If you look through this blog you will see that the majority of concerts I’ve photographed have primarily been rock acts, in which I have been trying to broaden the scope of artists in my portfolio. This show from last week was a good one for me to add into the mix.
Jazmine Sullivan is what I would describe as a R & B artist plan and simple. She has a voice and stage presence that just resinates and she must have a fairly big following. The show was sold out and from the first song that she played people in the audience were singing along note for note. I was happy to cover the show and highly suggest you check this artist music out, especially if you are a fan of Soul or Rhythm & Blues.
No matter what your stance on men dressing in drag is, you can not deny the iconic status RuPaul has earned in pop culture. RuPaul has built his career from the ground up starting out as a “drag queen” type performer, having countless national appearances in film and TV, and now even having his own reality TV show on LOGO TV! It is evident RuPaul has been at the forefront of the movement that has brought drag performers to the attention of the general public and helped them gain the social acceptance for the art form in which they perform in live theatre settings across the country. This evening was really fun to photograph. A lot of costume changes happened and there was a lot of movement on stage, as well as some fun involvement with the crowd when every performer took stage. The evening was hosted by Michelle Visage and included performances from Drag Race stars such as Adore Delano, Bianca Del Rio, Detox, Ivy Winters, Jinkx Monsoon, Alaska 5000, and Sharon Needles. The crowd was very into it and included everything from groups of gay men to groups of single women who had been out drinking all day in celebration of St. Pat’s Day. I was happy to have the opportunity to cover this show and now can add my first ever drag show to my portfolio!
In celebration of the glorious feeling that “hump day” brings to all of us that work Mon-Fri 9-5’s, I figured I’d post something to gear everyone up for the weekend that is ahead of us! With the temperature becoming warmer it seems everyone is bursting at the seams to get outside. In mid-January in celebration of my wife’s birthday we took an overnight trip to Bowling Green, Kentucky which turned out to be such an awesome getaway! At only 4 hours from St. Louis, MO it is an ideal destination for all of you road dogging weekend warriors out there. Below are a few things that made this weekend awesome!
1) Lost River Cave Tour: Coming from Missouri, a fellow cave state, I came to Kentucky expecting to see things much like Onondaga or Meramec Caverns but I was introduced to some caves that were much different.
Lost River is a cave that actually floods throughout the year, in fact they have built a damn to hold water in it all year round. This allows them to have the unique quality of giving their tour via a boat ride. This was awesome and was a very different way to experience a cave. There was not much growth in the cave but what formations they did have were great to few as the boat cursed you by.
2) Mammoth Cave State Park: This is a U.S. National State Park that offers visitors multiple different tour options and lets you explore parts of what has been deemed the longest cave system in the world. You should go in knowing that this cave system is more vast than what you can explore in one visit, that being said each tour is catered to give you different levels of exploration. They have the largest rooms of any cave system in the world and it is totally worth seeing, me and the woman will be going back there to see more in the future!
3) Corsair Distillery: Unfortunately I was a major idiot and forgot my camera at the hotel, so all I have is a photo taken after the fact. Nevertheless this is a great distillery to check out in Bowling Green, which is also part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail that you can try to accomplish as well. Corsair is unique with everything from whiskey, absinthe, rum, and vodka to try. The tasting/tour is very reasonable and done in small groups. I came home with a smoked bourbon that pairs fantastically with a cigar!
These three points are just a handful of things to do in Bowling Green. We went down early on a Saturday morning and came back Sunday evening, but we really wished we would have had an extra day or two. There are some awesome local eateries in town, like The Mellow Mushroom, that will also make your stay even more enjoyable. By the way we did this trip in January because cave’s stay a consistent temperature all year round, which makes touring one ideal no matter what time of the year it is. Enjoy the pics and get out and explore!
Last Thursday I was able to photograph a band that I completely forgot I had already shot years prior. To start my evening off I felt like a total idiot as I had been looking forward to this show for weeks thinking it was “Drag The River” I was going to see and not Dry The River, but nevertheless it was a great indie rock show. As I got to the venue and the band took stage I immediately realized that I had photographed this band a few years ago at Lollapalooza 2012. I remembered this as the vocalist has this very erie way of staring out to the crowd, like he is looking through every single person his eyes make contact with. The Duck Room also served as a great place to see this act, whom are accustomed to playing much bigger rooms. The audience was also vey excited and it was not very packed, which that lead to some great candid moments. One in particular was when the band got done playing a song in their set and a fan hollered out, “Fuck that was awesome! Don’t know about you all but I felt that shit, I mean damn, that was intense. Yes!”. It was pretty cool to hear and it made the band chuckle, in fact Dry The River had a lot of emotion conveyed through the construction of their songs. If you missed the show you missed seeing a very successful indie band in an intimate setting, so be on the look out for this band the next time they are on a festival lineup or playing a city near you.
Elvis Costello is defiantly an artist that was on my bucket list, the man is a legend. This past Monday evening was very special as it was a “Solo & Acoustic” Tour which only really featured him, as he played numerous different guitars and the piano through his set. Elvis is one of those artists with such a die hard cult following and who has such a legendary presence in music history, that I’m sure he is on many people’s bucket lists to see live. He was very charming and conversational with the crowd, which made his set have a great flow. He was very entertaining and I left knowing that I had a task ahead of me, which was to go home and dig deeper into this man’s 35+ year long career. He will be back in town with a full band in the Summer with non-other than the mighty Steely Dan, that will also be a show to not miss as well!
Photographing DJ’s are generally not my thing but Steve Aoki is like the freaking rockstars of “spinners” out there. His stage presence and engagement level with the crowd was amazing! From giant robot looking characters that sprayed out a layer of “smoke” across the audience, to countless confetti bursts, to amazing laser show type lighting, and to having an arsenal of cakes to throw at people in the audience…it was hard to keep track of everything going on around you. Did I mention people rafted across the audience as well?
Totally check a Steve Aoki show out if the opportunity presents itself, regardless of your musical tastes, you will love every minute of it!
This show was a big deal for me and it was at a great little venue in town, which I’m referring to The Duck Room at Blueberry Hill Restaurant. I have several musicians on my bucket list to photograph and Mr. Kowalczky is certainly on there, being one of the most influential frontmen to come out of the 90’s! Unfortunately Live disbanded in 2009, so seeing and hearing Live songs in concert will never be the same. Although this show in particular was to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the release of Live’s most critically acclaimed album, Throwing Copper. It was an all acoustic evening and Ed’s voice was like a fucking bell, clear as it was on the recording I first heard as a high school student back in the mid-90’s. I missed the intensity of the full band performing but Ed delivered a tremendous performance with a VH1 Storytellers type vide, which I completely dug! Do yourself a favor and catch Ed Kowalczyk on this tour if it passes through a city nearest you!