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Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Big Sur, April 15, 2012

It is a rare and amazing thing to be able to stand in a clearing in the redwoods in Big Sur, look up and see the stars burning bright above me, then look forward and see musicians who I believe to be among the greatest of my generation performing on an outdoor stage, projections flickering on a screen behind them, light bouncing into the trees surrounding them. The Godspeed You! Black Emperor show on April 15 at Fernwood campground in Big Sur was flawless, moving and beautiful. These photos don’t come close to capturing what it was like to be there, but do suggest a bit of what it looked like.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Big Sur, April 15, 2012 Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Big Sur, April 15, 2012 Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Big Sur, April 15, 2012 Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Big Sur, April 15, 2012 Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Big Sur, April 15, 2012
The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt

Costumes were handed out before the show. The drummer wore a hat covered in blue lights. The audience was pulled in close and became part of the show. We were taught the words and sang along. During a rare serious moment, we all took a knee. Soon after, a parachute was presented and we all gathered under it, a purple room erected inside of the dirty bar hosting the show. Seventeen minutes after if began, the whole mess ended with a mass sing-a-long: “We’re alive! We’re in love! We’ve got hope, just because!” The two guys who were The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! that night had to make way for two more bands during a five-band set on a Sunday night at The Jury Room in Santa Cruz, California. My friends and I decompressed in the parking lot, wishing we could drop everything and follow them on tour.

When done right, a great rock show can leave you feeling better about the world and your place in it. The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! did it right.

Town Crier band San Jose

I was hired recently to do some band photography for San Jose rockers Town Crier. They’ve got a new self-produced EP coming out soon and needed some band portraits to go along with it. During an initial meeting over beers at our local pub Trials, we decided to go with a simple, dramatic one-light approach (having meetings that involve beer is one of the definite benefits of doing music photography). We also made time for some quick headshots and a scene in one of the band members’ personal bar.

Town Crier band San Jose Town Crier band San Jose

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