Wednesday was not a day that many people will remember fondly in years to come. Even if you were on the winning side of the ugly fight for the White House, it seems that we all lost a little something as a nation. Raising a four year old daughter in New York City has many challenges to begin with, so my hopes are that everything generally follows a fairly Centrist path and life goes on mainly the way we’ve known it. But in the meantime, we all need to find things other than our Social Media feeds like Twitter and Facebook or 24 hour cable news from MSNBC or Fox News.
But believe me, this blog post, like this blog is not about politics. This is about my images and the way I hope they make people feel like Rockstars onstage no matter who they are or what they do. With a good photograph, you can be transported to another time and place in much the same way that listening to an old Soul music record like Donny Hathaway Live can take you back to being a kid in your living room, listening to Dad’s albums. It’s that power of music to inspire, heal and always allow you to escape to someplace far away or long ago, which sends me off with my cameras at night in search of the next great shot.
I shoot for The Bowery Presents who promote many of the most interesting shows in and around New York City. When I saw last month that Steve Vai was bringing his Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary tour the the very intimate Town Hall, I knew this show was for me. As a small theater near Times Square, that is famous for its great acoustics, but also its very well-mannered performances, I expected to capture the show from the back of the room. I was very pleasantly surprised when Steve’s Tour Manager told me I could shoot from anywhere in the room. As Vai took the stage, I was on my knees in the center aisle directly in front to capture the guitar pyrotechnics up close. And between his fingers on his fretboard and the screen behind him, it was pure eye candy.
For most major performances, a concert photographer is only allowed to shoot the first three songs of the show. For bigger shows this means being ushered directly out of the building. On other nights, you have a ticket and are allowed to stay. With Sting not hitting the stage until 11pm for his late second show at Irving Plaza, I was able to stay and watch Vai’s show up until the encores. The man is truly a master of the six strings.
At 11pm sharp, Sting hit the stage at Irving Plaza for the album release party for 57th And 9th. It was his second performance of the evening. The show was sponsored by iHeart Media. He played a sixty minute set that mixed songs from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted The Police as well as his classic solo albums and his new release.
Popular music and politics have certainly mixed in the United States since the 1960s. But on this night, I was able to go out and just hear two men still performing at the top of their game, play some of their best songs. And in both cases, the audiences were lucky enough to catch them in intimate settings. For me, it was simply another night out loving what I do. And no matter what you think of the election, it still felt great to live in new York City and have the opportunity to shoot live music. That is one thing that I will always love about our country.