I had seen Alabama Shakes before and thought it was a great, if very short show (they did only have the one, not very long album at that time to be fair). I didn’t have expectations to stay as I was tired and hadn’t listened to the new record yet. However once I was in and shooting, Brittany’s stage presence hit me and I decided to stay on a bit to hear some more. They were brilliant and, like many have said to me since, the new songs are even better than the old. It was a fine show to shoot, the rest of the band don’t do much on stage so it was mainly Brittany I focused on, particulary since the background band members were lit with far lower light.
After seeing the crowd’s reaction to Years and Years at Longitude during the Summer I figured it would be worth my while shooting them. The crowd in the Olympia were young and hyper. Olly Alexander is a good frontman to shoot too, he wanders the stages, reaches out to the crowd, he knows how to work them. The lights were a pain to edit in post-processing but it’s worth it for some of the shots I got from the show. The unfortunate element was that us photographers were kicked out too early during our three song allocation due to confusion among security so there may have been some cool photos to get in that time we missed out on.
Eagles of Death Metal had two support bands when they played in Dublin. I missed the first, a young Cavan band called The Whereabouts that are like the Strypes. “How original” I thought. From what I heard I missed a belter and some great photo opps as the singer was playing it up for whoever was there shooting the show. That could have been interesting so I’ll remember this for the next time I see they are playing. White Miles were the second act of the night, and I got in for them. They are an Austrian duo, with guitar and drums. The stage was big for that amount of people to be at the polar opposite sides as each other. Most times when I would be focusing to take a shot of the singer, she would run over to the drummer to rock out. By the time I made it over there she would move away again. What didn’t help was the amount of monitors in the way. I’ve no doubt better shots were there for the taking if only the stag wasn’t so high, made trickier with the sheer amount of monitors.
I've written about this show and what came next for the band in Paris in a previous blog so I will just say that this was a joy to photograph and a really fun show. They've always been a band I love to catch, even if it is on rare occasions.
And now for something a little different. The one show I went to that I wasn't shooting at, but to enjoy as a punter was U2. I had only seen them once before at the first of their two headline shows at Slane. It was amazing. I couldn't let the opportunity go without taking my little point and shoot and getting something to remember the night from my vantage point. I'm not the biggest U2 fan. I didn't try get tickets when they went on sale, I only got them in the days leading up to the gig. I'm so glad I did now. I do love the older singles but never an album listener nor do I care for much of their later output, but it was an incredible show. The visuals were fantastic and I loved how the band interacted with them, like Bono walking down memory lane, the street he grew up on. For a gig over two hours in length there is the fear that boredom would kick in at some point but it never did. The band proved why they are the biggest band in the world and still are deserving to be on top.