Photography connects you with what is already connected.
My brother-in-law, that is to say the brother of my girlfriend, recently asked me to join me at going to a concert of the San Fransisco based band Con Brio in the famous Amsterdam Paradiso venue. I did not know the band but a quick Google search quickly did decide me to see this awesome band. The concert took place in the small hall, which holds I think 200 people at most. The small room created an intimate vibe but a challenging situation if you want to take photographs as well. I had to shoot at one position, with minimum light. Luckily, the band gave an exhilarating performance, matching Vintage Trouble (see this post) which resulted in a quite a bit ‘keepers’. I rarely post more than one picture, but this time I simply have to.
As my subscribers know, I like to combine my passions and that means photography and live music. A good friend of mine and a former band member plays in a Beatles tribute band. I have captured multiple performance of them so I have become kind of the band’s household photographer. I even played along at one of their performances and that was awesome. At a recent gig, they played in a small venue. I sat behind this boy who not only recognised the music from the times his father played the songs in the car, but also was enjoying himself immense. It is quite fascinating that after 50 odd years the music of the Beatles is still relevant and appealing to the youngest generation. Truly timeless musical art!
They say that meeting your hero can be a disappointment , but it surely was not the case when I recently met Joe Satriani. As expressed already in this post, this guitarist means a lot to me. This time I had decided to opt for the ‘VIP package’ which includes meeting Joe….Although the security of the site was quite nervous and we had to line up for Joe, his assistant and Joe himself were very relaxed and easy-going. I practice the insights from Buddhism in which concepts as ego and equanimity are very prominent but surely that went all overboard! After shaking hands and thanking Joe for his music, art and the place his music takes in my heart, I asked Joe to sign my M9, just as Corbijn has signed my M8, which he happily did. The concert was awesome and as you can see, Joe played 1-2 feet away from me. After the encore he give me a big smile, pointed at me and made a ‘thank you’ gesture. To my big surprise, he decided to place this other picture on his site. Not as a photograph but as ‘art’.This picture is actually the result of the M9 not handling the burst of light of the stage lights. I was shooting at a fixed shutter speed and wide open which resulted in a totally over blown picture. I liked the results however and decided to send the picture to his webmaster. As the title of his latest album is ‘Shockwave Supernova’ the response of Joe was: Vincent van Kleef sent us this “shocking” photo he snagged while at the Heerlen show a couple of weeks ago. Joe shreds his way into a Supernova!!
The man pictured on this photograph is Ty Taylor of the band Vintage Trouble . They are supporting ACDC on their tour right now and visited Rotterdam on their own where they performed at the Metropolis Festival. I was totally blown away by their performance but managed to take some pictures though. They are not only excellent musicians but great performers as well, making them an awesome subject for my photography. They all expressed so much intensity that it transferred to the audience. I was jumping and moving around to get rid of all the excess energy I got from their presence and performance. Music is such a beautiful thing!
This very weekend I visited the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, along with my girlfriend, her sister and daughter. One of the acts was the famous crooner Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga. The venue was jam-packed as there were a lot of ‘little monsters’ as Lady Gaga likes to call her fans, but sure enough Tony has his fair share of fans as well. At 88 years (!) old he needs to use the autocue and does not manage to sing perfect pitched anymore, but he still got ‘it’ for sure. What strikes me most besides the seemingly odd combination with Lady Gaga and her impressive voice, is the joy Tony expresses and the fact that at his very advanced age he still is able to do what he does best: singing and entertaining the audience. Truly an inspiration and proof that age is just a number.
I recently visited an event in which my girlfriend had an important role organizing it. One of the artists performing was Poliana Vieira. I got this singer on my radar some time ago and she turned out to be an acquaintance of my girlfriend, which gave me the opportunity to meet her in person. Very talented and a great performer. Surely I got the M9 with me to register all wonderful things happening that evening, including this performance. You should definitely check her out. Watch her perform here.
I recently visited an exposition by Anri Sala in the GEM museum in The Hague. Sala is an Albian artist who has won the Vincent Award (named after Van Gogh and not me obviously….). His work of art contains video art combined with different performances of the Clash’s Should I stay or should I go and a drumkit that drums on its own. It did not particular got my attention, but this scene did. Although its was pitch dark, knowing my camera inside out I quickly grabbed it, set the aperture on the F2,0 and the shutter speed on 1/15 combined with a ISO of 320. By leaning against a wall and having a fairly steady grip, I managed to take this picture. I am quite content with it as it represents the atmosphere of the room perfectly.
Whenever I visit a concert, my thoughts wander away from the scene….wishing I was at the stage instead of the artists I’ve come to listen and watch. These are people who are following their passion and use their talents to the fullest. The saying ‘want what you have and don’t want what you don’t have’ is oh so true, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting things which are apparently not on my path :-). Having said that, I do actually play in a band which is great. Music let’s you connect with other people on a whole other level than with words. For me creating music with like-minded people really fills up a gap which is otherwise been neglected. It can be playing in a band other just with a singer, which I have done many times too. This picture is of the awesome band Oli Brown, taken at the Satriani concert in Tilburg. If you like gutsy blues rock, you definitely have to check them out!
I recently went to a concert of Joe Satriani. I am a music fanatic and a guitar player myself from my early teens on, and this genius is on my musical radar for more than 20 years now. Joe Satriani has the ability to mix unearthly virtuosity with beautiful musical landscapes, as I like to call his compositions. This week I came across the term synesthesia, a condition in which you see colors when listening to music and I have a similar experience with his music.His tunes are very melodic and hummable. I often tell people the story of my daughter, singing his tunes in the back of the car as she was only a toddler. The fan base of Satriani consists not only out of guitarists, but a wide variety people who are just as caught by his music like me. He seems to be a very nice, humble and fun loving guy too. In is fifties now, he does not show any signs of slowing down. As I have listened to his music for so long now, It feels like he has written the soundtrack of my life and continues to do so. This picture is taken while the professional photographers were allowed to take pictures with their ‘rifles’ (as I like to call their big DSLR’s). Luckily only for a couple of songs. I was able to take some good shots of Joe as I had the perfect spot, right in front of him! You can see a few examples in this set of my Flickr photo stream.