Saturday, March 31, 2012

Paul Rodgers at the D&R Theater in Aberdeen, WA

It was in San Francisco I was first truly introduced to the awesome music of Paul Rodgers. I've always known his music and can sing along to a pretty large number of his impressive list of hits but I never really appreciated the intensity and diversity until then. Whenever his video would hit the screen at the "restaurant" I worked for there was a server named Aisha that no matter where she was or what she was doing she would immediately scream at the top of her lungs "PAUL RODGERRRRRRRSSSS!" and she would run through the dining room whooping it up and singing along. I kid you not, once I saw her taking an order at a table when the video came on..she scared the crap out of her guests by instantly screaming in their face. It was awesome! Ever since, any time I hear a Paul Rodgers song or his name I instantly think of her. She now lives in Seattle with one of my favorite people on the planet Alex the Greek (who by no coincidence looks quite a bit like Paul Rodgers...hmmm) and is the lead singer of an all girl Soundgarden tribute band called Bleed Together. They are headlining at Neumo's on Monday 4/9 and you should go! I put a photo of them I shot a few weeks ago below in the photo gallery.

I digress...shooting for VerbicideMagazine.Com my features editor worked me onto the list of photographers for the Paul Rodgers show in Aberdeen at the BEAUTIFUL D&R Theater. His camp had written back and given me authorization to shoot the entire set which is very rare. They are considering using my photos for the Paul Rodgers web site which would be amazing! Shooting in Aberdeen on a stormy night is not as easy as it sounds. It took me the better part of 4 hours to get down there through rush hour traffic then another 2 and a half to get back. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The word epic is thrown around a lot these days and often it's an exaggeration. I can't think of a different word to describe this show though and I think it doesn't quite cover it.

Paul Rodgers epitomizes the word COOL! From the second he hit the stage until the end of the 2nd encore he was spinning his mic stand, jamming on the piano and blowing the crowds mind with intense, spot on perfect vocals for every one of his amazing songs. I shot over 1,900 photos that night and I would say that through 90% of the show I was singing along with him. So much fun! On lead guitar was one of the founding members of a band destined for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Heart Howard Leese. I had met him and several other members of Heart at the Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle (photo below, I'm the bald fat guy with the long beard on the right :) Talk about a guitar legend! I would forget to shoot when he was playing as I was captivated by his breathtaking skill and awe inspiring stage presence.

The entire night was one I will not forget. If you get a chance to see Paul Rodgers perform you have got to do it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Of Monsters and Men

Of Monsters and Men is a band that has gone a long way in a short amount of time...literally and figuratively. They traveled to Seattle from Reykjavik, Iceland and I had the privilege of photographing a private show they performed for lucky contest winners for listeners of 107.7 The End at the Gibson show room. I got there pretty early to set up and the band was already there warming up with new Gibson guitars. The entire time they were laughing and teasing each other. It was very obvious they were enjoying themselves in the midst of an international tour and their enthusiasm was contagious. This band has just blown up on the scene. Their hit song Little Talks is super catchy and fun and seems to be on the radio constantly. They sounded fantastic live again with energy, fun and an authentic performance. After the show they took some time to meet their fans and get their photos taken with them. They were humble and nice, considerate and cool.

I had a box of finger puppet monsters in my car that I brought in hoping to convince one or two to wear one. When they saw the box the entire band surrounded me like trick or treaters on Halloween night. They filled all their fingers and played with them the entire time we did pics. They kept the batch and later my friend Iron Mike Savoia shot their sold out show at Showbox Sodo (his amazing pics from the show can be seen here: Mikes FB Gallery In Mike's photos you can see that they had decorated the stage with the little monsters. So fun! I hope to see them again soon and if you get the chance, you should too! Their new album: 'My Head is an Animal' is going to be released on April 3 and can be pre-ordered here: PREORDER

Saturday, March 10, 2012

LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends at the Triple Door Theater in Seattle

LeRoy Bell (prounced La-Roy, not Lee-Roy) defines the word cool in my opinion. His voice is nothing short of amazing. His wit and charm on stage can't help but make you smile and the diversity of his music is overwhelming. He walked through the crowd and literally touched nearly every person in the theater making it a very personal event. His fans are..well, his fans are nuts! They were dancing, singing and just plain rockin out the entire time.

I rarely watch the reality tv shows...well, OK that's a lie. I watch them all. American Idol, Survivor, Amazing Race. I'm a dork, you know it, I know it. Why lie? That being said when The X Factor came on I said to my Wife there was no way we were going to add another show to our list to watch. I knew there had been auditions at Key Arena in Seattle though so we had to tune in and watch that.

The Seattle audition episode wasn't the classiest show I've ever seen. One man dropped his pants and started flapping his junk in front of the arena. The cameras showed parents rushing their children out of the venue in horror. Paula Abdul started to vomit. All in all, a classless introduction to the show that probably should have been left out in my opinion. That was all wiped away when LeRoy Bell performed with his silky vocals ensuring he would make it to the next round. I recognized his name and remembered he had been a regular at the Triple Door so of course we had to watch and see how he did with the rest of the season. He was placed in the "Over 30's" group with mentor Nicole Scherzingerthe former Pussycat Doll who quite honestly rubbed me the wrong way in the beginning of the season but by the time it was all said and done ended up being one of my favorites. The over 30's group in my opinion was by far the strongest of the four(Boys, Girls, Groups and the Old Fogies at 30+). Both LeRoy and Josh Krajcik were in my opinion the most talented on the show.

Without recapping the entire season I'll just say that we ended up watching it all. The only episode we missed happened to be the one LeRoy was booted from the show. He made the top 10 and I would like to think that is mostly due to the fact Lea and I voted for him countless times each week :)

So after all that it was a real privilege to get to shoot his first of two performances at the Triple Door Theater in Seattle this past Thursday night. I got to meet him briefly back stage and he was just as nice as you would think. On stage he teased a bit about the show asking how many people in the audience were there only because they saw "The Show." Quite a few people sheepishly raised their hands resulting in a chuckle from LeRoy.

The photos are below. I hope you like them.

On a side note, during the month of April my photos will be on display in the Triple Door theater so if you find yourself in the neighborhood be sure to stop in and check them out! That all starts Thursday April 5. I'll be there from 5pm until 7pm that evening to kick it off and hope to see you there!