Voodoo Experience 2014: Postscript

Returning to normal life after spending three days at a music festival is always rough. The music is what you have been living for and affects every decision you have made over the past weekend. Not to mention you feel like you have been in a 12 round prize fight by Sunday night. After the dust settles, and the laundry goes into the washing machine, you have the whole thing documented in pictures. Tons of them. Over the past few days I have been sorting through images of the different bands and festival goers trying to provide a glimpse of the whole experience.

AWOLNATION

AWOLNATION

The reason I got into photographing concerts and festivals was because I wanted to capture the energy of many of the not so well known bands and performers. Many festival goers will refer to them as the “undercard”, those gems you find from the top 3rd of the line-up on down. Those are the sets that I like to capture. So while many of my colleagues were heading to the main stage to capture the big names, I was often headed in the other direction to find one of those gems. I found three that were most memorable, World Inferno Friendship Society, March Fourth Marching Band, and ASTR. These were memorable sets and I wanted to capture the passion and intensity of the bands to at least generate some interest in them for those people that had never heard of them.

World Inferno Friendship Society

World Inferno Friendship Society

So, if you follow our exploits at various festivals, you know that I normally don’t shoot headliners. Sometimes its as simple as a lack of interest in them. Many festival headliners don’t really do it for me. However, this year’s edition of Voodoo Experience had some great ones. Outkast, Arctic Monkeys, and Foo Fighters are all great bands. I did not photograph Outkast because we had not only seen them before, but my partner in The Lost Sandal, Robbie Leggett had taken some great shots of  them at Hangout Fest. Arctic Monkeys was amazingly restricted, and I just didn’t want to get all involved in that. So, I took in the show.

Death From Above 1979

Death From Above 1979

The Foo Fighters were another story. I have seen them before and actually photographed their show at the now non-existent Deluna Fest. Always an amazing show, I was torn between wanting to capture “the shot” and just putting the camera away and enjoying the spectacle. Music is powerful and the images that music creates for us individually are much sharper than any picture. Robbie Leggett  always posts about “when the music is that good” with pics of people with goose bumps or the hair on their arms standing up. Don’t you agree? A song can take you back to a specific moment in time and recall images that are so sharp and generate real emotion.

March Fourth Marching Band

March Fourth Marching Band

So I debated. Unfortunately, if you are in the photo pit to shoot a band, you have the first 3 songs and then you’re out. While this generally creates no problem for me, I really didn’t want to have to crawl and stumble through throngs of people to find an acceptable place to catch the rest of the show. My son Gabriel kept telling me that I should put down the camera and just enjoy the experience. Gabriel and I have traveled a lot of festival miles together and so I took his advice. I am glad I did. I positioned myself early enough to have a great view up front of the stage and put the camera in my bag and took it all in. It was a two and a half hour blast and I realized how much I love some of those songs.

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