stage

St. Vincent: Olympia Theatre by Aaron Corr

After beginner her tour that week in the UK to rave reviews from critics, but mixed reviews from Twitter punters, St. Vincent returned to Ireland to play two shows in the Olympia Theatre.  Annie Clark was allowing photographers to shoot four songs in the middle of the show, catching her last two songs performed in the first set, and the first two songs of the second set.  This meant I got to take photos of her in two different outfits she wore for the show which mixed up the look of the whole photo set.

The feedback from the Dublin shows was phenomenal, the was no mixed reaction like in the UK to her appearing solo, there was no screams of "glorified karaoke".  The show highlighted how great a voice she has and even more so highlighted what an amazing guitarist she is.  Wielding her many coloured variations of her signature Ernie Ball guitar, she out shined many a guitar hero and put herself up there with the best.

For the first set she wore a pink PVC/leather outfit with knee high boots and sang from different areas of the stage for each song, sometimes barely visible from my vantage point in the crowd, hidden by speakers.  The lighting was a photographer's dream so when it came time to the shoot the lighting mixed between good strong lighting on Annie, to some strobes, low lights and light smoke. 

For the second set she worse the silver dress and the background was now giant screens.  My only gripe on that front was that, although the background colours and images were fantastic to use, the lines across the screen and moiré that would appear on the shots take a little bit away from the final result.  For the solid colour backgrounds I did contemplate giving it a bit of a blur to get rid of the effect but let them be since I couldn't do it for all of them.  While the results may be cooler from the last few tours with her band , I must say that overall this was one of my favourite shows to shoot, ever.

HMLTD: Workmans Club by Aaron Corr

I ran from Juanita Stein's show in The Grand Social and made my way in to Workman's Club (thanks to a Twitter win) and took some more photos for The Thin Air.  HMLTD are a band to be reckoned with.  A GoldenPlec colleague highly recommended them to many of us, saying the four shows he's seen (now five) were some of the best gigs he'd seen that year.  He described them to me as a mix of Fat White Family and Moonlandingz in terms of live spectacle.  

Technical glitches aside, they were brilliant and so much energy.  The half full venue all got into it and lapped it up.  There was no standing far back from the stage in embarrassment, everyone was up towards the stage jumping around.  With a pint in hand, I snapped a few pictures from my various vantage points and then took in the show.  Hopefully by the time they return they will have built a bigger audience to make it a gig to rival their English shows look.

Grizzly Bear: Vicar Street by Aaron Corr

My next October assignment was to shoot Grizzly Bear for The Thin Air.  Their support on the night was Liima.  The light was very tricky, lots of smoke and backlight, if any at all.  The camera had to battle pitch dark with the brightest white light when there was any usable light, a tricky combination at a gig with mixed results since you can often be left with what looks like a floating head.  

Thankfully the lighting for Grizzly Bear was better, particularly since they had a cool stage design with a wire mesh smokey/cloud look decorating the stage.  This was their first date of their European tour, and Ed Droste was in the crowd in Whelans the night before to see his friend, Jonny Pierce, at The Drums show, which I blogged about here.  Through Ed Droste's Instagram, it seems the band had a nice few days in Dublin ahead of the start of the tour.  It looks to be their best yet.

Ryan Adams: Olympia Theatre by Aaron Corr

I chose to shoot Ryan Adams first of two sold out shows in the Olympia Theatre quite last minute with GoldenPlec.  The opportunity was there for the taking.  I knew I’d have to sign a contract and shoot from the back of the venue, but recently I have been blitzing through Meet Me In The Bathroom by Lizzy Goodman in which he features a bit in, and I got the buzz to shoot his show regardless.  There isn’t much to say about shooting the show, I was at the back of the venue, reaching over the crowd’s heads and mobile phones, stood on the vacant wheelchair access ramp and stayed there for 95% of the three song shoot.  The light was dull on him, no doubt because of his condition,  Ménière's disease.  The saving grace to shooting from that far back at least was taking in more of his amazing set design, made up of televisions and giant Fender amplifiers. 

Check out the full set of photos here.