I thought about not posting this entry, for I am still kicking myself about the photos, but here it goes. Saturday I was given the chance to photograph a band that is so influential, that if they didn’t exist, I don’t think I would have half of the bands I listen to. That band is The Specials. I was very excited to photograph these guys. Also it was at The Stone Pony’s Summer Stage in Asbury Park, New Jersey! Last time I was there, I photographed The Gaslight Anthem and I was very pleased with the set up, staff, and of course my photos. Also I found out a friend from college was opening for The Specials that day! My expectations for the day were high, not to mention hanging out on the beach before the show.
So what went wrong? Once I arrived, I met up with my friend and he wasn’t happy. Apparently the show wasn’t happening on the Summer Stage anymore, but inside the Stone Pony. Apparently there was suppose to be this wicked crazy storm that day and not taking the chance, they didn’t use the Summer Stage. Spoiler Alert: the weather was amazing and no storm happened. To keep the set change time low almost all opening bands did play outside, but on a patio.
Knowing the inside of the Stone Pony is small from my tour with Mxpx, I went in before doors to scope out the place. First off, this place was going to get packed, and second the area for photographers was tiny. I said before, intimate shows are great to watch, but not to photograph.
My friend’s band, Backyard Superheroes, did an excellent job. Also I think my photos came out pretty good for them. They are a ska band just having fun. Something a lot of bands forget to do, have fun. They dressed up, move around, and get the crowd moving like crazy. They also got everyone to do the conga line. I must say, for a band that has only been around for about a year, these guys know how to get the crowd going. I am sure everyone will remember them from this night. Check them out when you can, and watch the below video of their set. You see me at work!
Now what happened with The Specials? I was outside when all of sudden they started to play. I had to rush in to get to the front of the stage, but couldn’t, it was pack to the point you could even lift your hands. I found a security guard and told him I am to take photos and he made a path for me. By that time half of the first song was done. As soon as I got in there I just started snapping, but not thinking. Bad idea. Next there were about three other photographers and we were on top of each other. The area is very tiny. Towards the end of the third song, guitarist Lynval Golding stood in front of me smiling for me to photograph him. I thought the night will turn around. Just as I was about to take the photo, security tapped me to move out, the three songs were over.
Sadly my photos aren’t the best due to rushing and feeling nervous for being late. This is a band that might not come through the states again and I blew it. However, they played amazingly. For how old they are, they moved around a lot. I don’t know how they do it, but I hope they keep it up. They are a band not to miss when they come around.
Lastly, my last point and this post. I think this might be my last post for awhile or ever. Two screw ups are enough, especially if one band is The Specials. I probably shouldn’t post these, but I thought the Backyard Superheroes photos were okay to share. I think I need to sit and reflect. I’ve done a lot so far and now I need to see if I can learn. Maybe I will be back, but I need to feel inspired again in order to come back. I am missing something and hopefully I’ll find it.
One thought on “The Specials / Backyard Superheroes – The Stone Pony – Asbury Park, NJ – 7/20/13”
This was saddening to see coming from a photographer who has shown so much passion for his work. We all lose inspiration at one point or another, a time when we all hate our own work, but if we quit, we lose a part of ourselves and we feel it in every piece of us. So keep trying, don’t be so hard on yourself, and I promise you will one day find the inspiration you are looking for. As photographers we search our entire lives for that next great photo, that next place that makes us feel like we know what we are doing, and sometimes it was there all along you just didn’t see it.
I can go on for day about inspiration and I am sorry. But that is why there are others of us out there…to criticize, to admire, and mostly to catch the other persons camera for them they want to throw it in the ocean.