Alessio Michelini Photography

The 1975 @ Olympia Theatre

26 February 2014

After a pretty flat start, finally I gig that I really want to see, the 1975! I saw them a few months ago, and then the photos turned out as some of the best I shot last year, so you can easily imagine why I put my name down for the pass for this show.
Tha band on stage it's just great, it's one of the band to see live at least once, even if you think you are a bit older than their main audience (both me and my girlfriend felt very old at that gig).
But this time they moved to a bigger venue, as their fame grew in the past months, so a few things changed on the stage, or at least from what concerns the lights. So this time the big rectangular neon light they previously have just in front of the drummer (which was perfect because most of the times was framing the singer as well, and it also provided some extra light on the stage) was moved behind the drummer, so I lost a good source of light I could play with. Also this time the lights came mostly from the back and almost nothing were used to lit the band from the front. To be fair this is one of those gigs that you don't really know how is going to turn out until you developed the last photos on lightroom. And if  you don't like silhouettes you are kinda screwed.
The band also moves quite a lot on stage, it's a very dynamic band, especially the singer, and this factor could be both good and bad. It's good if you have enough light to catch this sense of movement, it's really bad if you don't have any lights as all the pictures will turn blurry or out of focus.
To be honest I was pretty pessimistic when I left the venue, I felt I didn't get any decent shots, or at least not that many, but as sometimes happens, I was wrong.
I still prefer the gig in the Academy, but at the end I got plenty of good shots, yes, a lot of silhouettes, but I like silhouettes and for me it's not a problem, while for others might be. Anyway, the full set is online on my flickr page, and down here you can see some of the best "snaps".

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Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes @ Olympia Theatre

24 February 2014

I have to say that this band, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, are not my cup of tea, if you like that kind of music they are surely a good band to see live, but the only reason I went to that gig was only because I knew it was a decent show to photograph, as I shot them back in 2012 in the same venue, the Olympia Theatre, and also I went to that gig because I wanted to photograph a gig after two months of break from the pit.
So how was to photograph this band this time? Well, almost the same as last time, decent back lights, and maybe too hard front lights, not too much smoke (or at least not the one I mean), and I probably can say that was a pretty flat gig, from a photography point-of-view, as true, there were plenty of lights, but it's also true they weren't that great, that's it.
Apart from the singer, who loves to move around the stage quite a lot, and at some stage he also jumped in the pit to get close with the fans, the rest of the band is pretty static on stage.
Anyway, as you can imagine I'm not that thrilled by the outcome of my photos, but if you like this band you might like them too. As obviously you can find the full set on my flickr account as usual.

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Tenacious D @ The Academy

29 December 2013

Tenacious D marked my 450th gig and the last gig of the year, and I wanted to draw this numerical line with a good gig, and Jack Black with his mate it's definitely a great way to end the year.
I have to say that I was quite surprised to see the duo playing in such small venue, considering that last year they played in the O2, a good 20 times the size of the Academy.
But apparently Jack Black liked the venue, and for unknown reasons he wanted to play there for their acoustic tour in Europe, and I can only imagine the face of the venue manager when he saw this funny guy come to him and asking to play a gig there.
As I said it was an acoustic tour, so no band, no special effects, just the two of them and two guitars, that's it, and as a music photographer I wasn't expecting any amazing light set for such minimal set.
From the music front they are not a surprise, they are just great live and so much fun to see live, I would add that they, expecially Mr Black, very theatrical on stage, he is an actor and he likes to act on stage, or maybe that's just the way he is, or he was simply high, who knows?
Lightwise it wasn't that bad, as I said, simple light set. No smoke, no lasers, just very simple, but despite that their facial expressions, their moves, gave me some good shoot, so overall I can say I was pretty happy on how my photos turned out.
So as usual, you can find some of my best shots down here, and the full set on my flickr account.

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Haim @ The Academy

18 December 2013

Bands like Haim are the new bands that everyone want to see, they might become the next big thing or they'll fade out in 6 months, only time will tell. Anyway, I liked their debut album, maybe a bit too commercial for my standards, but it's a good album. My only doubt was on how they play their songs live, no offence to anyone but out of the box they look to me as a very well produced band, but I wasn't really sure if they could keep that quality on stage, not because they are women (Jaysus I don't want to sound sexist at all!), but just because how they have been presented by the media, and there's no doubt that their PR agency are working hard, and in these cases most of the times it's like a candy with a beautiful package, but with no taste.
So before they started to play I was a bit skeptical to see a very good performance from this trio, but I was damn wrong.
These girls rock, and even despite their very young age, they play like people with 10 times their experience, I was sincerely blew away from these band.
But once again, I'm not here to do a review of their gig from a music point-of-view, but how good or bad was to photograph them. So, on the stage they didn't bring any extra lights, even because they probably didn't have any space left, as the stage was pretty crowded with instruments, and there were another two tour members, a drummer and a guy at the keyboards, but they were well behind in the stage, just to make it clear that Haim are the three sisters and that's it. That made the simple task to photograph these two members nearly impossible, but at the end the important was to catch the sisters, the core of the band, so fair enough. And while in the Academy are generally generous with smoke machines, very oddly this time the stage was clear from any kind of smoke, and while most of the times I complain about the insane amount of smoke on that stage, this time a little bit of it would certainly helped to give the lights a bit of depth, but apart from that I couldn't really complain about lights, as the stage was very well lit. 
The band it does move a lot, or at least in the small space they were constrained to, and it gave me a lot of different poses, even if most of the times the instruments were on the way.
Overall it was a good gig to photograph and to watch, the only real problem was another.
Since last week there is a new rule in the Academy, now after the third song you will be escorted out, that's because some (very) silly fellow photographers have been caught by the tour manager while taking pictures after the third song, which is a rule that any music photographer, unless it's a special case like AAA pass (when you are shooting for the artist), should follow at any time. Anyway, I'll probably talk in another occasion about that, in the meanwhile down here you can find some of the best shots, and as usual you can find the full set on my flickr account. If you want to leave a comment, please use the comments box at the end of the page.

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The Original Rudeboys @ Olympia Theatre

15 December 2013

As usual I like to be as honest as possible, and even if I swore to never go to photograph band that I don't know / I don't like, sometimes some gigs are too tempting.
These guys are on the ascending part of their popularity at the moment, they started to be a big thing here in Ireland, and as far I know they are doing pretty well in the UK as well, so even if their music is not exactly  what I generally listen, I wanted to give a try to this band and to photograph them in the Olympia Theatre, my favourite venue in Dublin. As I said, I don't like their genre, so it would be pointless for me to tell you if they were great or not, I simply can't judge them. What I can say is that they are really good performers, and it's quite impressive to see how good they are thinking that they formed the band only two years ago.
Anyway, the real reason I was there was for good lights, as Pop bands go hand in hand with good lights generally, and that's what I'm always looking for.
The only problem with Pop bands (but bear in mind that when I'm saying "Pop bands" I've no intention to compare The Original Rudeboys to "artists" like Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber, I'm just using this terms as the wider meaning, as the ORBs are light years better than people like Lady Gaga) is that sometimes you get too many lights. I know, I know, someone is already thinking "how can you possibly complain about the lights all the time?". You are right, and as most of the times very dark stages are an big pain in the butt, sometimes too many lights can be problematic as well, as it flattens the subject too much, and as any photographers should know, you always need a good balance of lights and shadows to give some sense of depth.
But in the case of The Original Rudeboys I can say that they have well balanced lights, I'm not sure if they add any extra lights from the standard lighting system of the venue, which is already great, the only problem I could say, is the fact that there were a wall of monitors, like Kodaline, which blocked part of the view from the pit, but as the trio moves a lot on stage, I'm not that surprised. Another thing is, as one of the main guys rap, most of the times the microphone covers his face, and it's kinda difficult to catch his face free from the mic.
Also bear in mind that the band came off stage a couple of times, and they often get on the edge of the stage, so keep in mind this aspect if you have to shoot them in the future.
Overall I have to say that I was well impressed by the band as artists, even if it's not my music genre, and they were a pretty good gig to photograph too, maybe not the best, but good.
Down here you can find some of the best photos I took that night, and as usual on my flickr page you can find the full set.

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The Naked And Famous @ Olympia Theatre

04 December 2013

I generally tend not to photograph bands more than once, unless they are really good performers, or they are really good to photograph. In the case of The Naked And Famous, when I shot them a couple of years ago, they were both, difficult to photograph, as the stage was full of smoke everywhere, but I brought home some good shots at the end. So when I saw they were playing in the Olympia again, I thought "why not?".
So once again, here we are in the Olympia with The Naked And Famous on the stage, and once again they confirmed to be really good performers, maybe slightly less better than the other time, but still a really good band to see live, but to photograph this time was a different story.
It's hard to say why, but even if sometimes I despise how bands abuse of smoke on stages, this time a bit of smoke would definitely have helped to give a bit of more depth on the lights on stage. Bear in mind that they had plenty of lights for the gig, but as happened with Kodaline, the result, or at least from a photography point of view, it was pretty bland. The photos are ok, nothing terrible but nothing extremely exciting as well. To be honest I felt like I had a sandwich week of gigs. A meh gig, a great gig, another meh gig.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the best photos I took at their gig, and on my flickr page you can find the full set. Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

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The Darkness @ Olympia Theatre

29 November 2013

The Darkness are one of the bands you must see, even if you don't like their music and you think their videos are pretty silly, you still have to see them live, as they put an incredible show on the stage, it's pure rock'n'roll, Justin Hawkins taste in clothes might be questionable, but what it's unquestionable is his voice and his ability of being a great frontman. Even my girlfriend wanted to see them live despite the fact she doesn't like their music.
I went to the Olympia sure to see a great show, and I wasn't disappointed. My only concern for the night was the rumours that they started to ask photographers to sign a bloody photo release, but someone confirmed that rumours, someone else said they didn't sign anything, so I decided to give it a chance and see what happen, and luckily I found nothing to sign when I arrived at the venue.
As I said they are a great band, and on that stage everything happens, and apart the drummer which is pretty invisible behind his drum, like I wasn't even sure if he was there or not, the band was pure fun to shoot. Tons of lights, tons of good photos, tons of decibels!
The only problem of the night probably was the insane amount of photographers in the pit. Ten photographers in the Olympia are too many, too many people fighting for the best spot, and while most of them know how to behave in the pit, someone else don't. But lets talk about this another time, maybe in a proper rant-post. Anyway, down here some of the best photos as usual, and as always you can find the full set on my flickr page.

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Kodaline @ Olympia Theatre

28 November 2013

In the past few months I've seen this name many times, their album cover on several shops, people talking about them, kodaline here, kodaline there, kodaline and more kodaline.
I assume that radios play their songs quite intensively, but as I don't listen to radios I've no idea if I'm wrong or not, and as I see that they are playing around europe, I assume, again, that they are becoming the next big band from Ireland.
But until last week I probably heard one of their song just once, maybe on an ad? Can't remember, and I don't care. To be fair, they're not my favourite music, they are just too pop, but I wanted to see them live to see if maybe they are a good live band, and I've asked for a pass on their last, of their three gigs in the Olympia.
As a live band they are good, and I saw plenty of happy faces in their audience, but still, not my music. But how is to photograph them? Well, they are ok.
There are plenty of lights on the stage, they were well-lit, but for some reasons, maybe because of the too many lights, it was kinda flat. Nothing really blew me away, as a lighting point of view,  and to be honest I was quite disappointed. Also they had so many monitors (the big speakers in front of the stage), way more than usual, that blocked me part of view, and while I generally like to include monitors, as it gives that sense of depth, in that case there were too many, and I felt like a midget in front of a very high fence.
Another thing I can say is that they don't move a lot, probably because there are too many things on that damn stage and they can't move? Or maybe they were just tired after three days of gis in the same venue? Or they just don't move as a general move, anyway, it was pretty boring.
Obviously, as this band is pretty popular at the moment, my photos got tons of likes and retweets and all these social stuff, which is great, but I would prefer that better photos I took get all these attentions, but as always the mass look who is in the picture, and not the picture itself. And that's really depressing for me.
Anyway, down here you can find  some of the "best" photos, while on my flickr account you find the full set, and if you want to leave a comment, it's on the very bottom of the page.

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Editors @ Olympia Theatre

23 November 2013

Back in 2005 I used to drive 60 km per day to go to work and back, and at that time there were a few albums that I've listened to death, and one of them was The Back Room by Editors. I love that album, it's a great album and for sure it's one of the best albums of the past decade. The following albums was a sort of decay of the band for me, the more they got famous, the less I started to like them. But they are still a great live band as I saw them a few years ago over here, in the Olympia, but at that time I wasn't able to get a photo pass, which sometimes it's not a bad thing as you can really enjoy the gig, but on the other hand the photographer in me demanded photos. And this time we go photos.
Again, they are a great live band, great gig, but this isn't a music website, it's a website about photography. So, how was to photograph them? A nightmare.
The first song is essentially a wall of smoke and backlit. I just had silhouettes from that song, and on the second one it didn't really changed much, a bit better as the smoke started to fade away, but still very hard even to focus the subject. The third song was better, and probably I got the best photos on the very last song I was allowed to shoot.
Initially I thought "I never gonna have a decent photo tonite", but at the end with some post-production magic, and thankfully with some rare istants of good lighting, I manage to get some good photos out of something started as a photographic tragedy, and I'm pretty happy with some of the photos.
Anywaym, as usual down here you can find some of the best photos, while the full set is on my flickr page. If you want to leave any comment, please use the comment box at the very bottom of the page!

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Queens Of The Stone Age @ The O2

22 November 2013

As I said in the past, I have a list in my mind, of bands that I must photograph, and some of these bands were very important for me, (well, maybe "important" is not the right word, maybe "significant" would be more appropriate), like milestones, bands that remind me of specific periods of my life, and one of these bands are surely Queens Of The Stone Age. I was a fan of them since their first album, actually even before, as one of my favourite bands at that time were Kyuss, the band where Josh Homme come from.
So you can easily understand that I was waiting to see this band from quite a while, even if now I would hardly listen to their music, and I had to photograph them.
Then, how they are live? Even if I could stay only for three songs, I'm quite trained to understand if a band is good or not even after one minute, and I can easily say that QOTSA are immense. Probably one of the best band I've seen live this year, not the best, but defo in the top 10.
Unfortunately to photograph them it wasn't so nice. Why? Lets start with the pit.
Essentially it was a simplified version of Kings of Leon's pit, they split it in thirds, and photographers can stay only on the side ones, no photos from the middle part, and once you are on one of the side, you are stuck there. Do you remember how I hate seated show because I can shoot only from the sides, so I get only two perspectives? Well, that's even worst, because I get only one side.
Now lets talk about the lights. Green backlit, more green lights, again green lights, and for a second I was thinking that was some sort of charity gig in favour of greenpeace or anyone related to nature, or maybe it was St. Patrick day, until we got some red lights, then I thought the stage was actually a big traffic light.
I can't say they were terrible, because I was expecting even worst lights (often I search the band I'm going to shoot on youtube to see how the lights were in their previous gigs), but while they were great to see and listen, they were no more than "meh" to photograph.
Also, because of the force perspective, I have pictures only of Josh Homme (from one side only) and their bass player, that's it. So, glad to listen to them, because they are a great live band, but next time I'll buy the ticket and I'll enjoy the show rather than try to photograph them.
Anyway, these are some of the best shots, I hope you like them, because for me they are "meh". As usual you can find the full set on my flickr page.

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