Passion Pit played a powerful show at the SB Bowl the other night. The talented Joy Formidable opened the show, with their act placed very close to the edge of the stage. Photography was from the photo pit, so I was right there, next to them. This led for some a-typical photo angles, especially since the light was so dramatically contrasty.
Check out the photos on sbbowl.com
Crazy, weird, alternative, jazzy, rocky. Did I say crazy?
This was one of the most unpredictable shows I've seen since watching an off-Broadway performance art show in New York.
The night started with Dia de los Muertos face painting. The SB Bowl was decorated in-theme, donning shrines, native Mexican dancers, and music. Locals, Rey Fresco, opened the show, also playing on a smaller stage in the plaza during the big intermission.
Next, Tame Impala came out and rocked the crowd for a long set. Lastly, the Flaming Lips put on one of the strangest works of musical performance art I've ever seen. Confetti and giant red balloons blanketed the mesmerized crowd.
Since this was the last show of the season, the party continued with Bowl employees in full costume.
See the gallery on sbbowl.com
So Cal Surfer/Reggae boys, Slightly Stoopid came back to the Bowl this year, this time bringing with them some interesting crews. Atmosphere is a very interesting type of rap music, bringing that style back, closer to its roots, a mellow reggae style; although that description doesn't quite give a complete description. The lyrics are not your typical gangsta rap, either. They are much more inspiring.
Opening the show was Tribal Seeds, a rock/reggae fusion, harder than your typical rootsy reggae. And of course, the white-boy reggae of Slightly Stoopid was gentle and warm. Adding to the mix, seasoned reggae vetran, Don Carlos, came out to sing a few songs with Stoopid.
I pretty much had full reign to shoot the entire show from anywhere in the venue (front of stage) as I was also trying to capture some updated shots of the venue, itself, in addition to the performers. This netted me more than 100 great photos, most of which are in the gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com.
Damian, Stephen & Julian Marley played an epic show at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The brought the entire Ghetto Youth Crew with them, and The Green opened the show. All in all, there must have been more than two dozen different musicians on stage during the course of the night. If you like reggae, it was a great show.
In order to capture the opening act and each of the Marleys, I was able to shoot more than a dozen different songs. Needless to say, the resulting image editing was quite a task, but there is also a huge gallery of fun images. Check out Damian Marley's floor-length dreadlocks!
See the 69 image gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals opened up for Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters at the Santa Barbara Bowl. This was my first time seeing Grace, and I was blown away! She is not only unbelievably beautiful, but she's an amazing, passionate performer.
I was permitted to shoot Grace from the photo pit, and I'm very happy with some of the shots. I had to back up to the ADA (handicapped) section for the headliner, Plant. Since I had already captured some great photos last time he came with a 600/f4 lens (from the soundboard), I didn't bother to rent a big lens for this show. My 300/f4 with a 1.4x teleconverter did most of the heavy lifting, gathering some very decent shots; although, they aren't exceptionally sharp. Had I known that he was going to wearing a much "cooler" outfit than at his previous performance, I would have brought something bigger and faster. The lighting during his performance was very challenging, so I really had to push my gear.
Check out the full gallery, featuring 68 photos, on gallery.sbbowl.com
On the heels of a long day of shooting the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration, I headed up to the Santa Barbara Bowl to photograph this tour, which consisted of Barenaked Ladies, Ben Folds Five and Guster. I enjoyed all three bands, but I was running on fumes by the end of the show. I was permitted to shoot the first three songs of each from the photo pit.
See the entire gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com
A few nights ago, Dispatch opened up for Steve Miller Band at the Santa Barbara Bowl. I was permitted to shoot Dispatch from the photo pit (against the stage). This group from Boston really rocked the house, especially when they brought in their banjo player to kick things up a notch.
For Steve Miller, I was required to shoot from the sound board. I didn't have any terribly long lenses with me, save for my 300/f4 and teleconverters. The resulting photographs are good but not exceptional, yet the show, itself, was a crowd pleaser.
See the gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com
Indie rockers, Belle and Sebastian played a cool night at the Bowl, offering excellent shooting conditions. From the photo pit, we got three songs, and the lighting was sufficient to get some great material.
Lead singer, Stuart Murdoch, came up to the edge of the stage to give us all some great photo opportunities.
See the full gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com
It's always challenging to get a good shot when performances start early in June and July. The days are very long, and for this show, I was only able to shoot the first two songs from the back of the floor. I came prepared with a 400/2.8 lens, but it was old, heavy and difficult to wield. I had to use a tripod.
The shots are very bland as I was also restricted to shoot from a single location, and Sting also stayed in a single place. There's not much variety, and the images are flat, but this was the best anyone could do. Unlike the photos, the show, itself, was fantastic!
The images are restricted, so there's none attached to this blog. See the gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com
I really like shows with lots of separate acts. Kings of the Mic 2013 Tour brought four different bands, beginning with De La Soul. When they were on stage, it was still pretty sunny. Next came Public Enemy, featuring Chuck D and Flavor Flav. I used one of my three songs during this act to shoot some multi-shot, panoramic-type images.
By the time Ice Cube came on stage, it was dark enough for stage and spot lights. It's actually easier to photograph dark skinned people when they're also wearing black clothing. The exposure is easier to capture. By the time LL Cool J came out, the crowd was really fired-up. That man moves around a lot, but the spot lights were so bright, there was enough to make it all work.
See the full gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com