Top 5 concerts of 2009

2009 is the year that I got my first DSLR and when I started doing concert photography. I went to dozens of shows this year, some with better results than others. In order, here are the shows I had the most fun shooting: 5. Dashboard ConfessionalNew Found Glory – December 11th New Found GloryNothing beats a GOOD acoustic show and it was amazing for my first year of shooting to come full-circle and New Found Glory was the first band I got a pass for. Plus, I traveled to NYC for this show, met a ton of really nice photographers. It was an extra sweet pat on the back that I was able to score this photo pass without the backing of a publication. Hell yea. 4. Blink 182Weezer –  August 29 Weezer I wanted to see Blink 182 and Weezer equally and they put on such an amazing show. Granted, I stopped following Blink after their self-titled and they played a lot of new songs, it was still a fun show. Pretty lucky that this show actually happened at all, since this was 2 days after DJ AM died, and Blink was pretty broken up about it, even going so far as to have a moment of silence during the show. Weezer was incredible as I got to shoot during The Sweater Song, something I will never forget. And Rivers was so animated throughout the set that it was a photographer’s dream. 3. Mayhem Fest – August 8 BehemothIf there’s one lesson I learned this year, it was during Mayhem Fest. It can be TIRING to be a photographer. 8 hours of almost non-stop shooting, shoving my way through crowds, and yes, getting fake blood spit on me, was quite an experience. By the end of the day, every muscle in my body was sore and I could barely move. I did get to meet Nadine of Musician Photo Journal, who I have since begun working with, shooting and writing reviews for her site. 2. Nassau Chainsaw – May 9 Nassau ChainsawNassau Chainsaw was perhaps one of the craziest experiences I will ever shoot in my entire life. I had seen some of their videos on their myspace page but I had no idea that I would be witnessing a freak show in conjunction with their show at the small, unassuming Atlantic Nightclub in Springfield Mass. I didn’t get to post all the pictures as some were quite graphic, with nudity and blood. Suffice to say, if you check out their myspace page, you’ll likely understand why I wasn’t able to post all of it. I was actually in harm’s way during many of these shots and it was incredible. 1. New Found Glory – April 29 This will always have a special place in my heart as my first photo pass. I had so much adrenaline rushing through my veins, and considering it was also my first time seeing New Found Glory, I will definitely never forget this show. It helps that bassist Ian Grushka kept posing for the camera. Biggest letdowns:Lacuna Coil –  November 14 My first time shooting a female rocker turned out to be one of my harder shoots. Angles that tend to work out nicely for their male counterparts were very unflattering on Cristina. I was very disappointed in myself in not getting enough good shots of one of my favorite bands. I learned soon after this show that it’s ok to max the ISO on my little 50D. Sometimes its better to up the ISO than to not get the shot at all. Brand NewGlassjaw Ok, from a photographer’s standpoint this was a tough show to shoot. For Brand New, the lighting was very unpredictable, and tended to shoot out in bright white spots. Singer/guitarist Jesse Lacey was permanently fixed behind a dual microphone setup which made decent angles very limited. The plus to their set was that the first 3 songs were some of the longest ones, which stretched out my time in the photo pit. Glassjaw Glassjaw was THE most anticipated show of the year. I couldn’t sleep for weeks when I first heard they were back together, much less TOURING again. I was a wreck the day of the show and was running on pure adrenaline and basically crashed by the time I got home. Glassjaw is literally one of my FAVORITE bands of all time. Glassjaw and Lostprophets tend to fight for first position in my list of bands, and I never know who wins out. This was one of the TOUGHEST shoots, mainly because lighting was basically non-existent and the majority of the set was spent with all band members huddled in a circle, facing the back of the stage. Despite all of these factors against me, one of my amazing shots of Daryl remains the most viewed image on my flickr account. iwrestledabearonce – December 10thThere are no pictures of iwrestledabearonce. This was one of my more anticipated shows of the year, and I didn’t get to shoot. Why? I made a rookie mistake. Well, a few of them.

1. I didn’t charge both batteries. 2. The spare battery I did have, fell out of my bag and into the crowd

Sigh…Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t shoot this band. I asked of the other photographers, in vain, if they could spare a battery for this set. I won’t make this mistake again. My next purchase will be a battery grip.

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