I GOT TO PHOTOGRAPH DOWN FRONT LIKE A ROCK STAR!!!
ENJOY THE SHOW FROM BACKSTAGE!
How did this adventure come about, you say? Well, I shall tell you… It all started at a Brandi Carlile concert in Atlanta, Georgia at Chastain Park Amphitheater. For those of you who are first time Watching the Photo Reels readers, you may not know that I am a HUGE Brandi Carlile fan. Seriously. She is beautiful both inside and out. Plus, she and the rest of her band are incredibly talented and are always a joy to watch perform. And, Brandi Carlile always has a cover song in store for her audience. My favorite cover performance would have have to be the Johnny Cash ones. Although, I discovered a cover of Radio Head’s Creep that was pretty insane. Wish I had seen that performance! CLICK HERE to view my previous iphone photo experience of Brandi. Anyways, back to the story. I was sitting there at the Brandi Carlile show in Atlanta with one of my best friends, Carrie. At the time, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about this particular Brandi show due to of all the stress I went through just to get there. We had been out of town for three weeks and, of course, I could not locate my tickets a couple of days before the concert. After a phone conversation with a ticket rep the day of (I had emailed them the day before, to which their response was… call us during our office hours. Welp, they were closed by the time I checked my email), I found out that there MIGHT be a chance my tickets would be at the venue. I worried and stressed all day. Thankfully, the tickets were there! During the opening act, I received a phone call and a text from one of my other dearest and bestest friends. The text read something like, “you need to drive to Asheville, NC on Sunday for a chance to meet Brandi!” Say what?! SOLD.
My friend’s boyfriend works for a company that sets up stages and run sound for concerts and other events. I knew going into the show that this was not a guaranteed opportunity to meet her, but I had to take the chance. It was at least a chance to see a Brandi Carlile show from backstage. I had never been backstage at a concert before! I was stoked! I asked my friend if she was bringing her camera and she said, OF COURSE. So, I brought mine also. (Side note: I was sick with a sinus infection that had been going on for two weeks already. And, I also lost my voice at the previous Brandi concert.) I woke up Sunday morning and, at around 11 o’clock, I drove three and a half hours to Asheville. Call me crazy, but when would I ever have another opportunity like this?!
I felt so cool walking through those backstage gates with my backstage pass. It was beyond awesome. It was a dream come true. I could not wait to take pictures. I brought along my 50mm lens because I knew we’d be up close. I wish, however, that I had also brought a wider angle lens so that I could have captured the show in full view. First Timer. Oh, well. We live and we learn… it’s all part of the process.
So, back to Brandi. After two and a half hours of waiting, Brandi and her band finally stepped off the tour bus and onto the stage. I was in shock as they all walked past me and up the stairs. I had never been that close to one of my heroes before! It was the coolest experience ever. My friend and I grabbed our cameras and headed down front, where the other professional photographer was headed. I felt free as a bird with my camera in hand photographing the Brandi Carlile performance. It was as if I was playing the role of a member of the press. The only problem was, I couldn’t stop dancing and singing… movements that caused my camera to shake. My hands were also trembling because my adrenalin was pumping. I did, however, manage to snap some great photos of the performance. After 7 songs, I was tapped on the shoulder and told to go back to the backstage tent because I did not have a media pass. HA! The whole entire time, my friend and I thought we were allowed to photograph. And, apparently, the media is only allowed to photograph the first three songs. My only dispute to that is there where fans (who were there to watch the show) with professional cameras standing one row behind us who got to continue throughout the whole performance. I’ve always thought I wanted to photograph concerts, but I’m not so sure now. Only three songs?!!!! I wouldn’t be ready to quit after three songs!
As usual, Brandi Carlile put on an incredible show! I am just amazed at how many instruments she can play. Plus, there was a new drummer and a new mandolin/fiddle player that was crazy good. At this one point, he jumped off the stage and onto the blocks (in front of the stage) directly to the right of me. He was playing the violin in the sunlight. It was quite poetically thrilling, it was. They covered Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and, despite my doubts, they actually did a fantastic job. Nobody beats Freddy Mercury but, that’s a given. The only thing I was rather disappointed with was the fact that Brandi refused to take a picture with me and my friend. I completely understand her not wanting to get into a mob of fans waiting outside her tour bus, but my friend and I were the only two fans backstage… the ONLY TWO FANS! We were told that Brandi had her fiance on the bus with her so, perhaps, she was preoccupied. Whatever. It was still freakin’ cool to be unknowingly rebellious and photograph my hero up close. I’ll never forget it!
P.S. Sorry my two weeks off turned into a month and a half! I have been out of town for almost an entire month on many various adventures. So, don’t despair, I have lots of photographs to share with you… a. lot. Thanks for readin’!
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PEACE, LOVE until my next bloggy-blog post, dear fellow blog-readin’ friends.