“What do you think? You’re scared… you want to know more, you want to see the whole thing”… Capping off “Metallica Day” at Comic Con International: San Diego (i.e. San Diego Comic Con) with a “secret” concert at Spreckels Theatre, the metal band’s front man James Hetfield makes a mid-gig reference to the IMAX 3D film, Metallica Through The Never. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band gave away tickets to the intimate 1,463 capacity concert venue during their Comic Con Hall H appearance earlier in the day (and funny enough, Hall H accommodates a much larger crowd of around 7,000. I know from picking up my own ticket at the special will call earlier in the day that many Fan Club members were also in attendance, so it was a pretty great energy from the crowd. Though the show was not too long (they came on an hour late at about 11 PM and finished up well before 12:30 AM), it was a fairly relentless onslaught of the metal music fans came to hear.
“This is a song for you young lovers out there. I was in love once. When I picked my guts up afterwards, I wrote this tiny little song, I hope you enjoy it; it’s called Wonderful.” A twisted sort of sentiment about his most mainstream song, New Wave icon and post-punk pioneer Adam Ant and The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse kicked on their 40-city North American tour in San Diego last night, at the classy Balboa Theatre. Adam Ant launched his first album in 18 years, Adam Ant is the Blueback Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter, earlier this year. Somehow last night’s show felt even more spectacular than the one I caught in San Francisco last year. Adam Ant was like a rock star possessed; perhaps more confident and somehow… joyful? At one point deep into the set, he tossed his mic stand, which landed on his bass player’s effects pedals, completely shorting them all out. One of the stage crew came out and messed with it briefly, then unplugged it and plugged him directly into his amp… the relentless onslaught of music could not be stopped, or even paused due to technical difficulties… and the near sold out crowd was perhaps treated to a more raw version of what was planned. A lot of music acts continually reinvent themselves, over and over, sometimes to the point where they become a series of completely different artists. Adam Ant is different. He is today what he was more than 30 years ago, in terms of his identity, style, and sound. He has evolved, of course, but stayed true to what he was and has always been – one of those rare artists who maybe got it perfect the first time.
This is an update to my previous two articles focused on the same subject (see Article #1, Article #2), so at least some of the information will be redundant. Technology is constantly changing, evolving, and improving, so I expect that this will require an update about twice a year. My hope is that some day there will be one camera that does it all, and does it all well, and is of a size/style/form factor that any music fan going to a concert can bring it into the venue with no problems. That day is not yet here, so my advice includes three different cameras, each of which have pros and cons, and none of which is the best for all circumstances. As of the time of this writing, my personal recommendations are the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V (or HX30V is you want WiFi), the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, and the Fuji x100 (though the X100S is out in Japan and due elsewhere in the next 30 days or so).
This is the second and last of my 2012 “Year In Review” articles, though this one is mostly a pictorial. I went through the pictures I took at shows throughout 2012 and pulled out 100 of my favorites to republish here, in celebration of an amazing year for concerts and a fun year for me with photography. You can also check out my other Year in Review article with my Top 10 Live Music Concerts and Top 10 Studio Albums & Songs. [Read more…]
2012 was an amazing year for both new music and live concert events, and although writing this “year in review” proved to be a monumental task, it was fun for me to do it to relive some special moments and appreciate the opportunities I had over the past 12 months to find new music and attend so many awesome live shows. It’s funny because many concerts and tours are announced with little notice, so at the start of any given year, you don’t really know what to expect, and 2012 definitely held a lot of surprises. When all was said and done, I ended up going to 58 concerts in 2012, each of which featured anywhere from one to seven artists, so that is a lot of live performances.
This is published as an update to my original article about finding a good camera to take to concerts for quality still photos and video, but I recommend reading the original article first, as this is merely an update to what I’ve already written (CLICK HERE). I had been using the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V., which I found at the time to be the best pocketable digital camera. I’ve since obtained the newly released updated version of this model, the the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX20V , which I have found is definitely a better choice over the HX9V, and worthy of consideration as an upgrade if you already have that model. Both are great choices for concert-going fans with venues that allow the use of non-pro pocket digital cameras. [Read more…]
Today is a sad day for the music world, as the news spreads that Adam Yauch, MCA of the Beastie Boys, died today at the young age of 47 after a battle with cancer over several years. There are many fine obituaries published all over the web, just hours after the news broke, so I thought I would just share a few more personal thoughts about the man, his band, and their music. [Read more…]
My two fondest memories of sporting events in my life both featured Mike Tyson… the first being his shocking defeat by then unknown Buster Douglas in Tokyo on February 11, 1990, and the second, his defeat at the hands of Lennox Lewis in New York on June 8, 2002. For the majority of his career, and life really, both in and out of the ring, I viewed Mike Tyson as a villain. However, I’ve been curious about him for the past few years (as a result of his appearance in The Hangover), and had a sense that he may be a significantly changed man. Though I’d speculate that there have been a few different versions of who that man even is – a true enigma, much like his tattoo, a symbol he has embraced with visual marketing collateral of this attraction. With the announcement of his limited, week long “Undisputed Truth – Live on Stage” show in Las Vegas, I was curious enough to check it out to hear what he has to say about his life, and the way he has lived it, and to do so with an open mind. [Read more…]
I had posted much of these pointers on the Coldplaying forum earlier this year, in an attempt to help other fans get tickets for a sell that was one of those expected to sell out in minutes… as it was appreciated at the time, I thought it would perhaps make a good initial article for the Rock Subculture Journal, so I am plagiarizing myself a bit in this case. Anyone who goes to even a few concerts a year has probably experienced the frustrations that seem to be frequent with even the biggest ticket merchants, such as Ticketmaster. [Read more…]
One of the most frequent questions asked of me by people who look at the photos and video that I take at concerts… what camera did I use? I’ve given a personal explanation so many times, I thought it might be helpful to write a short article describing the camera I use and its features so that others can check it out, if they are in need of the perfect pocketable digital camera. Fortunately, it is relatively inexpensive as well. The model I have used is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V. [Read more…]