Okay, this was officially the most fun show of the Bowl season so far. Well, maybe tied with Def Leppard and Poison. But the Keys rocked the house to a partying crowd. This show sold out months ago, right after it went on sale, so there was no doubt it was going to be good.
Sisters, Tegan and Sara opened the show, playing the Bowl for their second time in just over a year. With their new material, they drew in the young girls, who were all singing along.
Check out the full gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com
As expected, Peter Gabriel knocked the socks off of Santa Barbara last night. The man was just so ahead of his time when he hit the big time back in the late 70's and throughout the 80's. His performance is still a spectacle to observe as he still proves he's only gone from great to better.
I was told that the stage design was a mimic of the original designed used during the 1980s tour. The shooting conditions were difficult which such dramatic lighting and a photo pit area lined with wires and cinematographers. Nonetheless, I think I still pulled it off.
Check out the full gallery here on gallery.sbbowl.com
I have to admit that I'm not such a big country fan, but good live music is just one of those things that transcends preference.
Craig Campbell opened the show for Mr. Jackson as he jumped all around the stage, personalizing his performance with great audience interaction. He even came over and looked me right in the eye. But when Alan came out, the entire venue got up on it's feet. Even though the floor was lined with chairs for as a reserved-seating show, that didn't stop the smiling fans from crowding the stage and dancing for most of the performance.
Alan Jackson is a seasoned pro, and he walks around the stage with a confident swagger. If you like country, you won't go wrong seeing him perform live.
From a photographer's point-of-view, this was probably the best show of the 2012 season.
I already love shooting Jane's Addiction because lead guitarist, Dave Navarro, is so damn photogenic and interesting. Add to that the fact that he works well with photographers, and you can't help but get great shots. In this case, I think I might have acquired my best concert photos ever. Be sure to take a look at the photo gallery on the Santa Barbara Bowl's gallery.
The Airborne Toxic Event opened up the show, and they too are so interesting to watch as they perform their mesmerizing brand of indie pop. There's not too many bands of that genre that can integrate a violinist so well.
On July 21st, I photographed Yanni at the Santa Barbara Bowl. This long-time, New Age style jazz pianist has been a world-wide phenomenon for two decades. Many people who are unfamiliar with his work might not be willing to give him the credit he deserves. To see him perform is a different story.
No, he's not a rock star. He is, however, an orchestral maestro, a master of keyboards and piano, who can lead a stage full of performers to create real, positive emotion through his music.
Check out the gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com.
Fagen and friends latest musical rendition is now a trio of exceptional artists. But really, there's more to it than that.
Donald Fagen is now touring with long-time collaborator, Michael McDonald, who sings backup on many top-hit Steely Dan songs. The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue adds Boz Scaggs to that dynamic duo, rounding out the bill for some great '70's style smooth jazz. Accompanying the trio are several Steely Dan collaborators, making a full-stage of great musicians (ten total artists).
I had to shoot from behind the soundboard, front-of-house (FOH), as it's called. I used a 400mm/2.8L lens with my newly acquired 2x Extender III teleconverter, which doubles the focal length of the lens for a penalty of a bit of sharpness and two stops of light. Add this to my 1D Mark IV body, which has a 1.3x crop factor, and I was achieving about 1040mm of reach with f/5.6. I shot plenty of shots at f/8, however, to minimize the loss of sharpness with the teleconverter.
The show lighting was not great. This is early July, where the sun is still shining at 7pm, so it's still daylight during the first three songs, which is when I get to shoot. Add to that the fact that Fagen and McDonald sat at their keyboards during those songs, and their mic stands were blocking their faces most of the time. From the soundboard area, there's only a few feet to change position, giving very little dynamics to the objects. When you're up close, a few inches can change things, but from 300 feet, moving my location several feet does nothing.
Still, I was pretty happy with what I was able to accomplish. That is until a few songs after I was done shooting, and the curtain opened up to a beautifully lit stage, which I was not permitted to capture. Even camera phones were being heavily regulated. Oh, well, at least I got to see the show.
Check out the gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com.
Another great show at the Santa Barbara Bowl!
Ben came out solo, playing his lap, slide guitar. His violinist accompanied him for half a song. Then, after two songs, he switched to an acoustic guitar. The shooting conditions were meager because he was seated pretty far back, and he had two mic stands in front of him (one for vocals and the other for his guitar). There really was only one location from which to get "the shot." This is why the variety in this gallery is small.
Fitz and the Tantrums opened the show, and they are a very dynamic act. The lighting was limited to some direct sunlight with no stage or spot lighting. This is a challenging way to shoot, but I still got some photos I'm really happy with. Noelle is a tall slender black woman, and for this show, she donned a bright red dress and bleached blonde hair. She's a fantastic performer and lots of fun to photograph!
Check out the gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com
Wow! This was an amazing show for lovers of hard rock 'n' roll.
Samy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony (Bass for Van Halen) and Kenny Aronoff played a powerhouse show at the Santa Barbara Bowl. There was lots of good action, amazing sounds and pleny of crowd interaction. These guys are all pros, and they know how to get down and jam without missing a note.
I got so many great shots, that I had to limit what I put on the Bowl's gallery website. I think I limited it to less than 80 images. Needless to say, I had a great time shooting the show.
Opening for Chickenfoot was Black Stone Cherry, another powerful hard rock band with great stage presence and hard core rock 'n' roll sound.
See the entire gallery here: gallery.sbbowl.com
Out touring for their 50th anniversary, the original lineup of The Beach Boys came for a fun night of great surf oldies at The Bowl.
The show was really fun, but the shooting conditions were very poor. I was allowed only two songs, which translated into about five minutes of photography. To make things worse, I was required to be on my knees the entire time, right up front. Now normally right up front is good, but in this case, I'd rather have been at the soundboard. The band was spread out along the entire stage width, so it was virtually impossible to get one shot containing all the members.
I compromised by doing a fisheye shot of the entire stage, but wide angle lenses make anything which isn't' very close, very small. Also difficult was the fact that Brian Wilson was on a grand piano with his head facing away from the photographers. From stage left, there might have been a head-on shot of him, but from my knees, the piano completely obscured him.
Lastly, the first two songs occurred right as the sun was dropping behind the hills, so half of the group were in direct sunlight, and the other half were in the shade. Oye! The bottom line is that there was just not enough time to get every shot I wanted.
Anyway, there are some good shots, so check out the gallery on the gallery.sbbowl.com
Devendra Banhart opened the show the other night for Beck at the Santa Barbara Bowl.
Shooting opportunities were very, very limited as they were also filming a video during the Beck show. Because of this, the photo pit was laden with dolly tracks and cables as big as my wrist. The photographers were restricted to shooting from the front, but only way off on the sides, where huge dollies, jibs and cameras were blocking most of the shots.
When I tried to get very close to the stage, mic stands and sound equipment were in the way. Away from the stage was camera gear. It was a no-win situation. Regardless, I was able to grab one or two decent shots of Beck, and I used the opportunity to get plenty of wide shots which showed off all the video recording going on. It was quite an expensive diddy.
I was told that the whole recording shebang was being directed by Giovanni Ribsi, who was at the venue a couple weeks earlier with some rudimentary DSLR video gear, filming All Tiny Creatures, who opened for Bon Iver.
See the Beck photo gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com here.