I began August with a random, last minute Friday request to shoot legendary snooker player turned DJ Steve Davis for The Thin Air. My parents were visiting and staying in my apartment that weekend and were arriving off the train around the same time as I was needed for the shoot but I figured I could squeeze this in ahead of getting them. Steve was in Dublin to play a DJ set that weekend and began with a short set in All City in Temple Bar. There was free beer to be had but I had to miss out on that given my rush to get away. After his DJ set he went outside for a breather and an interview with Hotpress. In between being grabbed by other photographers and people looking to say hello I pulled him aside for the quickest of quick portrait shots in front of the store. The other photographers had him pose by a wall, or by the barber pole that can be seen above so at least I wasn't getting the same shot as everyone else. While I snapped this my dad was calling me on my phone. He's a big sports fan and would have been delighted to meet him.
The first gig of August was catching the return of Grandaddy in Vicar Street, shot for GoldenPlec. I first caught their reunion show at Electric Picnic in 2012, surprisingly this is only their fourth show since then. They had support from Limerick's Windings. Given my ties to Limerick I made sure to get there early to catch them in action.
Although it wasn't a completely sold out show, Grandaddy had a very enthusiastic crowd. I wasn't expecting the buzz that was there that night and though I'm a fan of the band, it elevated my excitement for their performance as their set went on. Shooting the show was ok, the pit was busy and tight to get around the other photographers. Jason Lytle's face was always half cast in shadow from his hat, and his synths and keyboards around him made it that bit extra awkward to try get great shots of him. Lighting was okay, not the best or worst and nothing that caused a huge amount of headaches. I knew the band wouldn't be lively or jumping around for me to get cool action shots, they're just not that type of band, so I was happy enough with the results.
The next gig of the month was the brilliant Warpaint, supported by Hilary Woods (ex jj72 bassist) in the National Concert Hall for The Thin Air. This was my first time visiting the NCH and I was amazed by the size and acoustics. I need to see more concerts there. Hilary was completely solo, with backing track and video backdrop creating a suitably ambient vibe to go with her music. I was very impressed with her performance.
In terms of shooting in the venue photographers are relegated to the sides and back of the hall since the front row seats leave no room for what would be usually the photo pit. I pretty much kept my 70-200mm lens on for the full night. The lights never changed so once I landed on my setting for the evening I never really had to modify it much.
I last saw Warpaint at Electric Picnic early into them touring their second album. The show was riddled with issues with their new additions of synths to the live mix. It looked like a frustrating show for them. This was a breeze in comparison. The band were a little thrown by the fully seated audience so by the third song got them all standing. They were great to shoot, the only pity was not having a photo pit to capture them the same way one can capture them the way other venues would allow. This was a small grievance since I wasn't exactly a 3Arena soundboard shoot distance away from the band. Until next time.
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