Although I am a huge fan of Mark E Everett and his band Eels, due to some personal little earthquakes last year I had a difficult time listening to his music that has often a melodramatic character. He is a master in expressing the struggle he has with romance and love:
What I Have To Offer
What I have to offer
Well, there’s a lot
Now I’m a modest man
But look at all I got
For all the wear and tear
I look OK
I got good manners
And I make good pay
And you know I’m all full of love
What I have to offer
Well, there’s so much
I care and nurture and a
I got a pleasin’ disposition
And I don’t care about
Football or fishin’
And you know that I’m all full of love
What I have to offer
Well, check it out
I’ve learned some things
And I know what it’s about
I’m quite discerning and
I’m pretty smart
It takes an awful lot to
Win my heart
But you know that I’m so full of love
So when this amazing artist recently visited The Netherlands, I hesitated for a moment to go but just for a brief moment. I took my beloved Leica M8 with me and being signed by Anton Corbijn it resulted in this photograph which reminds me of the Rattle and Hum period of U2.
Thanks Mark and Anton for your art and inspiration.
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!!
Definitely one of my highlights in 2015 :-).
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.
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.
This boy had a sign which stated: I am saving for my own saxophone’. I thought: how great is that?’ .I grabbed my just acquired Trip 35, snapped this picture and give him a donation, naturally. I fascinates me time after time how kids develop talents and passions, which drive them to do things like this. A big applause to his parents as well, stimulating him to get on the street and to perform!
Taking pictures at concerts combines two passions of mine and furthermore, it’s very time efficient! Like I stated before , due to other time-consuming activities I don’t shoot as much as I’d like to so I try to take my camera with me whenever this is possible. This month I went to a concert of the incredible Kaki King. I stumbled upon this amazing guitarist a while ago as she performed at a Ted talk. My jaw dropped on the floor as she combines an unbelievable virtuosity with the most beautiful melodies. As she visited the Netherlands this month, I just had to see her. I sat in the front row with my girlfriend, just a few feet from Kaki. Just with other artists I admire, like Satriani, Brian May or Harry Sacksioni it is almost a surreal experience to watch them just in front of you doing what they do so good.
At his concert Kaki left me in complete awe. As a bonus, her guitar tech turned out to be a very capable singer!