Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Aerosmith / ZZ Top @ Cricket Pavilion

Pretty much any show at Cricket Pavilion is a big deal... but last night was a pretty special classic rock show. Aerosmith and ZZ Top. I'm not a particularly huge fan of either, but I'll rock out to some Aerosmith when its on the radio! And who didn't own their "Get A Grip" album? Come on!

ZZ Top opened the show with their many classic songs to an appreciative, if tame, crowd... still building in numbers as they played. Billy Gibbons, vocals and guitar, appeared to be having a great time on stage... he would occasionally pose and smile real big at the crowd.

The three-man band really created a nice full sound. I was actually surprised how big it sounded at times. But maybe having large beards and chrome semi-truck exhaust pipes for mic stands make up for a lot of the possible emptiness. The "show" CAN fill in the gaps. I had a good time watching them.

After our allotted 3 song partition of ZZ Top, we photographers are escorted back to a very warm trailer. Myself and another photog chose not to hang out in there. There's something odd about a room full of photographers... they start to complain uncontrollably. You'd think this beats a desk job? But soon, the hour break between ZZ Top and Aerosmith was up, and it was time to walk down to shoot again.

So, there was 11 photogs present at this show. Large numbers always makes it interesting, but at this show in particular our shooting position inside the barricade was very small. Let me tell you this, photographers can be cutthroat, especially when their already in a bad mood... because of their job, where they are a photographer. But we all finally picked our spots, this time limited to one side of the stage of the other, no shifting. Aerosmith started their set behind a large black curtain with a blisteringly loud rendition of "Eat the Rich". The crowd went nuts.

Seeing Steven Tyler prance around on stage in person was something interesting to behold. These guys who become icons of their field and even parodies of themselves sometimes get overlooked for how good they really are. There's not a single singer out today who can match his level of camp and exuberance. There's something to be said for really just putting it all out there and giving the people a show. Whether that means starting the show in a gigantic ladies hat or not. :)

I had a great time shooting Aerosmith, but I will say this: this show was a lot of work. The lights were changing a lot, and Tyler and Joe Perry tended to hang out on the opposite side of the stage... plus, there were photographers and videographers everywhere. But it was a great game of shooting what you can manage. Camera settings were constantly changing on the fly. I had my 20D and my 5D MkII... which was pretty at home around ISO3200 for this shoot.

I'm very happy with what I got from the whole show. I absolutely love what I got of Steven Tyler, I only wish I could have got a few nice shots of Joe Perry. But a great time all around... save for the ridiculous heat maybe.

No comments: