The 15th date of the Vans Warped Tour 2012 was held at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Friday, July 6. Doors opened at 11 a.m. and closed around 9. From beginning to end, it was a triple-digit scorcher but that didn't stop fans from rocking out to their favorite bands. While the sun was blazing, the attendees were baring as much skin as legally possible [and pushing it], exposing a wonderful array of body modifications including that of exquisite ink.
The first concertgoer to speak on behalf of her artwork was Jessica Self from Westland, MI, whose colorful sleeve initially caught my attention. The sleeve consisted of a lot of family history, including feathers on her back in honor of her Native American heritage, as well as the lips of her mother near her collarbone. “I got my mom’s lips tattooed on me,” she said, pointing to a tattoo near her right collarbone adjacent to the sleeve. Beautifully expressive tattoos cover Self’s body, and truly reflect her sweet and grateful personality.
The next attendee to speak on behalf of her beautifully ink-covered skin was Jennica Wahl, guitarist of The Scenery. “This one means the most,” she said, pointing to words tattooed on her right arm in French that say to live with passion. On that sleeve, she also has the times that her parents were born, as well as a bare-skinned ballerina to express her love for dance. Her knuckles spell out, “Get a Grip,” and hold a lot of personal meaning. She also has her son’s name, Aubin, across her chest, and Wahl plans to get her throat tattooed soon in honor of her solo acoustic project, Bye Bye Birdy. “It's a huge commitment to tattoos and music. Doing Bye Bye Birdy is a symbol that’s representing my commitment to just doing what you’re passionate about; what you love.” She also plans to get the logo of her progressive pop punk band, The Scenery, on her foot soon. They will release their album, “It’s Only Weather” on Saturday, August 4.
Next to chat was Bradley Walden, vocalist of the indie pop rock band, Squid The Whale. With a traditional microphone on his right arm, he said, “Singing is a big passion, and I’m pretty much going to be a loser until I’m 50; still trying to make it in music.” He then pointed to his chest piece and said, “I have the classic mom tattoo; she’s my best friend.” He also has a cupcake with crossbones with the surrounding words, “hard as nails” on his right sleeve. Why? “’Cause I thought it was ironic,” he explained. “Everybody’s tattoo tells a story.”