I've never been a big fan of The Frames, I've never watched Once, and I would lie if I say that I know at least 5 of his songs. But Glen Hansard is one of the artists that deserve respect, regardless of whether you like his music or not, like David Bowie or Bob Dylan. You can't say their music is shite and they are not artists. You just can't. You can say you don't like them, but you can't define them as Artists. He is a gentleman, a great performer, and he still tell jokes on stage, and if you can put a smile on your audience face it's already a success.
Now, lets talk about the photography point of view of this gig.
The gig was three weeks ago, when at 9pm in Ireland is still bright, and the stage at the Iveagh Gardens was far smaller than the one at Longitude, the festival I went a couple of days before, but still pretty big, especially because they had to fit a pretty big band. Lights were ok, well, they probably were good to really good to be honest, but the sunlight was still way stronger than the stage lights, and if you don't put a bit more (and I say, a bit) of smoke, it's difficult that these lights can create any proper shapes, shapes that give the sensation of depth, but said that, overall it wasn't a bad gig to photograph at all, and it was a bit cloudy, so the sunlight was filter and it didn't give me any hard shadows, which is a good thing.
He is not a Rock'n Roll star, so don't expect him to jump off the stage or to smash his guitar on the drums, but nevertheless it's still a pretty dynamic stage, lots of different artists, and Glen Hansard is pretty characteristic subject to photograph. I paid attention to the drummer (Graham Hopkins, who plays the drums in The Frames as well), which was a pretty interesting subject as well.
At the end it was a pretty good show to photograph, and definitely a great show to see, regardless if you like him or not.
Down here the usual pictures, hope you like them, and by clicking here you will be redirect to the full set on my flickr account.
(yes that white thing he spat was a plectrum)
Phoenix was on my have-to-photograph-before-I-die list from a long while, and they didn't play in Ireland for years (someone told me 'cause they had a bad experience on an irish festival years ago), so I couldn't miss their performance at longitude. To be honest I had mixed feelings before, I love their third album, not that much the new one, and Phoenix could be one of the bands that are amazing live, or simply terrible, despite of how their album sound (example: White Lies, decent album terrible live band). Thankfully they fell in the first option, and actually I was really well impressed by their live performance, they still can't beat Foals, but they were pretty good.
As they were the main band of that thay, all the lights were for them, I was a bit worried from the giant red screen, but at the end the pictures turned great, and, if possible, got even more better photos than foals (a couple of them are already on my main site in the Music category).
Anyway, a great band to see and photograph. Here the usual pictures, and as usual you can find the full set by clicking here.
As I said in my first post about this festival, I love Foals. I've already seen them three times before, and I already knew that they rock like hell. Amazing live band, and they get better album after album. And while other band could lose some of their power on such big stages like the one at Longitude, it's not their case. 10 people or 10 thousands doesn't really matter to them, and to photograph them it's always a win win situation. But this time was different, in a good way. In fact after we entered the first song, one of the event manager escorted us out of the pit, I was, alongside the other photographers, a bit pissed off as I thought "only one song and they kick us out? WTF?!?!" but then he told us that the band wants the photographer to enter at the last three songs. Yes, you read well, the last three. Why? Well according to him they say they are better to photograph at the end of their performance, and I couldn't agree more, as the end is always the best moment, but at least to me, it never happened before.
It was even better because at that time, about 8.15pm, ambient light starts to be less bright, it has a warmer colour, and the stage lights become more prominents, and the mix of these factors it gives us the best combination to shoot (or at least IMHO), where you don't have to use very high ISO (I shoot at 800 ISO) thanks to the ambient light, but the stage lights, that were a bit weaker earlier, now have enough power to give a better sensation of depth.
Another cool thing of this band, is the fact that the singer always get off the stage and tries to jump in the crowd. He does all the times, I think it's his thing, and I like it.
So what else I can add? Nothing really, great band to see, great band to photograph in one of the best moments of the day to photograph in general. So it's pretty clear that unlike the previous gigs took in the Heineken tent, these are pretty good.
The set is pretty big, 35 photos, so here I've attached only some of the best, but you can see the full set on my flickr account.
Even if I generally don't like R&B music, I have to say that she did a very good album, and I was really looking forward to see how she performs on a stage, and I have to say that she did pretty well. Unfortunately she played in the same stage of AlunaGeorge, and if I thought that in the previous gig we reached the bottom of how bad lights can be in a such big stage, I was wrong. Unfortunately for this artist lights were even worst. But not because it was dark, but because the quality of light was terrible. I know, you are probably sick to ear from that I hate LED lights at this stage, but seriously, some times these lights can just ruin every single shots. Thank God B/W conversion saves my arse, but for fuck's sake, why I can't have decent colour shots? Anyway, that's the worst gig I shot at the festival, or at least from a photographic point of view, as I said above the artist's performance was really good, but at the end I deleted most of the photos I took and I picked only ten.
I have to admit it: that's the only act I shoot at the Longitude Festival that I didn't have a clue of who they were, I went there only because a fellow photographer suggested me to go to see them as they could be cool to photograph, but seriously, it was the first time I heard them. Actually, I thought that Aluna George was the name of the girl, and only once I got home I found out that Aluna is the singer, and George is the other guy. Anyway, they were pretty good, not my type of music, but good. Unfortunately the Heineken Live Project Stage was terribly illuminated. Loads of LED lights, music photographers' mortal enemy, which gave me only red and blue hard lights, at some stage it was like to shoot in a small venue, but bigger. I had only few moments where the lights were decent.
And while I kinda liked their music, I didn't like the photos I took of them, at all, but I think is not not fair to show you only when I succeed, but I have to show you when I fail as well (or at least until the photos are showable). Anyway, down here you can see some of the "best" shots, while the full set is here.
So, after two months with no gigs, I decided that it was about time to shoot something, otherwise it would be pretty pointless to have a website called Music Photographer and not shooting any gigs. Anyway, even if in the past I said "No more festival for me" as I think they are a big pain in the butt for a photographer, and I still think in this way, I decided to go to the Longitude Festival in Marlay Park here in Dublin. But only for one day, no more crazy shit like trying to photograph a billion of artists in 2/3 days and get wrecked, I took it easy. I decided to go for these simple reasons:
And as the promoter asked me to photograph the place as well, for the first two hours I went around taking pictures of the festival, and I didn't approach any pits before 6pm. I have to say that it has been a last minute decision, I was quite unprepared for this festival, I didn't have a map, I didn't have a timetable, I didn't plan anything, as I did in the past, I just wanted to shoot a few bands and that's it.
This is one of the gigs I left behind, and while I didn't go to any gigs in the past few weeks, I decided to resume this gig I took for the Camden Crawl Dublin back in May. And the band we are talking today is Echo & The Bunnymen.
To be fair, I wasn't exactly a fan of this band, I liked a few songs, but that's it. I was there only for a reson: win the competition and get a free phone, and guess what? I won. Yes, a phone that was blocked by the operator (Meteor was the sponsor) and obviously I have a Vodafone SIM. I tried to unblock it, and I fail. I asked to Meteor and they told me to go to any chinese shops to get it unblocked. I went to the chinese and he failed. So fuck it.
Anyway... Echo & The Bunnymen. The venue was the Button Factory, which most of the times is a decent venue, and this time it was just a little bit under the average, with a couple of unusual problems.
First problem, we (photographers) were allowed to stay only on the left and right side of the pit, which wasn't that deep (I would say 60cm?), but not in front of the singer, as apparently he doesn't like photographers (then why you allowed photographers? Just tell that you don't want anyone and "arrivederci" no?!), actually, he probably hate photographers as I've been told that he used to kick photographers in the face.
Second problem, the pit was packed. As 50% of the photographers allowed to shoot for the festival were in that pit, you can easily get the picture of 10/12 people trying to get the best spot as possible, and with the consequence that nobody could move, so all the pictures are made from the same angle, which is something that I hate. But on the other hand I had a free tripod (a fellow photographer's shoulder).
Light wise, as I said, lights were a bit shiter than the average, and most of them were pointed on the singer, so decent photos of the singer, "meh" photos of the other members, and no photos of the drummer, as I couldn't even see him, and he was in the complete darkness anyway.
Band to see? Not really, but then it's up to you, if you like them, then it could be a good gig, but they didn't catch my attention, at all. Band to photograph? Same as above.
Down here you can see some of the best pictures, and obviously you can find them on flickr as well.
I have to admit it, I'm a bit late for this post, I've already talked about their supporter band a few days ago, but in the past weeks I've been working as a crazy and I couldn't find the time write anything, and this weekend I've been around trying to do some landscape snaps around here, and I also tried to go through 3000 photos I took for a client a few weeks ago, so I'm using this bank holiday to try to write some new on the blog. Anyway, The Riptide Movement are a really cool band , that it may sound a bit outdate for some of you as they play a mix of folk rock & blues, but they are totally worth to see (and listen). And they are nice people too, as they gave me a triple A pass for their show, so this time I could take some pictures from a different prospective. Light wise the show was really good, not the best, but really cool to photograph, especially because the Olympia has a very good light set up, so even if the artist doesn't bring a light, you still get good lights.
Also this band doesn't fall in the category of the "poles with musical instruments" (which it makes the gig quite boring to photograph), and neither on the "grasshoppers under steroids" (which it makes the gig nearly impossible to photograph), so you have the good mix of different poses and expression that makes the photographs more interesting, rather than a repetition of same faces.
To conclude, it's a great gig to photograph and it's a great band to see live, and here there are some of the best pictures I took that night, which you can also find on my flickr account.
As I said before, I generally skip supporter bands, for many reasons but mostly because I generally arrive too late. But this time I got to the venue in time to catch the last few songs of the The Riptide Movement's supporters, an irish band called Preachers Sons. Lights were perfect, they were pretty good performers and quite good looking (especially the bass player), so I couldn't resist to take some pictures. And I have to say it turned out some good shots, and guess what? I'm going to show you the best ones :-)
I have to say that the only reason I went to this gig was to see an Italian playing in an irish venue, something that doesn't happen very often, as there are not many italian artists famous outside the "Bel Paese". Thankfully (for him) a lot of irish people still remember the song "Senza una donna", but as you can easily imagine the crowd wasn't that young, actually with my 33 years on this planet I felt very young that night, and it wasn't a big surprise to find out that at least 1/3 of the crowd were italians. But I'm not going to discuss about his music, I don't like it, and I left after the 3rd song, he is a good performer, he has plenty of people on stage that move and play around, and that's it.
The problem is because of his audience, and also because he can't really do a sold out on an irish venue, the show was a seated one, and for a photographer this is a big pain in the arse. Obviously no pit (as you would stay on the line of sight of the people, and that's pretty fair as they have all the right to see a show they paid without having someone in front of them with a bloody camera), so the only option is to photograph from the side aisles of the venue, and if you don't have a lens long enough, you are screwed.
Good thing I knew it, so I brought my 135mm L, and I was pretty safe. Lights were generally good, even if shooting from the sides you can't really play that much with lights, especially for me that I use a lot the backlit lights. So at the end I brought home some decent shots, not super happy, but still better than the average gigs taken from the aisles. Anyway, these are some of the best shots, but you can obviously see the full set on my flickr account.