ENTER SHIKARI AP Party in Austin, Texas, at Emo’s, 2011

Enter Shikari Lisa Johnson 2011

See, all the kids have the bracelets that say Black Veil Brides on them, so you know exactly when it happened. I think is that a “U” on the kid’s hand for, like—did the Used play that show, too? Rest in peace, Emo’s. I know they moved, but I don’t know if I can ever go back to South by Southwest or Austin without shedding a tear for the original Emo’s. Enter Shikari just put on such a show. And Rou [Reynolds] is such a little daredevil to get up there and do that, to literally hang from the rafters!  

Warped Tour at Bonner Springs, Missouri

Anti-Flag Lisa Johnson 2012

During their set at some point, Anti-Flag might take the instruments into the crowd and they’ve brought the kit down and everyone’s all around and I’m just kind of in there. And that kid’s holding the cymbal for Pat Thetic so it doesn’t fly away. It’s hard to get in there and get a shot where you can actually get close enough because sometimes you’re trapped behind 20, 30 other kids in the crowd, so you’ve got to really be in the mix. I had to jump the fence or something to be right there and capture this because, heavens knows, I tried numerous times to get in there.

RYAN SEAMAN, Warped Tour 2012

Ryan Seaman Falling In Reverse Lisa Johnson 2012

I’m assuming that’s a Falling In Reverse shot from 2012?
Yes, that’s right. I love Warped Tour. You know, we did a book that came out like two summers ago: Misfit Summer Camp: 20 Years On The Road With Vans. This is obviously in there. Warped Tour is part of my DNA now.

MUMFORD AND SONS, Gentlemen Of The Road Tour, 2015

Mumford and Sons Lisa Johnson 2012

Yeah! Let’s show something outside my comfort zone. They have this tour that they do call the Gentleman of the Road. They do this amazing tour that they curate themselves. They take these cool cars, and it’s this really neat thing. So we were at the fairgrounds in Monterey, and after I did the normal straight stuff with a white backdrop, I asked, “Can we take a shot over here because this is hilarious, and I can’t leave here without taking a photo in front of it.” And of course, we all loved it even better than, you know, just the plain old white backdrop that everybody wants all the time. We got a quick photo, and they played along really well because they loved it, too. They’re cool guys.

NIGHT VERSES, practice space, 2015

Night Verses Lisa Johnson 2013

These guys are a really cool band. They’re really cool. Doug [Robinson], who’s the singer there with the zip-up thing, he was the singer for the Sleeping, if you remember that band. Doug’s on the East Coast and these guys are all on the West Coast, in Fullerton [California] actually, and they somehow found each other. They’ve toured all over the place. The guy in the stripes is Aric Improta. It’s his place, and they would rehearse here. It’s like his childhood bedroom. There are posters up here, stuff that he’s collected all of his life, and it’s like his inspiration. They’re surrounded by his inspiration. I just thought before they kind of grow out of that environment, I wanted to capture them in it. There’s no pretense. It’s very real. We’re not trying to create some sort of false environment. They’re just super-real, and that’s what I wanted to capture. The reality of this.

PIERCE THE VEIL WITH OLI SYKES, inaugural year of the APMAs, 2014

Pierce The Veil Oli Sykes Lisa Johnson 2015

People probably don’t realize that I shot that stuff. We were at the APMAs before you guys had 150 photographers covering every aspect of everything. You know, I felt compelled to capture all of these awesome things that were happening around me, and we later shared them on the website for you guys. This was one of those moments where they’re kind of waiting to go up there and present and be awarded. There’s still a nice energy. These people hadn’t done an award show yet, so it was a very exciting moment. It just felt like it had to be “rock-umented,” so there you go.


Warped Prom 2016 Ronnie Radke Lisa Johnson

They do Warped Prom every year. I’m not always around on Prom night—I’ve missed most of them, actually—but the last couple that I’ve been around for, I’ve felt compelled to host the portrait studio for Prom photos. Because when they don’t have one, there end up being no Prom photos. If you really want to see them all, you can go to my Facebook page [Lisa Johnson Rock Photographer], and there are Prom albums there from 2014 and 2016. I just thought this was a moment in time, and it needed to be seen by one and all.

Ronnie and Ryan would never be looking so lovey anymore.
Ah, never say never. Never say never.

Check out Lisa Johnson on Facebook. And if you are going to Warped, seek out her TEI workshop for the Entertainment Institute: Life In The Pit: The Rock Photographer Experience. Feedback, tips and posi-vibes will be available daily!