Bord Gais Energy Theatre

Pet Shop Boys: Bord Gais Energy Theatre by Aaron Corr

Pet Shop Boys

The Pet Shop Boys played two sold out nights in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre on September 5th.  I covered the first of the two shows for The Thin Air.  I honestly didn't think photo passes would be granted, I was told by another photographer that they denied them on their last visit.  I was allowed to shoot the first four songs, which gave me a chance to do two songs from each side of the theatre.  It was to be a Front of House shoot but there is no access to FOH due to the seating set up in the theatre.  

The band had good visuals in the background but the head-wear was a little distracting when trying to get a shot of them at the right time.  By the fourth song Chris Lowe removed his headpiece and this gave me a last minute or two to try and catch him in action.  At that stage they were lit by red lights which is never a favourite.  All in all it was another classic band added to my list of photographed bands, which is never a bad thing.

Brian Wilson: Bord Gais Energy Theatre by Aaron Corr

The Thin Air sent me to cover the legendary Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds show in Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin.  The show started early and, as I expected, I was not able to stay to take in the rest of the show which is a pity.  I won't let that bother me though, I did get to see him do the Pet Sounds show in Primavera last year and the early exit afforded me the opportunity to dive into another show that night, covered in the next blog.

As usual with BGET, three songs with no flash and from one side of the theatre.  They are not a dynamic band on stage, it's all about the performance of the songs and being faithful to the music.  This doesn't create any great variations with the shots I've got on the night but who cares, it's Brian Wilson and he may be retiring from touring soon.  The lighting was really good on stage which was great for shooting on a 70-200mm throughout.  I got to hear I Get Around during the shoot which was a nice touch.  I left the venue happy to have photographed the great man.

February In Photos by Aaron Corr

I began February with an Access All Areas for Fangclub's headline show in Whelans for GoldenPlec.  An AAA shoot involves a lot of hanging around while the band loads in, sound checks and hang out backstage.  It's always in the back of my head to keep out of the way as much as possible and give everyone their space to get on with their jobs, and not be in their face too much when it comes to down time backstage.  

I headed in just after the band loaded in and would snap away as they got the stage set up and sound-checked.  The lights on stage were looking impressive and there was a neat backdrop, both of which are rarities to see in a Whelans show.   For backstage shots I tried to use flash as little as possible.  The shot above of Steven and Kev on the couch was one of the only shots I used a flash for pre-gig.

The show itself was heavy on strobes, low lights and harsh red/purple lights.  It was the trickiest part of the shoot funnily enough, given the earlier light tests provided some cool shots.  The lights were now a trickier affair to get the band in the right light at the right time.  I made sure to make my way to the back of the stage to catch Steven crowd surfing during the final song.  I was very tempted to run out to the front of the stage to get a closer shot but as it is a small stage I didn't want to risk being in the way as he was thrust back on to it.  After the gig I finished the AAA with a shot of the three guys ready for some post-gig celebrations.

Sometimes there are gigs you get landed with on the day, the original photographer can't make it for one reason or another so you step in to help out.  Leading up to this show I had thought "Band of Horses would be an alright show to shoot", so luck was on my side courtesy of The Thin Air.  Vicar Street is a 5-10 minute walk from my apartment so I made my way up in good time before the band would take to the stage.  The lights beforehand were great looking but by the time they came on they took a dull turn and the smoke machine was turned on.  This turned it into a tougher shoot than I'd expected it to be but there are some shots that came from this that I'm delighted with, particularly of Ben Bridwell screaming into the microphone while the drummer's hair is swinging in the air behind him.  The first song is where the majority of my shots came from, the other two songs were pretty useless for lighting and a waste to shoot.

The Divine Comedy was a Sunday night gig.  I was in one of those lazy, hungover moods where it felt like a drag to have to go from the couch, walk the cold quays at night and make my way to Bord Gais Energy Theatre to shoot a show.  It was worth it though.  The venue restricts photographers to shoot from the side so the variety of shots is minimal which is a shame.  What made it worthwhile were the two spare seats that were beside me and another photographer as we shot the gig, so we sat down and enjoyed the set after the three song shoot.  I had no notions of staying since it's an all seated show and not something you can just blend into a crowd when done like other shows.  The set provided loads of nostalgic moments with songs I hadn't listened to in years.