Jason Mraz played an afternoon show on a perfect, sunny Labor Day.

Mraz fans are diehard, and this show sold out many months before, right when it went on sale. This was my first time seeing him live, and now I feel a little closer to him and his music.

It's rare to get such a perfectly sunny day, with direct sunlight on the performers for the majority of the show. Most often the light is all artificial. I got to shoot from the photo pit, right up next to him, and this meant for some really fun photos.

See the gallery on sbbowl.com

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Folk rock revival has been very popular for the last few years. More than any other band, I would have to credit the Avett Brothers with that phenomenon.

Last time they played in SB, I photographed them at the Arlington Theatre. This time, they took SB by storm at the Bowl, doubling the crowd size.
Lighting was great with bright, saturated colors. The musicians are also so interesting in their caricatures of independence. Opening act, Nicholas David was also a visual spectacle. I shot from the photo pit, getting some of my best material of the year!

See the gallery on sbbowl.com

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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

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Back from Ireland after a several year hiatus, Snow Patrol came to rock the house at the Santa Barbara Bowl last week. I had seen them in 2007, and I thought that show was fantastic. They had just released their second big album, Eyes Open, and they were running off the glory of their big hit, Chasing Cars. Added to their fresh sound was a powerful light show.

Therefore, I had pretty big expectations for them this time around. That's usually a bad idea, but I couldn't help it. Although this show was good, I just wasn't able to get into it. I did hear some people talking about it later that weekend, and they really liked it. So, to each his own, I guess.

Opening the show was Lissie, a singer/songwriter, belting her way through her powerful lyrics and guitar.

See the full gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com

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The last time Fiona came to Santa Barbara was after her debut album. I think she was just 16 or 17 years old. She was a virtuoso.

This time around, I think she was even more passionate, maybe to the extent of obsessive about her music. This tiny woman, thin as a rail, wailed on her piano, belting her lyrics with so much angst that one could see the veins in her neck bulge.

Since I had to shoot from back of the floor, stage left, I took this rare opportunity to also bring a tripod and setup for a long exposed, panorama. I had to sacrifice one of my three songs to get the shot, but I think it came out pretty cool. The bright spotlight that night sealed the deal.

See the gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com

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It has been a half-dozen years since KJEE has produced one of their regular Round-ups in the winter. The Summer Round-ups are always a big hit at the Santa Barbara Bowl, and it's nice to have such a fun bash between their summer shows to break up the winter.

This year, we had four great indie rock bands:

  • Metric
  • Tegan and Sara
  • Youngblood Hawke
  • Beware of Darkness

All four performances were great, and I even picked up a couple fun shots in the bar area. Check out the review by Clare Edwards and see the extensive photo gallery on thearlingtontheatre.com

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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

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Laura Swift wrote an excellent review of a show I covered at the Arlington Theatre last week. I was still a bit sore from surgery, so I was unfortunately unable to see the entire show. In any case, it was quite a treat for us to see Wilco to play such an intimate venue as the Arlington considering last time they played in SB, they filled the Santa Barbara Bowl.

White Denim opened the show.

See the review on thearlingtontheatre.com

White DenimWhite Denim

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