Thursday, March 20, 2014

What I love about Live Music.

As I was editing photos of Flogging Molly the other night I started to think about what makes me LOVE shooting live shows and attending them.  Photography is like a addiction.  I found myself the other night as I was watching the show, trying to resist the temptation to pull my camera out and snap a few more photos.  I could not resist of course!  Anyway I got to thinking...what is it that makes going to a live show so great?  Why do I love shooting photos of live music so much?

I was raised with good music all around.  From The Beatles...My Mom playing John my Dad playing old country in the car. I got a appreciation for many different kinds of music. 

First concert was Willie Nelson at the now demolished Holiday Inn in Stevens Point Wisconsin.  I was young not sure what age but I fell asleep on my dads lap.  I remember parts of it.  I remember Willie on stage ....what it all looked like.  Sounded like.

Over the years I got into theater ( thanks mom for taking me to my first musical at UWSP) I loved the behind the scenes work. Set building...running sound...making magic happen.

In high school I went to see Green Day in Milwaukee.  It was a school night and my mom was not going to let me go but then I told her I was going with Mark Little and hey what could go wrong.  I remember the feel of that first show...the crowd cheering and singing along.  The sound...the band running around on stage.  It was awesome.  That was the first of many long late night car rides home after a show.

Soon after I started going to a lot of shows. I worked at Alpine Valley for three years doing onstage/backstage security. Got to meet so many amazing people.  I always loved the anticipation of the crowd waiting for the show.  Running down the hill.  The smell of brats cooking and the smoke wafting over Alpine before the show started.  It was a addiction.

There was one photo that made me want to do music photography....this one.

You could feel the raw emotion of the show through one photos.  You got it right there looking at that image.

Fast forward to now. I have gotten to shoot so many shows.  From bars to big stages.  From Mark Little Tuesday nights to Farmaid. It never gets old. I thought back to the other night at the Aragon Ballroom and how standing in the photo pit before the show... a sea of people behind me...a great band about to come on with camera in hand.  There is NO rush like it.  Lights go down...crowd goes nuts and out walks the band. There they are 5 feet in front of me.  I feel home and relaxed even in the chaos that is the first three songs.  It is like a drug.  The first chords of that sucks you in. You have three songs to capture the feeling and magic of that show.  Your job is to make someone who was not there feel a little bit of what it was like. Remind someone that was there how it felt. I have more then once found myself snapping photos while singing along with the band.  On the bigger shows three songs and you are out.  I am lucky enough for some shows like Steel Bridge Songfest to get all access and can shoot whatever I want.  The rush never stops!  That is why I keep doing it.  I get to combine my passion and appreciation for live music and my passion for photography. 

I have been lucky to meet so many amazing people that have helped me and given me access. I can say thanks to all of them but there are way to many to name.  My dream is to do this for a living some day.  In the last few years I have gotten the opportunity to shoot some great shows. From the Avett Brothers to the Violent Femmes last show with there original lineup.  A few years ago I never would have dreamed to have this kind of access.

Sky is the limit from here on out!   Anyway here are a few from The Avett Brothers in Green Bay awhile ago.

And here are a few from the Aragon Ballroom a coupe weekends ago. Flogging Molly.