Indie rock legend, Hozier, played to a full house at the Santa Barbara Bowl last week. The show was definitely one of the season's best. Little Green Cars opened the night's performance. I shot both acts from the photo pit, which was as tight as ever. Luckily there were only a few photographers. The stage was simple but the music was great.
See the whole photo gallery on sbbowl.com/photos.
Alabama Shakes has their own, special kind of blues. Lead singer, Brittany Howard, is about as unique as it gets. She's young, confident and talented and can belt out a hell of a bluesy scream, while jamming away on her six string. It was a pleasure shooting them and the opening act, Chicano Batman. Batman has coopted blues and given it a funky twist. I really enjoyed shooting, watching and listening to them both.
Shooting was in the photo pit, restricted to the first three songs. Lighting was good, utlizing warm yellows against a bright blue backdrop. See the whole gallery on sbbowl.com/photos.
On the heels of a new album, Incubus put on another great concert of their own brand of indie, hard rock. As always, their light show was a significant part of their performance. This year, the lighting on the artists was a little dimmer and more challenging to photograph than in years past. I think this was my third time shooting them, and I had some good opportunities from the photo pit, but I was restricted to the sides only.
See the entire gallery on sbbowl.com/photos.
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals returned to the Bowl for an anxious crowd. Gill Landry opened the show. The lighting was bright, brilliant and colorful, making for some great photography. I shot from the photo pit for the first three songs, acquiring plenty of great shots.
Checkout the full gallery on sbbowl.com/photos.
Indie rockers, Death Cab for Cutie are a favorite of Santa Barbara. I've seen them at the Santa Barbara Bowl now three times and once at the Arlington Theatre, and they never fail to please. Lead singer, Ben Gibbard, is a musical genius, also the principal of Postal Service, who played at the Bowl last year. Opening the show was Best Coast.
I was able to shoot the show from the photo pit, but it was about as tight as I've ever seen it. To make matters worse, there were a dozen photographers squeezed in there like sardines, making it pretty much impossible to move around once you picked out a spot. Gibbard always seems to have lots of mic stands in front of him to amplify his myriad of instruments, so this show was particularly challenging for me. Additionally, the lighting was mostly hot red or hot, black-light blue, which makes for undetailed images unless they're converted to grayscale. I did leave a few of these in color to show the brilliance.
Anyway, check out the full gallery at sbbowl.com/gallery.
Indie jam rockers, My Morning Jacket, put on a phenomenal show at the Santa Barbara Bowl this year. After having seen them for the first time only a couple years ago, I knew to prepare for a mind-blowing performance. Hair-flipping guitarists, Jim James and Carl Broemel put on a photograph spectacle that didn't let me down.
Fruit Bats opened the show, also jamming away to a small, but captive audience. I had a chance to shoot them at Soho during the New Noise Festival a couple years back, and they sounded even better with a big sound system.
See the whole gallery on sbbowl.com/photos.
Neil Young and his new band, Promise of the Real, played the Santa Barbara Bowl to a sold out crowd. The show was excellent, save for the significant amount of political preaching, which was even considerable for a Neil Young concert. I got to shoot the first three songs from the sides of the photo pit, and had to share a tiny space with lots of other photographers. Only Neil was on stage for my duration, playing one song on a beat-up piano, and two on an acoustic guitar. There were lots of camera stands on stage and four mic stands, all creating a difficult obstacle course.
While the photography might not have been my best opportunity, the camera production was fantastic, projected on two large screens for the whole venue to see. "Down by the River" was mind-blowing and was followed by a few more late songs, pushing the boundaries of Santa Barbara noise curfew: the show went until 10:38pm. Neil was begging for martyrdom in this rebel tour, also handing out illegally transported sprouted seeds to the crowd. He actually dared the police to come arrest him.
Since the photos are restricted from use on this website, you'll have to shoot on over to the Bowl's website to see the gallery here.
Busting out their foot-stomping brand of indie folk and bluegrass, the Avett Brothers returned for the second time to the Arlington, and third time to Santa Barbara in just a few short years. Shooting conditions were difficult, only because I had to shoot over the heads of the energetically-dancing crowd, who spilled out into the aisles while I was trying to squeeze in a shot here and there.
The Avetts have a very loyal following, and it was a privilege to be able to hang around to watch most of the performance, brought here by UCSB Arts & Lectures. See the photos and read the article on thearlingtontheatre.com here.
Arcade Fire quickly sold out their show at the Bowl. Their Reflector tour was highlighted by a beautifully creative backdrop of shiny reflective panels, which was cleverly raised and lowered through the show. Shooting was difficult as their was a stairway that rose from the floor, up to the stage, and all of us photographers were restricted to a single small space near it. The band came out wearing giant, parade-style masks and costumes. The stage was definitely a spectacle to see, and during the third song, there was a blast of confetti, which covered the crowd.
See the gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com
This was really a cool show to shoot. The stage design was very unique, resembling, ostensibly, a busy street in Hong Kong. I got some great shots from the photo pit, but TheWeeknd images are restricted, so you'll have to visit the Bowl's website to see them.
Opening the show was D.J. Anna Lunoe, who was smiling from ear-to-ear between deep concentration moments. She was followed on stage by Banks, a very confident girl with a very unique sound.
See the gallery on sbbowl.com