I started bringing my camera with me when I went to my third concert, Day on the Green #6, September 20, 1975, I was 13 years old. I went to my first concert, The Rolling Stones' Tour of the Americas in Chicago, July of that same year. My older cousins found an extra ticket for me and my love of performance began. The very first image I saw of Mick Jagger that night waving a bottle of Jack Daniels from the top of the Lotus Stage, before it even opened , is printed in my mind like a photograph.
Thank God Annie Leibovitz was on the job. The tour program (I have it somewhere) was full of her photographs. Those images were my first peek behind the scenes, specifically Rock n' Roll, but those images, mostly B&W took you somewhere a mere human couldn't go.
So, I never grew up. I really enjoy going to concerts and bringing my camera. I hope these images shine a light on things others may have missed. The fleeting moments of joy and commitment that one could miss for a multitude of reasons.
All artists are swinging for the fence. I guess I realized during this Chuck Prophet show how much fun I have experiencing a performance through my lens. It somehow connects me, like a Vulcan mind meld or ESP or psychedelics. I am not really thinking, just doing. I'm not just photographing, I'm participating as well. Singing and dancing. But my focus literally is the energy.
And the thing about a show is you can always be blown away by the unexpected. The "Now" is the place to be at a concert. I knew nothing about Thee Commons before, guess who is playing on my stereo right now. They opened at The Great American Music Hall and killed it. Amazing. Brand new for me. I hope you can feel it!
Most of the time I let my camera interpolate. I see the scene but I don't necessarily know exactly what it means until later. It looks like Chuck and Stephanie are taking a moment, I'm not sure what Garland Jefferys is up to.
Maybe they were supposed to start together?
(I guess they are resolving it) I enjoy seeing this peek into something personal and real. Not posed or perfect or maybe even scripted. I wonder if there are others like me out there? I so loved opening albums back in the day to see what photographic clues there might be.
The other dynamic element I love at concerts is capturing the ever changing stage light. I react to how things change beyond my control. You start to feel when the light is going to change. Could I be at one with the lighting guy too? I know this may sound far fetched but isn't that what the musicians are doing as well, becoming a unit instead of just individuals. And the crowd dancing to that union.
Garland Jefferys was such a joy. He was having too much fun playing all all of his hits.
Can you feel the sweetness Miss Stephanie has for her man?
Catching these moments of connection is doing what I love.
Chuck Prophet brought Garland Jefferys out to the west coast for a mini tour. Even though we saw him recently we thought this might be history in the making. It was all that and a box of kicks.
Mutual affection, you can see it, just like Ronnie and Kieth in 1975.
Chuck Prophet and The Mission Express joined by Garland Jefferys at The Great American Music Hall
Me doing what I love. Peace Love and Joy