Because today's my birthday I'm taking a day off from nature photography to post something fun (not that nature photography isn't fun--but when it's your livelihood, it's also quite serious). I'll return you to your regular programming tomorrow.
Music is a drug. We use it to stimulate and soothe, to complement and counter our mood, to remember or forget. It connects us, divides us, and stirs memories with disturbing suddenness and clarity.
A concert is the musical equivalent of mainlining. I love the relationship between the band and the crowd that can spiral into a euphoric frenzy that leaves you breathless, and other times renders 20,000 people quiet as snowfall in a forest.
And like everyone else, I scratch my head at the musical tastes of others (what exactly is the deal with that whole bass drum in the trunk sound?). Of course others no doubt scratch their heads at mine. Growing up, I remember being utterly baffled by the music of my parents. The feeling was emphatically mutual. So imagine my excitement when I started to hear my children listening to "my" music, and found myself at the record store (remember those?) buying "their" music. One of my most cherished parenting memories is taking my daughters to a Paul McCartney concert (the walls of their bedroom were plastered with Beatles' pictures) and seeing them each shed tears of joy.
The artists, of any form, who best reach me are those who seem to have a direct, unfiltered path from their soul to their medium. For me no musician does this better than Counting Crows' Adam Duritz, whose music seems so personal and cathartic that listening to it at times almost feels like an invasion of privacy. I admire and envy that openness--it's something to aspire to.
I attend concerts as a fan, not a photographer (which means I have to sneak my camera in just like everyone else). So I find Counting Crows utter lack of concern for cameras at their concerts (I've actually walked through the gate at a CC concert carrying an SLR and attached telephoto) quite refreshing. This openness is just one more I thing I appreciate about the band--I've never seen a band of their popularity take such efforts to connect with their fans. But I'm afraid I also find their camera policy oddly disappointing, as it removes all need to employ the espionage tactics (secret compartments in my camera bag, bulky down jacket in July) that reconnect me with my fifth-grade self. Sigh. Nevertheless, it's nice to forego stealth photography mode for at least one show.
Last summer I took my youngest daughter, also a huge Counting Crows fan, to see them for the first time. This shot is from that concert. I like to think they were performing one of my favorites, maybe "Miami" or "A Murder of One," but I honestly don't remember. And of course it doesn't really matter because we both enjoyed every second. The drive home was special too, as we listened to the familiar versions of the music we'd just seen performed live, shared favorite moments, and marveled at Adam Duritz's ability to make us feel like he's never performed this song exactly this way, and never will again.
In two weeks I travel to Berkeley to see them again, this time with my oldest daughter, a birthday present to myself. I can't wait.
Next post: July 14 (please view my previous posts by clicking the arrow in the upper left of today's image)
* Website: Eloquent Images
Thanks for visiting. Even if I don't respond, your comments are always read and appreciated.