30 Jun '15
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Black Stone Cherry @ The Academy

I said it in the past, and I'll say it again: you never fail with metal bands. Even if I knew just a couple of songs, when I saw there were going to play in the Academy, I just put my name down to request the pass, as I knew it was going to be a cracking gig to photograph. And guess what, I was right.
The Academy recently went under a new management, which decided to spend some money to renew that venue, which with the previous promoter was let down a bit, mostly because they had bigger venues and I guess they didn't care much of that place. Now the Academy it can be a really good venue to see and photograph gigs, and this gig showed all the potentials in my opionion.
I don't think the band itself brought any lights, and I think they just used the venue lights, but there were brilliant. And the band itself was a brilliant band to photograph, really dynamic on stage, and it was a pleasure to shoot this show, really good live band and I totally recommend to go to see them.
Anyway, as usual you can find some of the best photos down here, while on my flickr account you can find a beefy photo set of 59 (!!!) photos.
Black Stone Cherry

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26 Feb '15
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The Afghan Whigs @ The Academy

The Afghan Whigs is one of those bands that I've heard the name about a billion of times, for one reason or another, but I probably know two songs of them. Statistically the ratio of how many times I've heard a song by them with the times I've heard someone else mention their name is somewhere around 1 to 265. So, even if I didn't know this band well, something inside me told me to go, and for some reason I listened to the inner Alessio, even if I realized over the years that sometimes I should just reply to him with "shut the f£$k up".
And probably this one was one of those times.
Bear in mind, that the band was great, if I were just a punter I would not be disappointed by the band performance, but the problem is that I'm not just a guy who paid money to see his favourite band, but I'm a photographer.
And as a photographer, I was really pissed off. But like a lot. Why you asking? Two words: "NO PIT".
While sometimes it's cool to photograph from the crowd, most of the times it's just a pain in the hole, as you are simply stuck there, you have to fight and annoy the crowd, and some people doesn't really take it well, and you see other very depressed photographers with the same deep sadness in their eyes, or at least the most of us. And being stuck in one place, trying to avoid people heads to end up in the frame it's very frustrating, and honestly I don't really see any big advantages on that decision. Maybe the band didn't want to have anyone in the pit, but in that case why you simply not allow photographers? Why, dear artist, you need to piss them off?
Without mention the lights, which were quite crappy, and I had to crank up the ISO to 6400 most of the time, which is kinda grand with the 6D (that's why it's cool to have a full frame sensor), but not exactly ideal.
Anyway, the mix of no pit and bad lights made me so angry that night that I left after 2 songs, I didn't even bother to stay for the last song I was allowed to shoot, and I waited two days before developing the photos.
I even waited a while before writing this post because I wasn't sure to publish the photos, which overall they are not that bad, but they kinda are all the same (boring).
So, down here, some of the "best photos", while if you really see some bad photos from me or you are a fan of the band, you can find here the full set.

 

The Afghan Whigs

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30 Nov '14
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Mastodon @ The Academy

I don't listen to Metal music as I used to do when I was younger (much younger), over the years I started to prefer other different genres, but occasionally I still listen to a few metal bands (especially the album No More Tears by Ozzy Osbourne, after all these years I still think is one of the best metal albums written in history, if not the best), and one of them is Mastodon. Also as a music photographer I know that metal gigs they rarely let you down in terms of performance of the show, especially lights. You probably get the best out of Glam-rock/metal bands, or guitar heroes, people with a huge ego essentially, where it's as bright, or brighter, than pop acts.
So when I saw they were coming to play in Dublin I didn't think twice before asking for a photo pass, as you can easily imagine.
And more or less they didn't really disappointed me, they really are a great live band and I guess you could hardly find a disappointed fan in the extremely packed venue.

 

Mastodon

 

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12 May '14
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Wallis Bird @ The Academy

I met Wallis Bird an year and half ago, as I have to take a portrait of her for the Choice Music Prize, she was probably the nicest person I photographed that day, and since then I really wanted to see her live, as I think she is a really talented artist, so for these obvious reasons I couldn't ignore her gig in The Academy, so I asked for the pass (possibly my last photo pass in The Academy, but that's another story).
I thought she was good, but I was wrong, in fact she is fantastic, really a great performer and she surpassed my best expectations! And she is a tornado on stage, which made my job a bit more difficult, but at the same time I could catch some fantastic photos of her. Light-wise, as she didn't bring any additional lights, and only venue lights were used, it showed again how this venue could be a really good one for photographers if the lights are well used. The gig was well lit from the very start and honestly I can't complain, so add a very good looking and very dynamic artist on stage, with good lights, and the result is a really good gig to see and photograph.
As usual down here you can find some of the best photos I took that night, while here on flickr you can find the full set.

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06 May '14
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Clean Bandit @ The Academy

The initial reason I shot this band was simply to have another chance to test the Fuij X-T1, but after Ham Sandwich full gig in the pit I didn't really need to do any more tests as I was pretty with what I got, but I had the pass already approved and I went anyway. To be  honest I didn't know the band, and they are not exactly my cup of tea, but their live performance was pretty good, but I don't really want to give you a music review, as far I could see if you like their music they were great, if not, you should ask to yourself why you wanna see these guys, but that's a pretty much obvious general rule.
Anyway, to shoot them was pretty good, as they are a pop band, they had plenty of lights on stage, even if only the venue lights were used for this gig, no extra/fancy lights from the band. But as I said before, the Academy has a decent light system, and if it's well used you can get great shots, if not it can be a nightmare, and while many photographers complain that they often get 'shitty' lights in that venue, I think the venue it's not to blame, but simply that some artists want a "dark" show on purpose.
Anyway, as per standard, down here you can find some of the best shots I took that night, while here on flickr you can find the full set.

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