Tour Blog #6: NYC (still)

I’m not sure what kind of alternate universe I’ve stumbled into where sleeping until 10 a.m. is considered sleeping in, but I was thankful for the extra hour and a half during our second day in NYC nonetheless. More than that, I was thankful to find my daisy hat tucked in my backpack. For those of you who may not know, I’ve worn that hat to almost every concert I’ve shot for the last two years. I’ve forgotten it for only two or three shows, and those photos have turned out terribly. I’m very superstitious about it, so I was not coping well with not having it. But I’m saying it’s not a coincidence that my photos turned out better after I found it.

My phone charger is still gone though. Like that’s just gone.

We went to Brooklyn Bridge Park to take some photos and look around, which was absolutely beautiful. We also took that opportunity to film an unplugged session of a music video, which will probably be posted soon. 

The guys also indulged me in driving around for a bit so I could see the Statue of Liberty. We couldn’t find parking, but we circled the block like twice, so it was basically the same thing. I’m a big fan of the city. I think there’s something calming in knowing you’re surrounded by people who, for the most part, also love the city. You already have at least one thing in common with every single person around you.

We had another rare opportunity for free time, so naturally, we watched Netflix for like two hours. I also took some of the time to edit the unplugged video, which is coming along swell.

We’re gradually getting faster and faster at loading in and out (the setup is different for each tour as the gear changes), so the shows are gradually becoming less stressful.

There were two openers and one band after TNS, and all of them were superbly talented. These guys just don’t ever play with bad bands. Olivia Castriota, Leah Rich, and Evan Nachimson all killed the game. It’s always a pleasure to work with people who have truly mastered their craft, and they were all incredibly kind. I got to talk about myself for like, a collective hour, which is basically my favorite pastime. 

 

I sincerely believe the second night of NYC has been the best of this tour, and it seems like the guys agree. My theory is that because we had two Sofar shows in a row (which are acoustic and generally calmer), the band had a lot of pent-up performance energy that they just let loose at the Bowery Electric. The room wasn’t all that full—honestly about the same headcount as Richmond—but everyone was incredibly engaged, which is really the best measure of success. The band earned high praises from the staff, which is exceedingly important in the process of booking future tours. All around, day #2 was a huge success.

The show was a breath of fresh air after two less-than-successful shoots in a row. I was worried about the amount of red light, which is notoriously difficult to shoot, but it turned out to be a very doable mix of magenta, purple, and red that created that color. I’m very happy with how the shots turned out.

Everyone loaded out and left in a great mood, and we went to a fairly famous Greek place for a late dinner. Filled with good food and having satisfied our quota for making fun of Michael’s eating habits, we headed back to our dwelling places and passed out.

It’s hard to explain why I love concert photography so much more than other types. Obviously, yes, it’s cool to get into shows for free and to be that close to my favorite artists, but my love runs deeper than that. I thought it was because I’m able to be more creative and play with the visual experience of the lights, motion, and pretty faces, but I realized last night that it’s because I have the opportunity to collaborate with other artists. Whether or not I’m successful, I try my best to adapt the feel of the music I’m shooting into the aesthetic of the photos to better match what the band is trying to advertise. This pushes my abilities as an artist, which is so important to growing as a creator and as a person. Working with such talented artists—even though they work with a COMPLETELY different medium—drives me to become better myself. I love what I do, really and truly.

I’m sad to leave NYC, but I have the whole rest of the tour to explore new places and meet new people. We’re off to Boston tomorrow, hopefully the good weather follows us!