Featuring Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, TTB rocked down the house with very special guests, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. The two performances were genuinely great and included an opening set by Doyal Bramhall III. During an encore, all three bands took the stage. I was allowed to shoot the first three songs from all three acts, plus the encore, all in the photo pit. The lighting was generally excellent, except that Ms. Jones could have been better lit while they were all on stage together. I did get some great shots, and you can see them on sbbowl.com/photos.
I had an opportunity to shoot TTB late last year at the Arlignton Theatre, so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. Both were great shows with good photo opportunities. I've also shot Mr. Bramhall before, when he performed at the Experience Hendrix tribute tour; that show was also at the Arlington, back in 2010.
Aretha Franklin came back to the Santa Barbara Bowl to perform her hits and other "diva" standards. The performance sound was good, but from the point of view of a photographer, the lighting was challenging. I had to shoot from the soundboard and only got the first 60 seconds of each of the first three songs. Three minutes is not a whole lot of time to get everything figured out in those conditions. My images were not superb, to say the least, and I opted to print, for the Bowl, one of her walking out on stage.
The images are also restricted by contract, so you'll have to visit sbbowl.com/photos to see any of them.
Oddly enough, a comedian, Sarah Tiana, opened the show, and she was quite funny and also in great light.
Alabama Shakes has their own, special kind of blues. Lead singer, Brittany Howard, is about as unique as it gets. She's young, confident and talented and can belt out a hell of a bluesy scream, while jamming away on her six string. It was a pleasure shooting them and the opening act, Chicano Batman. Batman has coopted blues and given it a funky twist. I really enjoyed shooting, watching and listening to them both.
Shooting was in the photo pit, restricted to the first three songs. Lighting was good, utlizing warm yellows against a bright blue backdrop. See the whole gallery on sbbowl.com/photos.