All in Concert Photography
The latest live music shooting was in a two day event organized in the Ilion Plus venue in Athens, by Merlin’s Music Box.
Merlin’s Music Box originally was –and, in a real sense, still is- a fanzine publishing its first issue in October 1989 and closing its printed cycle in 1995, after a total of 26 issues. It was reactivated in the Spring of 2014, this time in an electronic form, through social media and its own website. As with the original printed version, the main purpose of the –now electronic- fanzine is the presentation of groups and artists mainly from –but not limited to- the Rock genre.
Shooting live music comprises a significant percentage of my photography. It is also a style I enjoy a lot, both as a photographer and as a musician myself.
Thought the years I have used a number of cameras in this discipline and have grown to demand a number of features and level of performance in order to make my life easier; and also more enjoyable. Shooting with Fuji exclusively for quite some time now, I already posted about my first all-Fuji concert photography experience a few months ago. Now with the advent of the X-T2, I guess it was time to evaluate the camera in this environment. Which I did shooting this music festival, and there is where you can check out photo samples too (also all photos in this post are from that concert and the X-T2).
This is not the usual concert shooting; I mean, it was a concert, and a bloody good one at that, but the purpose goes deeper than just passing a great evening listening to exciting Rock bands.
As you may, or may not, know, Greece continues to be in a state of deep financial and humanitarian crisis, for the last few years. As a result, many people have found themselves in a limited social security status, often having trouble with much needed medicine. The unexpected flow of refugees during the last couple of years, which, naturally, are uninsured and in need of much help, made things even more difficult.
During my recent visit to Sweden, I had the pleasure to attend and shoot at a private “underground” music club. The performer, Oscar, was playing old-time acoustic Blues. Being addicted to the Blues myself, both as a musician and a listener, it was practically impossible to decline the invitation.
Blues For Peace is a global movement started by Michael Packer (Blues Hall of Fame, New York). Concerts, put on throughout the world over the last weekend of May with the goal of raising the awareness of peace. The project is a world-wide event which took place on May 27-30 (Memorial Day weekend, USA) and sanctioned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR.
"May the gods stand between you and harm, in all the empty places you must walk"
I have a confession to make: I never trusted an artist that had it easy with their lives.
I have always had a soft spot, as well as tremendous respect, for people walking through darkness, fighting through disasters and enduring through despair. People never admitting defeat and never betraying their own value. Beautifully broken people.
Which makes it rather natural that I absolutely adore the incredible singer, songwriter and performer commonly known as Beth Hart.
A couple of days ago, I had the pleasure of shooting a live concert dedicated to the memory of a famous Greek urban folk music singer (a genre of music know as "laiko" in Greece). The venue (Passport ) was great, as well as the sound and performances and I really enjoyed it.
What made this job special was that I decided to test, in real life conditions, my most recent acquisition for the Fuji-X system: the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 lens.
A little while ago I shot a great local blues band, which also happen to be good friends and comrades of mine, Daddy's Work Blues Band. They played the Half Note Jazz Club, a fairly large and one of the most well known clubs in Athens, where also several famous international artists have appeared through the years.
One major reason I like watching bands like "Daddy's", is that these guys are the proverbial working class heroes. That means, especially as far as the Blues is concerned, they definitely don't fake it. They live it through and through.
I particularly enjoy listening to live music in small clubs. There is an intimacy and connection you rarely experience in larger venues, not to mention people attending such events are usually much more conscious of the music they are listening to. On the flipside, it is damn difficult to shoot under these conditions! Lighting usually sucks, space is ultra limited and you have to strive to find good shooting angles. Nevertheless, it can still be fun and rewarding.