First 3, No Flash | Best of 2013
We asked our photographers to pick their favourite photo from the past year, and tell us why…here’s what the team came back with…
The Killers at The O2
I feel it’s my best shot of the year because it tells a story, every gig has it’s own story and this one was simple, “no photographers allowed!”, please killers – don’t leave us out in the cold again!
Mø at Longitude
Kieran Frost/Phantom 105.2
I’m still not completely sure how this happened! There were probably 5 of us taking photos, Mø was dancing around the stage, I, for some reason, was on the far left while everyone else was to the right, and she suddenly kneeled down and, well, screamed at my camera.
Pheonix at Longitude
Alicia Keys at the O2
Caught this great pose from Alicia Keys at the O2, the lighting was really good throughout the gig. She’s a great performer and not too hard on the eyes either
Editors at the Olympia Theatre
Strobes were rapidly flashin’ as Tom Smith roamed around the stage – free from a musical instrument for a brief moment in the first song. Strobes are hard to shoot in so I wasn’t sure if I got anything useful during that period of the set at all.
Not only is this one of my favourites from the year, it’s one of my favourite shots I’ve EVER taken. So much so, it’s my homescreen photo on my phone!
Veroa at Knockanstockan
I’m not sure what will happen if you go down to the woods today, but if you go down to the lakes of Blessington for the last weekend of July, you’ll definitely find a secret stash of magic. It’s hard to describe the general buzz of Knockanstockan. It’s the holy grail of independent Irish talent, community, and general craic. Year after year it continues to surprise and impress. A true gem of Irish music festivals.
Gregory Porter at The Sugar Club
While this photo isn’t be the most spectacular gig snap you’ll see I like the colour, the composition and most importantly, the mood it has captured. Gregory Porter, a jazz singer based in Brooklyn, came to the Sugar Club in May and from the first note he sang was utterly captivating. His velvet voice and charming manner won over the crowd with ease and I think some of his humility is seen in the pose he’s striking in this photo.
Depeche Mode at The O2
I was inspired to shoot Depeche Mode because my brother-in-law is such a massive fan and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. And what a fuss! The energy on stage was electric and the lighting was a dream to shoot. I’m not sure I took a single photo where Gahan’s face wasn’t full of passion and emotion. Just wish I could have stayed on for the full show, but such is the life of a music photographer
Chic at Forbidden Fruit
The Forbidden Fruit Festival 2013 saw the performance of Nile Rodgers with Chic. This for me was the highlight of the festival, not to mention, a stand out show from live music throughout the year. This photos serves as a reminder of the fantastic, inescapable energy and good times that this band brought to the stage and gave to the crowd.
The XX at The O2
My pick for my best shot of the year is this one from the xx in the O2. I picked this because I liked how the lights are caught in the shape of an X at this moment, which lasted a split second as Romy & Oliver are facing each other, lost in the music as if in a trance. Being my first O2 show to shoot, it surprised me how in the vastness of the venue of that size you can still catch a band looking and feeling very intimate. Given the look and style of the band I thought making this black & white worked perfectly with their aesthetic.
And So I Watch You From Afar at The Button Factory
Being one of the newer photographers on the team, it somewhat amuses me that my favourite shot of 2013, happens to be one of the last ones I had taken for us as the year draws to a close.
While one never knows what they are going to get at an ASIWYFA gig, the one thing a photographer knows, is to be on stand by as Rory Friers is as unpredictable as he is entertaining. He’s not above dropping into the crowd to say hi, whilst playing a few tunes. For me, to get this shot really was the cherry on top of a very successful and productive 2013 for me. Taking the shot was funny as I was not only trying to keep the shot in the frame, but also ensuring I didn’t get in the way of Rory’s guitar cable as he approached me. The key to the ideal concert shot is to be able to capture the moment. If I didn’t do it with this shot, then consider me retired.
Death Grips at Whelan’s
Photo: Yan Bourke
Death Grips in Whelan’s is easily the most challenging gig i’ve ever shot. There’ve been dark gigs, and gigs where the band thrashed around a lot, but never one where I had to stand with one leg braced against the edge of the stage to get enough leverage to keep myself upright and not be flattened by the crowd. Getting anything usable at a show like that felt like a triumph, although I have to admit that after a couple of songs worth of being straddled by MC Ride, I retreated to the side of the stage, where I got this shot. When I choose my photo of the year for GP I’m always a little influenced by the experience I had at the gig, but there’s also the technical aspects and how well it tells the story of the gig. I’d be thrilled if I’d got this one a little brighter or a little bit sharper, but the gig was unforgettable and in termd of storytelling, this shot is one of my best ever.
Nick Cave at Body&Soul
Photo: James Murray
Nick started to crown surf during the teeming (biblical) rain. I mean it was really bucketing down. He is being held aloft by the crowd. The pattern on his shirt worked well with rain drops. The hands reaching up give him the air of a Messiah yet the red lights and shapes in the background look like an entrance to Hades. All of this fits in nicely with Cave’s many references to the Bible and God in his songs over the years. Apart from that he sang the unique “Tupelo” and “Jubilee Street” was the most powerfully charged live song that I have heard in many years.