Every now and then as a music photographer, you need a well lit Rock 'n' Roll gig. They're great for morale and self esteem, and most importantly, they're fun. It's great rising to the challenge of dimly lit gigs, but sometimes you need something easy and fun to shoot. For me, well lit gigs are like cake - I need them, but in moderation. Too much, and I'll end up bloated, complacent, losing my touch. Not enough, and I become a bit deflated and underwhelmed by everything, fatiqued, lacking enthusiasm. Sometimes, you just need to gorge on some light - not having to worry about exposure, and instead focusing on capturing all the amazing opportunities that present themselves in the space of three songs, free of the concern that you've missed that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of a shot because the gig was backlit and your AF just boomeranged, or because the lighting guy decided 'now's a great time for no one to see anything'.
Black Stone Cherry were my cake. Hell, they even SOUND like a cake. (In title, not in material).
BSC (sorry. Acronyms. It's late, and I'm too tired too excessively type) were a band who'd been on my radar for a while. I was about to say that they came to my attention because my old pal from Uni (Paul) mentioned them a few years ago when he was starting to get into a load of bluesy American guitar stuff, but at this exact moment, as I'm typing, I've realised that he was actually talking about Blackberry Smoke, not Black Stone Cherry. Damn. I mean, it's easy to see how I'd confuse the two. Similar names. But still. Damn. Conscious I'm typing out all my thoughts now. Need to stop. Attempting Toad in The Hole later for the first time. I shan't lie - I'm nervous. Anyway.. I have no idea at all as to how Black Stone Cherry got on my radar, but I wanted to shoot a rock and roll gig. I'd googled them, they looked like fun, they sounded decent - bit of an American southern rock thing going on - so sorted myself a pass.
They were so much fun to shoot! Guitarist Ben Wells and Bassist Jon Lawhon in particular were great value - plenty of crowd interaction, jumping, running from side to side, the odd flying gig, it was a photographers dream! Heck, give them platforms and facepaint and they could have been KISS. I'd certainly not photographed a band quite this animated since Messrs Stanley and co, anyways. And the light! WHOA! THE LIGHT! There was even follow spotlights - on EVERYBODY! I was in heaven. I was Augustus Gloop, ploughing through a cake like my life depended on it. If I was being really picky, the height of the stage made it impossible to get a wide shot of the full stage, but I didn't care. Ben was doing another flying kick, so I had to take a picture of that instead.
All in all, a great night at Leeds Arena, and exactly what I needed. Rock n Roll! \m/