Alessio Michelini Photography

PVT @ Button Factory

15 May 2013

PVT, formed as Pivot (but they had to change the name due to copyright issues), are an experimental-rock/math-rock/electronic band from Sydney, and I have to admit that I barely knew the name until a few weeks ago, but then I found out that they were one of the main bands who were playing at the Camden Crawl Dublin, so I started to listen to them on Spotify, and I have to say that I really like their last album. Anyway, they were on my festival plans anyway as they were playing in the main venue, and probably the only one with good lights, as the other venues were all small with terrible lights (maybe only the Grand Social wasn't that bad).
I have to say that the lights, even if the venue has a decent lighting system, not the best, but still good, were barely ok, and probably the best gig I shoot that weekend was the PVT one (or maybe au pair with Echo & The Bunnymen), as the other ones were too smokey, or too dark. So here there are some of the best shots I took of PVT, but obviously you can see the full set by clicking here.

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Little Green Cars @ Vicar St

13 May 2013

Yesterday I did my half review and half 3-songs-no-flash review, and I talked about the supporter band who played last saturday in Vicar St, so now it's time to talk about the main band, which in this case is a local band called Little Green Cars. The good thing of emerging bands, from a lighting point of view, is that the band don't really dictate of what kinds of lights to use on stage, they don't know, they don't care, so the guy who sits at the opposite side of the stage in the venue and looks like a DJ but without the headphones, is free to do whatever he wants, and in these cases the lights are generally good. Obviously these kind of bands don't have their lights normally, so you have to rely on the venue's lights, and if they are crap, you will get crap lights, despite how good or bad is the lighting guy. But in this case Vicar St has a great lighting setup, so I couldn't really complain saturday from that point of view, maybe the abused a bit with fog machine, and I have to say that I preferred the supporter band's lights, but it was pretty good anyway, and I brought home plenty of decent shots.
The band move quite enough on stage, they don't jump like grasshoppers on drugs, but they are not traffic lights as well, so I had a good variety of shots, which is always a good thing.
I also have to say that the band is pretty good on stage, I really liked their album, and they are really good performers despite the fact of being young and the fact that I think Vicar St is probably the biggest venue they played so far, but they did well on stage in my opinion. Anyway, pictures pictures pictures, here we are with some of the best pictures I took that night, but if you want more, you can get more on flickr, by clicking here. And please, feel free to leave a comment, let me know if you like them or you think they are shite and I should start a different hobby, like horse riding or selling used bombs.

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Passenger @ Vicar St

02 May 2013

Sometimes happens that you go to a gig of someone that you have no clue of who the fuck he is, and in this case I seriously had no idea, but even if you don't know a single song, you have that feeling that is going to be a shite gig, at least musically, but at the end it turns out that the guy on stage, is actually good. And this is the case of the Passenger.
The fact that the 90% of audience was made of girls, and the 67% of them proved that they can reach a very high pitch with their voice, didn't help a lot on my pre-gig impression. Plus the fact that, apart one amp, a microphone, and plenty of ikea paper lamps, the stage was completely empty, which you can obviously translate into a one man gig, and in these cases you come back home with a lot of pictures of the same subject, which is kinda boring (apart from The Tallest Man On Earth, he is pretty cool on stage, he moves a lot and mess more than many other bands). But despite the promises, he was pretty good on stage, and the Ikea lamps did work pretty well as a background, and Vicar St has pretty great lights as well, at the same level of the Olympia, but in a more compressed stage.
Anyway, at the end I brought home plenty of good pictures, not the bests I've done in the last while, but pretty good, and Passenger is a pretty good performer on stage, so well worth it to see.
Down here you can find some of the best shots I took last night, but you can obviously see the full set by clicking here.

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The Vaccines @ Olympia Theatre

13 April 2013

The Vaccines is one of the bands that I wouldn't listen their album more than a couple of times, they are not bad, but I'm just not mad of them. And that's what I was thinking before going to see them the first time, and alike Foals, their live performance blew me away a that time, I was thinking to go there, three songs and then get the frack out, and at the end I stayed the entire gig (which was pretty short anyway). So this time they were playing at the Olympia, better venue, better lights (in theory), but at the end you never know how is going to be the show until it starts.
I have to say that these guys are amazing performers, despite the fact that I still cannot listen their albums for more than 10 minutes. Photography wise I was a bit concerned that the gig was going to be a dull one, with very minimal lights (and to be fair their first performance in the Academy was pretty difficult to photograph), but at the end it turned out as one of the best gig I've photographed in the past few months, amazing lights, very dynamic band on stage, only the drummer was well hidden behind his drum kit, but apart from that it was a pleasure to photograph. Again, no photo release to sign down, which is always nice, so a great gig to photograph from any side, and it gave me so many great shots, which you can see down here. Obviously you can always go to my flickr account.

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Biffy Clyro @ The O2

07 April 2013

Despite its awful cover, I loved their album Puzzle, back in 2007, and I always wanted to see them live, but I never had the chance to photograph them, one time I was in Italy, another one I just didn't get the pass, so it has been in the list of band that I want to photograph from a long while. But this time I was lucky, I was in Dublin and I got the photo pass. I kinda knew it that they are a great band live, many other people told me, and I couldn't agree more. Yes, they become much popular, and yes their last album it's definetely more pop than the previous ones, and again yes, the crowd was full of kids screaming like if they are running for their lives while a huge dog or a not very gentle dragon is trying to kill them, but still they are an amazing band to see live. Plus the stage has a not usual shape, with ramps on the sides, with microphones on it, and in general for a second I thought they wanted to bring a ghospel choir on stage as there were at least 5/6 extra microphones, but not, he (Simon Neil) just run like hell along the stage.
For a photographer probably the last point could be the only problem you can have at this gig, as the lights were amazing, the stage was full of lights with a giant tree in the middle, maybe the drummer was a bit hidden behind his drum, but for such venue with a very high stage (I think is about 1.80/1.90 metres height), to be fair is never easy to get the drummer. So as I was saying, catch Simon Neil it might not be an easy job, as the only moment he is still is when he sings, otherwise he run on stage every single second he can, and that's good from one side 'cause he gives us (the photographers) a lot of variety of shots and angles, but on the other hands it means that we have to run as well, and run in the pit is not that easy.
But, again, apart from that, it is a great show to photograph, and it's really difficult to not come back home with a least one great shot, plus add the fact that despite they are quite a big band nowadays, there were no contract to sign, which is a nice thing.
Down here you can find some of the best pictures I took that night, but if you want to see the full set, just click here.

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Eels @ Olympia Theatre

04 April 2013

This is one of the bands that reminds me that I'm old. His song "Novocaine For The Soul" is one the songs that brings me back to the '90s, when I use to have no big problems, or just the problems that a teenager can have, which at that time sound big, but you realize that in fact they were happy times only when they are gone. But to be fair I didn't hear anything else from him since them, and I cannot really say that I'm a big fan of this band, but when I saw that Eels was coming to Dublin, I thought it could be just freaking cool to photograph this guy. But leaving the music on a side, how is to photograph his show? Not that easy I have to say.
I can define this show as a tricky one, because when you are there it looks awesome, loads of different lights, and at first glance on the screen of your camera it looks good, but then when you go back home, after you have downloaded all the pictures and imported into Lightroom, you discovered that many of that lights, especially my little friends called LED lights (yes, again them, I fucking hate them), all the reds and blues are oversaturated, and at the ends the mix of lights look awful. Well maybe it wasn't that bad, but I was honestly to expect some better shots at the end.
Plus I have to say that The guy didn't really move that much from his spot, so plenty of similar photos of him.
Conclusion: Good show, Eels and his band are good performers, maybe they don't move that much on the stage but still good, decent enough to photograph as well, plus no bleeding photo releases to sign, which is always nice.
The full set is available here.

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Sterephonics @ Olympia Theatre

02 April 2013

I have to admit that, back in the day, I liked their album Performance & Cocktails. And I'm not ashamed to admit it, even if now they are quite pop, way too much for my standards. So they were in the list of the bands that "I would like to see them but if I missed them I certainly don't cry". Plus, as I said for The Script, pop bands always prefer to have lots of lights on stage, and I would be really surprised if I get a dark gig for such kind of music.
Then add the fact that they played in one of the best venues in Ireland, which is the Olympia Theatre, and again the statistics says that it's going to be an easy gig. For this kind of gigs my main concern is:

  • a) if there is any photo release to sign;
  • b) if they will put the photographer not in the pit but far away from the stage (Tori Amos forced the photographers to shoot from the mixer, 50 metres away);

But at the end none of my nightmares came true, so no contract and in the pit, and as expected great lights from great performers, and you can translate this in great photos (at least for me).
Conclusion: is a great band to photograph and see, some good songs, but I wouldn't stay for the whole gig, unless you really like them!
Down here there are some of the best photos I took that night, but you can also see the full set on my flickr account by clicking here.

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The Script @ The O2

01 April 2013

I would lie if I say that I love this band, or even if I say I like on single song about them, and the fact that I have to see their song with Will.I.Am every fuckin time I go to the gym, it doesn't really help. At all.
But months ago I said to myself that I would go only to gigs of bands that I really like, or bands that I think they are worth to photograph. And this is the second case. They are popular, their audience are pretty young, and they play Pop music, so 99,9% of the probabilities that there will be loads of lights. And statistics don't lie.
The O2 is a good venue, even if as a big venue you lose the kind of intimacy you get with smaller venues such as the Olympia Theatre, but on the other hand you will (almost) always get loads of lights.
So, pop band with loads of lights plus venue with generally tons of lights, what do you get? (Everybody say "A billions of lights"). Exactly!
And as you can see that gig was easy to photograph, and the band are definetely not shy on the stage.
Another good point is the fact that despite the band became a pretty big name, there were no bloody photo release to sign.
To conclude the article, I still don't like their music, but I have to say that the band do a really good job in terms of entertainment for their fan, and it's a pleasure for a photographer to go to their gig.
As usual you can see the full set by clicking here.

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Foals @ The Academy

28 March 2013

I have to admit it: I didn't like them the first time I've heard them, at all. But then I gave them a second chance and I quite start to like their music. Then a couple of years ago they played in Dublin, same venue, and when I enter the venue I was like "take some pictures, 3 songs and then get the fuck out". I was so wrong. By the end of the gig I was a fecking fan, and I hate this word. I even bought their t-shirt, can you imagine? So since then everytime they came to Dublin I was present in the pit :-)
But the first two times lights were okaaay, couple of nice shots, but it has been quite difficult to photograph them, and the Academy as I said in a previous post, it's a venue with good potentials, but sometimes you might end up shooting in the dark.
Thank to the prophets of Vulcan, this time they have good lights, with the right quantity of smoke that allows the lights to give you that sense of depth and tridimensionality. Again the only real problems was from the side LED lights, I know I've done 3 posts about gigs and I always mentioned that, but for music photographers these bleeding lights are just terrible.
I have to say that I mostly reused the presets I made for Bloc Party, as the light conditions were pretty similar, even if the gigs were in two totally different venues, so expect a similar look to that gig. Maybe a bit oversaturated than my usual, maybe too  much contrast, maybe I like to change sometimes, but I think they are decent shots, or at least I like them.
So, down here you can find some of the best shots, but you can see the full set by clicking here.

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Bloc Party @ Olympia Theatre

26 March 2013

This band is one of the bands that makes me feel old. Not because I'm that old (I'm not!), and the band is not that old either, but because the first time I saw them was back in 2002 or 2003, cannot even remember the year, and at the time nobody knew them, or at least in Italy (a country where bands like Kings Of Leon are "alternative bands" and this gives you a rough idea of how behind is my native country), and they supported Interpol at that time. And here we are, after ten years, with less hair (for me), some extra kilos (again for me), and way grumpier than before. But since then, I always loved this band since their first album, and it have been on my gigs wishlist for a long time, as I never had a chance to photograph them until now.
But putting music on a side, how is to photograph them? Well, not supereasy, as there were alot of LED lights (did I already say that I hate them?), but still great. I have to work a bit more than usual with Lightroom, but at the end I had so many good shots that I had to leave some behind as I really didn't want to publish more than 40 shots, which is already too much for my opinion.
I was a bit concerned to find a not very nice surprise, AKA Photo Release, at my arrival in the venue, as Bloc Party is not exactly a that small band, even if they didn't play in an big arena, but fortunately they seems to treat well enough photographers, so it was just the usual 3-songs-no-flash.

So at the end, great gig to see, listen and photograph! And I hope you will like my "snaps" as well, enjoy :-)

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