This could be titled “My dream job” or “The best weekend ever,” but covering a 2-day festival is tiring! It’s extremely rewarding, especially when I downloaded my pictures and sat with glee as I flipped through them, reliving my fantasy.
Day 1: It was already a hot, humid day and I’d slathered on about 2 tons of sunscreen and was clad in my dorky sun-hat, since my skin doesn’t tan; it burns. I didn’t let any of that get to me – I had a ton of bands I wanted to cover in just 2 days! Among the first day acts I checked out:
The Guru: They’d been an opening act at The Space for “River City Extension” and I was impressed with their skill and energy on the stage – and these are teenagers! One bombfest concert-goer said it right: They listen to a lot of “Modest Mouse.” I hadn’t thought about it until after I saw their set again this weekend, and he’s probably right. But that shouldn’t keep you from seeing them live; they’re an energetic, entertaining bunch.
Titus Andronicus: I’d heard their stuff before and was not disappointed when I saw them live. They embody everything that I like in a band – punk ethic, rough vocals, and energy. Oh, and they’re something GOOD to come out of New Jersey. I hope to see more of them:
Heirlooms: A local CT act that I’ve already had the opportunity to shoot (video) with Rabbit Ears Media, and they’re a regular at coffeeshops around the Hartford area.
Real Estate I decided to check out this band on the recontamination of my cousin, who was also in attendance at bombfest. They were a little too mellow for my taste, but then again, I haven’t fully grown out of my angry punk/hardcore music phase yet.
Health: What can I say? I’m really used to shooting thrashy hair/headbanging bands (as evidenced by pages upon pages of metal acts in my flickr account. So this was a lot of fun for me, since there was an ABUNDANCE of light, since it was still early in the day.
Eskmo: I was looking forward to seeing Eskmo because of his evokative youtube videos and because DJ’s aren’t easy to shoot, usually. But I wanted to find a way to make it interesting. I found out at the show that he’s a Connecticut-native! Go figure!
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: Wow. This was a tough set to shoot. The lighting was awkward, and I wound up with a TON of pictures that had major lens flare. I tried to find ways to make it work in some pictures, but overall I wasn’t happy with photos from this set. Here’s one picture that was the calm of the light storm, so to speak:
Weezer: I saw and shot Weezer back in 2009 and it was one of the most amazing times of my life. I started shaking when he played The Sweater Song while I was in the pit. So, on this second go-round, I was at least able to keep my cool when he did about the same 3 songs as my previous show. I did, however, act like a teenage girl in the crowd when he busted out with “Say it Ain’t So” and Blue Album b-side “Suzanne.”
Bombfest day 1 was exhausting but incredibly enjoyable. I kept bumping into co-workers:Bettina Hansen, and Eric Danton and Tanner Curtis (our new photo intern) from the Courant. I also saw Freesia Singngam and Julie Stagis. Between the lot of us, we kept adding to the #bombfest hashtag on twitter and none of us wanted the weekend to end!
One of the best things about covering an event like this is the camaraderie of other photographers. It was a mixed bag and you never know who you’re going to meet. I was covering this show for my friend Mary of They Will Rock You, a photographer that I’d met at a Blink 182/Weezer concert back in 2009, and I started shooting for her once I felt like my skills were worthy of her amazing site. She introduced me to a friend of hers (via twitter) who would be covering Bombfest, and I ended up hanging out with the two great (and talented) photographers behind From The Photo Pit. I also met a wonderful girl who works for XL Records and gets to follow Titus Andronicus around on tour. How AWESOME does that job sound? Besides that, it was awesome to see Bettina at work, since I’ve always admired her photos greatly.
Day 1 in summary: By the end of Weezer’s set, I was so totally exhausted, but still pumped for day 2. It was totally worth the tiredness to be able to see so many great bands, many of which I hadn’t heard of until I knew I’d be covering the event.