A couple of weeks ago I attended two amazing concerts that rocketed to the top of my “best shows I’ve ever seen” list. And yes indeed it was The Flaming Lips. As usual, they went all out on special effects, theatrics, props, as well as unleashing a manic fury of energy that I’m still spinning from. To top it off, the performances were held at the infamous Hollywood Forever Cemetery and no doubt Wayne Coyne and Co were at their best.
Night One: The Flaming Lips perform their hit album ‘The Soft Bulletin’ from beginning to end with a few extras as an encore. Night Two: they play Pink Floyd’s acclaimed ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ album. Freaking amazing. Added bonuses: sprinkling in songs from The Wizard of Oz during the Dark Side set (click here for that back-story), singer Peaches makes a guest appearance, dancing Dorothys on stage, artistic installations on the lawn, and a special sunrise performance with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros the morning of the 15th. Another notable highlight was clicking my camera’s shutter at just the right instant as Wayne barreled over us in the bubble. This was one of those moments in photography where you have to choose between putting down the camera to lend a hand or to be selfish and continue shooting. I believe this time I made the right choice.
These were definitely two magical nights I’ll never forget. Bands of the world… take notes from these guys! Enjoy the photos… (click thumbnail to view / click image to close)
SO this is my first blog entry. Beware… I’m not a writer and I can’t spell. Original Photography Is Not Dead is a tag line I came up with a few years ago. Originating from Punk’s Not Dead (which in my opinion it is), I wanted to make a statement. An explosion was happening in which Ad Agencies were buying up stock photos and digressing from hiring photographers for assignments. It was not their fault (well, not the creatives at least)… but it was their clients wanting things fast, easy, and cheap. Everything for nothing (and their chicks for free man). It’s now far worse due to the declining economy. Very frustrating for the emerging photographer who doesn’t have 15 years worth of images to license. So, I decided to resurrect the phrase. Stickers, t-shirts, and hats to come soon. More on photography and the industry another time.
My wife, Vanessa, and I moved out to LA just a couple of months ago. We definitely belong here. We have done more in the time we have lived here than we did in the last 3 years. The most memorable event so far was the My Bloody Valentine show we saw at the El Rey in Hollywood. A dear friend of mine informed me of the upcoming show that was tagged as an intimate rehearsal before the Cochella festival. I’ve been listening to MBV since 1991 and knew this may be my last chance to see them. I won’t bore you with details but the show blew me away (even with earplugs). The masters of shoegazing did not disappoint. Thanks Bryan. The story behind the posted video: Back in the turn of the 90’s, this was how MBV would end their sets, with 15-odd minutes of pure, ear-bleeding noise following the song You Made Me Realize. The nickname seemed extremely apt. “The Holocaust” was something to dread. For me it gave me the feeling of a runner’s high. After about 10 minutes I thought I was going to collapse and die, but once I broke through that wall I didn’t want the sound to stop.
Since then, we have been to see Ladytron, The Faint, Fischerspooner, and this Friday, The Dandy Warhols. Check out Ladytron’s ‘Live at London Astoria 16.07.08’ on itunes.