I’ve been seeing reminders popping up from previous Pemberton Music Festivals, which was sad due to the cancellation of this year’s. It made me think about some of the shots that I took from last year, and this one always gets me. It appears that Noel does not like photographers.
Say what you will about Billy Idol. He’s been doing this rock and roll thing for a long, long time and still being Billy Idol like it’s nobody’s business.
I was very fortunate to get some of the best shots I think I’ve ever had the opportunity to shoot when it comes to concert photography. This one would be my favorite during his performance at the Pemberton Music Festival in July of 2016.
See more photos in this Pemberton Music Festival 2016 on flickr.
Every once in a while, I find that processing a photo in black and white presents a different feeling to a shot altogether. And while that’s an obvious statement, I don’t like to do it very often.
I liked the way you see Jay and Eon (Bedouin Soundclash) come together at the center of the stage to focus on just each other for a brief portion of the song, forgetting everyone and everything else around them.
Pulling the color out of this one gives me more of a feeling that should be replicated by concert photography. It’s easy to get the photo of the lead singer at the microphone while he or she sings to the people in front of them. What’s more important to me is to capture those moments on stage that represents the intimacy of what live performances really are.
After all, I’m more of a fan than I am a photographer because I’ve been going to rock shows longer than I’ve owned a camera.
See more photos from this show at Miss604.com
Last Thursday, Rebecca and I saw Death Cab For Cutie at Pacific Coliseum with opening acts Ra Ra Riot and New Poronographers. Thanks to some appreciation from Live Nation and our social media endeavors, we got a photo pass to send me into the pit at the front of the stage for each band.
Unfortunately, traffic made us too late to catch Ra Ra Riot, but the New Pornographers put on a really great performance, in their hometown no less. My time inside ended as they kicked into “Use It”, but their set was pretty fantastic from what I got to hear.
The highlight of the night was certainly Death Cab For Cutie, a band that I’ve been following for a number of years, from their indie label days to their hefty deal with one of the big boys. This was certainly a treat, but shooting from the front of a stage that’s about five feet high and in low light wasn’t easy.
This was my first time seeing these guys in all the years I’ve been following their music. A funny story is when I was at SXSW in 2003, I was doing the typical bounce around the city one of the nights to see as much live music as I possibly could. If you’ve been to Austin, TX during the madness that is SXSW, you know how this goes.
Death Cab was a band that I had played a number of times and really liked during my days at KRUI, but I wasn’t completely familiar with their library of tunes nor really knew what they looked like. After seeing another one of my other favorite acts, Shiner, I was supposed to link up with our whole crew from the station at the Death Cab For Cutie performance a few blocks away. Of course, this is SXSW, so getting from one part of the city to another, in a town that you’ve never been to before, with all sorts of loudness and craziness coming from what seems like everywhere, I ended up in the wrong venue.
The odd thing is, the act on stage, who I thought for a brief moment was actually Death Cab For Cutie, was actually The Promise Ring. Those guys were amazing, and I’m really thankful I made this mistake because they ended up calling it quits not too long after (splitting up to another act worth checking out, Maritime, comprised of members from another favorite band but now also defunct, The Dismemberment Plan).
Death Cab For Cutie put on an amazing show that I got to finish watching from my seat. They played a lot of good stuff from their first few albums, which are probably my favorites in terms of their catalog. The sound was also excellent, something that is often not so great in large venues like this. Still, there is a large part of me that wishes I could see them perform in a small venue during those earlier days in Austin.
You can see all my photos from the show on Flickr.
This past Thursday night, Less Than Jake played the Commodore Ballroom on a double ticket with Reel Big Fish. It was like being taken back to 1998 all over again, but the show didn’t fail to deliver. RBF and LTJ can still rock it something fierce.
Even better, RadioZoom got an interview with Chris in the afternoon before the show, Rebecca being on the prowl with the recording gear. It’s a great interview explaining why they have gone the way of being an independent band on their own label as well as the type of witty banter that can only come from the front man for Less Than Jake.
The interview also gave us photo access for the show, so here are some of my favorite shots I took from the front of the stage.
It was a wicked show. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any shots of Reel Big Fish, but needless to say, they still put on a hell of a performance. I have forgotten how much fun ska/punk concerts are, mainly because of that damn corporate machine that says ska died about ten years ago. I think not.
You can see all of my photos from the night on the Flickr set.