Friday, January 30, 2009

O.A.R. @ the Birds Nest

So the big golf tournament is in town again. Each night they have music in the Bird's Nest, which is basically just a big tent. Last night was O.A.R.. They were good. They put on a good show, and the drunk crowd was really into it. I'd actually never heard of them before. I'd describe them as a friendly, accessible light rock band. But all in all, a good show.

Hanging around a bunch of drunk Scottsdale 30 - 50 somethings, is not really my idea of a good time, so I took off after my predestined 2-song shoot time. But not before I snagged a few shots from the back of the house to get the crowd. At the top of the 'nest' hung 2 large orbs. (I'm an orb person) These orbs had projectors inside of images could be played on them. I thought it was pretty cool.

As for the lights. Some of the set was completely back-lit, so I had to just chill to get the shots I needed. Also, I'm experimenting more with RAW format shooting. Generally, for a 400px wide photo that just shows up online, I prefer not to shoot in such a large format, but you never know what shot you might want for a portfolio. So far I'm really happy with the flexibility that comes with RAW shooting. I shall do more.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Willie Nelson @ the Dodge Theatre

A living legend. It was great to see him still doing his thing. He looked happy. Lots of smiles to an excited crowd. What a catalog of songs to choose from! I wish I could have stayed to listen longer. I was only allowed to shoot for the first 2 songs. And they went quick. I sort of got stuck in a weird "I'm photographing Willie Nelson" daze. I didn't have much room to move around to get shots...there was no barricade for this show...myself and 2 other photogs just had to squeeze in the aisle up front. But it was a fun time.
Before he came out, a tech set up his signature, beautifully worn Martin N-20 acoustic guitar, "Trigger", at the front of the stage. It was a trip to see that up close. Lots of history, that. Willie was quoted as saying that when the hole he made in Trigger's body makes it unplayable, he will retire.
Good lighting, nothing real exciting...but not bad. Again, I just wish I could have watched more.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Spin photo

Ok, so I just thought I'd post the tear page from the issue of Spin Magazine my Metallica photo ended up in.

And here is a like to the digital issue online:
(I didnt shoot the cover)

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Stone Foxes @ Ruby Room

Saturday night at the Ruby Room in downtown Phoenix. The Stone Foxes from California rolled in to blue rock the joint...only a few hours late. It's always an interesting night when you're at the Ruby Room. I've never been there when a band goes on on-time, tonight was no exception. A solid 2 hours after the show was supposed to start, the first band goes on. I was talking to the new New Times writer about the venue, explaining the lack of any light on the band. Normally, there are 40watt bulbs pointed at 'art' on the walls, and when a band plays, they sort of just turn the bulbs towards the band. But to my delight, when I peeked my head in at the first band, they had large-bulb, white Christmas lights wrapped around mic stands and inside make-shift light boxes. (This idea sounds familiar) I was happy to see some light on stage. But after their set, they took them with them. Not surprising, I'd do the same. But this meant no light for the band I needed to shoot. D'oh.

So, around 12:45 The Stone Foxes start their set. They played pretty heavy blues based rock. They all traded lead vocals, and sometimes instruments. It was a good show. Lots of energy on stage, even if there wasn't a tonne coming from the people in the venue. I probably could have given a more glowing review if it didn't all start so late.

One awkward point in the evening...the NT writer and I were standing outside in between bands as a one-legged girl on crutches approached the venue. She apparently lost her ID, and the door man wouldn't let her in. The right thing to do, but I felt awkward watching her get turned away.

Photographers note: You can't survive shooting at the Ruby Room without a lense with an slower than a f-stop of 2.0 or a flash, in my opinion. My trusty $79 Canon 50mm f1.8 saves the day again!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Photo in Spin Magazine

I have a photo in the current issue of Spin magazine. (January) It's a photo of Metallica advertising the best live photos of the year on Read below for the back story.

So back in October I was asked to cover the Metallica tour kick off for This was a ridiculously huge honor for me! (Click here to link to the story) Since I didn't have this blog back then, I didn't post any photos...but I've attached a few for today. The show was amazing! Even if you're not the biggest Metallica fan, you can still enjoy the show and the time put into it. It was "in the round", on a square stage, and it was just an awesome show! Lasers, lights beaming out of giant coffins hanging over the stage, pyro, and obviously a great band. It was a really welcome surprise from the sort of doldrum you can get stuck with.

The show was at Glendale Arena, and it was an amazing experience. From a photogs point of view, it was great. Well, the first song was only lit with lasers. :) So that was hard to shoot, but after that, it became progressively easier to shoot. By the end of the 3rd song, there was quite a lot of light to play with. Time to craft your shot. My only qualm was that Kirk Hammett was a little elusive. But from a show stand point...he was working his ass off playing to everyone in the arena. The photo I got of Lars with his tongue out is one of my favorites of all my photos.
One of my favorite shoots, to be sure.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Reel Big Fish

Last night was Reel Big Fish @ the Marquee Theatre. Horn clad, ska-punk music. Happy sounding sarcastic lyrics. Not my style of music, but they put on an entertaining enough show. The kiddies had fun. I think Benjamin hit it on the nose...check out his review on the New Times page.

Streetlight Manifesto opened the show. Pretty much the same deal, music-wise. But again, the kids had a pretty big circle jerk going. (Or was it circle pit?)

On a photographers note, pretty much classic Marquee lightining...(Primarily back lit)...good to watch, not so much to photograph. But it was a little brighter than usual, so shooting wasn't an absolute nightmare.