Florence + the Machine came back to the Santa Barbara Bowl again this year and played to a sold out house. This was easily in the top few performances of the year, and Florence Welch was truly humbled by the warm welcome she got. You can't fake the sincerity I saw in her eyes and smile when she thanked the cheering crowd for coming to see her.
Although I was stuck in the same spot on the side of the photo pit for the entire three songs I shot, Florence is so dynamic, jumping around stage and never sitting still, that I had plenty of opportunities to capture all different lights and angles of her performing. In fact, I had a hard time narrowing it down to the 40 images from this show posted on sbbowl.com/photos. My favorite photos of her were horizontal, but those aren't optimum for this news page, so be sure to check them out in the Bowl's gallery.
I was glad that this year, she had no restrictive contract to sign. Opening the show was Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, featuring John Lennon' son, Sean Lennon.
Indie rock legend, Hozier, played to a full house at the Santa Barbara Bowl last week. The show was definitely one of the season's best. Little Green Cars opened the night's performance. I shot both acts from the photo pit, which was as tight as ever. Luckily there were only a few photographers. The stage was simple but the music was great.
See the whole photo gallery on sbbowl.com/photos.
Jungle opened this show, playing with both stage light and ambient evening light. This made for easy shooting, yet still with some dramatic looks. Also, I got to shoot three songs from the photo pit, then the rest of their performance from the floor and donor section (ADA, center). By the time alt-J started their set, it was dark, and the stage was filled with lots of smoke and backlight. This made shooting very difficult, for all but artsy silhouettes; those shots came out great, but photos of their faces weren't great.
Anyway, check out the full gallery on sbbowl.com/photos.
This year's KJEE Summer Roundup brought Of Monsters & Men, Walk the Moon, Family of the Year and The Blues & Greys. I was permitted to shoot the first three songs of each act from in the photo pit, which resulted in lots of great images. The only act who played in darkness and stage lighting was OMAM, and their photos were the most dramatic, but musically, I thought that Walk the Moon stole the show.
Check out the substantial photo gallery at sbbowl.com/photos.
Electronic dance musicians Chromeo played at the Santa Barbara Bowl, with The Glitch Mob opening the show. Disk jockey, Com Truise got the beat going before Glitch came out. I shot Truise from the ADA section and the other two bands from the photo pit, three songs for each. As I was unfamiliar with all of them, I was happily surprised at the audial and visual treats they provided. The stage contraption which housed Glitch's setup was quite interesting, and the theatrical smoke and lights only made it more interesting to photograph.
A photographer's dream, Chromeo topped the charts with the brightest stage lighting I've every shot. Lots of images were high-key, drowning in light, which was reflecting off the smoke and chrome instruments. I typically shoot stage lighting at minus 1 to 2 stops, but for much of the Chromeo show, I had to shoot at plus 1 to 2.
Check out the full gallery on sbbowl.com/photos.
The Counting Crows put on a dynamic show to a sold out crowd the other night at the Santa Barbara Bowl. I actually had a ticket to see them several years back, but they had to cancel due to an illness. So, I was not only happy to finally get my raincheck, but I got to photograph them, to boot. The show was opened by two great acts, Citizen Cope and Hollis Brown, both of whom I had to shoot from the soundboard.
I got to shoot Counting Crows from a kneeling position on the floor, right up against the stage, which was difficult considering all the subwoofers on the floor and the sound monitors on the edge of the stage. I really got a good workout going up and down to the soundboard for each of the openers, then squatting and hobbling for the headliner, all while wearing all my gear. The lighting was great, and the first three songs seemed plenty long to work with.
See the gallery on sbbowl.com/gallery.
This year's KJEE Summer Round-up gave us some great alternative rock bands. I love this annual show because I get to do a lot of photography.
Shooting was from the photo pit, and this year, I got one of my favorite concert photos ever during the performance of New Politics. Lead singer, David Boyd, is quite the acrobat. He was doing flips and crazy break-dancing style maneuvering all over the stage, and when he climbed up onto the crowd, it made for a great shot with my fisheye lens!
See the whole gallery on sbbowl.com
I look forward to the KJEE Summer Round-up each year because it's a full day of enjoying fun music. This year there were five bands playing, one after the next. That gives me an opportunity to shoot fifteen songs! I'm in heaven :)
Headlining the show was Silversun Pickups, but I think it was really a double headline because the acclaimed alternative music band, Garbage, was on right before them. Both were great performances. Rounding out the show were local favorites, Gardens & Villa and Grouplove. Somewhere in between, we heard from The Naked and Famous. Like I said, the whole six hour show was a blast.
I shot over two thousand photos. All the best can be seen at gallery.sbbowl.com here.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros played the Santa Barbara Bowl last week during a Supermoon. This rare event is when the moon is not only full, it's at it's closet point to the Earth on it's elliptical orbit. Check out the gallery from the show here on gallery.sbbowl.com.
Back to Santa Barbara for the first time in may years, Primus can to play for its fans at The Arlington Theatre on Oct 21, 2011.
For most of the show, front-man, Les Claypool, and guitarist, Larry LaLonde, were in dark shadows, making this a difficult act to photograph. Adding to the challenge was the fact that there were giant bass stacks on the sides of the stage, blocking the view from the front corners, where I like to shoot. In order to get some decent material, I was related to shoot from the back and balcony for most of the show.
See the gallery and review at thearlingtontheatre.com