these statements before, but it was incredible to hear a photographer to another as I was leaving the photo pit say “Wow, that guy kind of reminds me of Freddie Mercury or something”, a common comparison that has floated around the internet before in talks of The Struts’ front man. Performing songs like In Love With A Camera, Body Talks, People, and several others from their latest release of YOUNG&DANGEROUS, as well as some classics from their first album like Mary Go Round, Dirty Sexy Money, and Roll Up and many more, it was an incredible evening with even better music and perfect sounds. If you want to experience real music with a band that sounds better live, you do not want to miss a show from The Struts.

Make sure to check out The Struts on tour and if they’re coming to a city near you here!


Written and photographed for The Fox Magazine.


How To: Vans Warped Tour #RIP
HOW TO_VANS WARPED TOUR-Max Baker.jpg

Today's the day, folks. It's the first day of the final round of the legendary Vans Warped Tour, created by Kevin Lyman back in 1995. Lyman released a statement earlier this year, saying, "I have been a very lucky person to have traveled across the country and sometimes around the world as one of the founders and producers of the Vans Warped Tour. Today, with many mixed feelings, I am here to announce that next year will be the final, full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour." With such an incredible history and effect this tour alone has had on not only the artists who participate and perform for the Warped tour, but also the fans; every individual who has been able to come to a show or two, and all the experiences that have transpired in the past (almost) 25 years is surely something unforgettable. "I am so grateful to have worked with more than 1,700 bands over the last 23 summers. I wish I could thank every band that has played the tour.", Lyman says. You can read the full statement here

To commemorate something that has had a major effect on me personally, and many of the friends I've met because of the music scene, here's an article for those who may be hitting up Vans Warped Tour for their first (or final) time. Not sure what to expect? Read on to find out some tips and tricks from my experience of a full day at one of the coolest tours around. 

Michael Bohn of Issues, 2016

Michael Bohn of Issues, 2016

Over the years, I've been able to photograph the Warped tour a couple times whenever it came to the town closest to me. It's been one of the wildest yet awesome experiences I've had as an artist. My first year was 2014, and I learned a lot about what to try doing for the next time, which was in 2016. Whether you're going to be shooting Warped tour at a date near you, or you're just going for fun with friends (I'm doing that this year at the Ventura, CA date), here's some advice for what to expect from what will be one of the best days of your life.

Dress appropriately. First things first; you have to wear an outfit that you will not be dying in by the end of a 10+ hour day. Depending on where you live, make sure to check how the weather is going to be the day before you go. If you're traveling far from your hometown to a certain location, pack options just in case. For instance, I have a friend who's gone to Warped tour with me that came in from Washington to California. We may be on the West coast, but the weather can be drastically different. For me, a good go-to is shorts, a tee, an extra layer (i.e. flannel or hoodie - it gets cold when the sun goes down), fanny pack or back pack, a hat, sunglasses, and the most comfortable shoes you own is the way to go. I've seen some people get super dressed up (God only knows why) and they end up looking like a complete mess by the time headliners come on to play. Customize and play around with some options; it's Warped tour, you can basically get as wild with your fashion as you want! But please keep comfort in mind. Whether you're shooting all day or just with friends and going into the mosh pits, comfort is absolutely 100% necessary.

Ryan Graham of State Champs, Warped 2016

Ryan Graham of State Champs, Warped 2016

What should I bring with me? Make a checklist of what you need to bring for the event. Water and sunscreen will become your absolute best friend. With being in the sun all day and constantly on the go, you need to stay hydrated and take care of yourself. If you're shooting, pack your gear the night before and charge everything. Lenses, filters, charger, batteries, anything you might need for a successful day to get that magic caught in camera. I would recommend bringing a mobile charger while you're at it just in case you want to post any cool content throughout your experience! PSA bring enough cash (yes, cash) to bring for your spending needs like food, drinks, and of course merch! A tip to see exactly what you can and can not bring is to check out their website to confirm different policies as every venue and date varies on what you can bring. Make sure to have a sharpie or two in hand just in case for autographs and to keep track of set times! Which brings me to my next point...

Time. Time is never on your side when it comes to festival days. I highly recommend coming to the venue one to two hours before gates open. I know that might sound crazy, but I've been to shows where fans show up the morning of a concert that doesn't start until 8 pm! Two hours gives you plenty of time to check out parking, familiarize yourself with the venue and the layout, pick up tickets or passes, and hey, you might even meet some band members while in line! Some bands take the time to come out to eager fans outside, coast the lines, and share what time their set is. It's a cool opportunity to hang and talk with different artists, (maybe even network?) and snag a photo while you're at it! 

John O' Callaghan of The Maine, Warped Tour 2016

John O' Callaghan of The Maine, Warped Tour 2016

Kennedy Brock and Pat Kirch of The Maine, promoting the lines at Warped tour 2016

Kennedy Brock and Pat Kirch of The Maine, promoting the lines at Warped tour 2016

How do I meet bands?! Something everyone wants to know. You'd be surprised how easy it can be to meet the artists and other celebrities at some point during your day. Like I mentioned earlier, it's easy to meet some band members when they're promoting their set times. They're just people; go say hi! Another great spot to look for artists is where else but their merch tents. They'll be everywhere, and usually, throughout the day they can be found meeting and selling merchandise when they're not performing. I've been able to meet and photograph people like John O'Callaghan of The Maine and Jenna McDougall of Tonight Alive this way. Another example is how my sister met Tyler Posey one year, known for MTV's Teen Wolf. He's known for being a big fan of the pop-punk scene, and was there with his friends of State Champs! He was just walking around like any other person, and she managed to strike up a conversation and take a quick photo. This is the type of event where anything is possible when exploring the grounds: you never know who you can meet and connect with!

Now for the music:  Okay, you've made it inside, got your squad on backup, and you're ready to head to the stage - but wait, which one?! As soon as you get inside, it's the moment where you can find out the exact set times. Sadly, every day is different for the tour, and you don't find out when your favorite bands are playing until you get through the gates. But don't stress! There are signs everywhere stating where each stage is, who's playing where, and what time, which is where that sharpie can come into play. Sometimes they hand out actual copies of set times for the days, sometimes they don't. So if you can, try writing it down somewhere if you've got something to spare. If you try saving it in your phone and your phone ends up dying halfway through the day, you're screwed. Sadly technology isn't always our friend. When you do find the signs and figure out who's playing where and when that's when you want to plan your day out. It's good to have a schedule to stick with, and you can always switch things up if you want. I know for me personally, I've had friends where we have certain bands that we want to see but we sometimes don't want to see the same bands. Keep communication open with your group. For instance, say your friend wants to see We the Kings at 11:30 but you want to check out Beartooth at 11:25; pick a spot where you can meet up after their sets and go from there. Do whatever works for you and your friends! 

The Maine's tent, Warped 2016. Fans could easily meet members like John or Garrett here, selling merch.

The Maine's tent, Warped 2016. Fans could easily meet members like John or Garrett here, selling merch.

Let's see, am I missing anything? Outfits, necessities, friendship, bands, music...oh yeah, don't forget to open this pit up!!!

How have you gotten through a festival day? Leave a comment below of anything I might have missed, which stop you're going to, who you're most excited to see, and don't forget to sign up for my newsletter for all things photography and music related, and follow me on Instagram and Twitter while you're at it!