Click here to see: Part 1 Best of 2013 Concert Photography by JB Brookman
The year continued, through the Summer, with the opportunity to cover one of my favorite bands… The boys from South Town in San Diego, and members of the Whosoevers, POD. Sonny Sandoval and the boys put on a show that is euphoric, loud and dynamic. Sandoval usually makes his way, into the crowd and I was ready for it, with a super wide angle lens, to capture the fans- packed up into the rafters. The House of Blues Sunset Strip is such a beautiful and detailed venue. It is really fun to photograph there- the photo pit is very small and cramped and in the thick of the energy. In fact, if you show up too close to the headliners show, you literally have to surf your way through the crowd to get up to the front! Bottom line… POD brings it!
Then there’s the moment when you end up in the perfect place at the perfect time and the flood lights come shining through Sonny’s fingers!
There is a certain buzz, that you feel, covering a concert at a sold out Staples Center. It doesn’t get bigger (in LA), brighter or more exciting than this venue. There always seems to be fantastic lighting. Taylor Swift played 4 sold out shows, on her Red Tour- helping Staples Center set a bunch of records. This was the second tour, in a row, that I got to cover Swift. This time around, we got put in the middle of the super-energetic crowd and had Taylor’s back turned to us, for our first song. This night took some serious anticipation and knowledge to make sure I got images that told the story. Taylor Swift is a consummate performer and you can tell that she truly loves every minute of being on stage. The “Swifties” come out, in force and it’s always a fun night to create!
Ed Sheeran was an awesome opener for TaySwee. Ed is one of the great young talents, in the industry. I first got to shoot Sheeran at the Palladium, opening for Snow Patrol. This year, he sold out the same venue, himself- and had an epic line of young girls, wrapping around the venue all day. This Brit is going to be around, for a long time…
My next show, was across town at the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip. I got to capture one of my favorite performers, Aaron Gillespie, with his band The Almost. We did an interview with the band, before the show. It was fun to be up in the dressing rooms, again- as I used to roadie for a few local LA bands, in the 80’s and 90’s who played there. Gillespie is an incredible solo worship performer, rocks the house with The Almost and is currently playing drums with Paramore. This was the second time covering The Almost- as they had played Creation Fest (near Seattle) two Summers ago. Shooting at the Roxy always stretches the limits of your camera equipment- as the lighting is dim and basic. But, it is always nice to have the Nikon D4, at your side- the best low-light camera body in existence.
The Santa Barbara Bowl season kept rolling along and I got a call from Central Coast Rocks, to cover the Rebelution and Matisyahu show. I was mesmerized by the image of the girl, on the Jewish rapper’s stage backdrop. I tried to create images that included her stunning face, peering out over the band.
Rebelution was playing on their home court at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The band has their roots, in the Coastland city and the crowd showed their love… Let’s just say it was super hazy, in the crowd, that night:)
That same week, one of the coolest shows of the year, rolled through Santa Barbara. Heart had just been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were touring with Jason Bonham and his Led Zeppelin Experience. We actually got three shoots out of the night as they let us shoot both bands and then come back out for the combined mega-band jam session! Ann and Nancy Wilson still bring it and their collaboration with Bonham on Zeppelin classics like Kashmir and Stairway To Heaven were off the chain!
On Labor Day, it was back to the Santa Barbara Bowl for a Jason Mraz benefit concert. The venue was packed, for this mid-day show. I had to be careful with the direct sun and harsh shadows, but Mraz made it easy to capture some great moments…
The next show was one of the coolest shoots, of the season- as Tegan and Sara opened for Fun. The sisters 7th studio album, Hearthrob, took them to the next level in their careers, this year. Fun front man Nate Ruess, is super exciting to photograph, as he goes careening around the stage while interacting with the crowd.
The Santa Barbara Bowl season simply would not quit. Up next was a co-headlining show with songstress Sara Bareilles and One Republic. Their management had the photographers shooting from back at the soundboard, but, it was a great chance to capture the majesty of a night at the Bowl- the best venue in Southern California. Between Bareilles and OR’s Ryan Tedder, this night featured two of the best songwriters in music. Definitely a night to remember in the SB!
One of the highlights of every Summer is the KJEE Summer Round Up, in Santa Barbara. Past years have featured up-and-comers Foster The People, Grouplove and The Naked And Famous. This year, the night showcased New Politics, Atlas Genius and the return of Blink-182. It was an epic night to shoot, as bands were break dancing, crowd surfing and flashing signs directly in the camera! On this night, I rotated between using my 70-200 lens and my 14-24 wide angle (which was especially useful, for artists jumping into the crowd!).
Blink-182 was back, with a vengeance. I remember seeing this band, on the Warped Tour, in the 90’s. They are always full of energy, comedy and perfectly packaged pop-punk tunes. In the past few years, the band has split up, to pursue many other endeavors. Tom DeLonge started Angels and Airwaves (got to cover them at the 91X Fest last year). Drummer Travis Barker did a ton of projects and barely escaped with his life, as he was in a horrific plane crash. It was truly great to see the band back together- having fun again. Their positive vibe made for some great images!
Note: I use the Nikon D4 camera with Nikor lenses and Transcend Memory Cards
CLICK HERE FOR PART 3 OF THE STORY OF MY CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY YEAR, 2013
JB BROOKMAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Also Serving Brentwood, Leiper’s Fork and the Nashville Areas
“My name is JB Brookman. I’m a rock star concert photographer who grew up shooting the biggest stars in the world. The stages and venues of Hollywood and LA used to be my home, but now I have made a home in the suburbs of Nashville and Franklin, Tennessee. Shooting Taylor Swift, U2, Elton John and Ed Sheeran is great, but my true passion is creating highly stylized, authentic and modern portraits of High School Seniors, making them feel like they are at the center of the stage.”
Additional Portfolio at: Family, Children, Headshots, Sports, Landscape, Commercial Photography JB Brookman Photography