"Things change. Always do. You'll get your chance. The important thing is when it comes, you gotta grab it with both hands and hold on tight."
– Otis from The Last Starfighter
– Otis from The Last Starfighter
I wrote a lengthy post earlier in the week which discussed how this whole opportunity came about. You can read that here. I've received numerous tweets and comments on how much people enjoyed that post. Thank you! I love being able to share it with you!
Radio City Music Hall is an amazing venue. From the architecture to the sound quality, the comfy seats and well dressed ushers, it is all class. It made for a different Gotye concert experience. Radio City almost felt like the Gentleman's Gotye show; the band wore dress shirts and shiny shoes, the crowd was respectfully quiet throughout the night. It made some of the softer songs, Bronte and Giving Me A Chance, so much more impactful.
Gotye as a live band has grown leaps and bounds since I saw them in March. I was looking forward to hearing a longer set, the House of Blues show was about 45-50 minutes, with a greater variety of songs from their earlier catalog. The guys look so much more comfortable on stage and it was a real joy to see how much fun they were having. Every member of the band bounced between instruments all the while back dropped by amazing visual art. It is an incredible feast for the senses and beyond amazing to photograph.
I promised not to go on too long in this post. Let's just get to the pictures!
The Only Way
Faux Pas. I've found that it's great photo processing music.
What Do You Want?
Addressing the crowd
Easy Way Out
After the third song, I gathered my gear, thanked the fans directly behind me who I hoped I didn't distract or annoy too much and walked back out to the lobby. I threw my camera in my bag as quickly as possible, pulled out my ticket and took my seat. Again, apologies to the people in my row that had to stand up in the middle of a show; that always drives me crazy.
Thanks For Your Time
New York has a law that indoor live performances have to end at 11:00 PM. The band came back out after the briefest round of applause I've ever seen. Wally announced that they had five minutes to be able to play their entire encore. I have to say, the band showed great restraint and maturity. They played one song and knew they had to wrap it up. Think back to July, where Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen played 50 minutes past curfew, which cost them $1,000 per minute. What about Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day flipping out after his set was cut short at IHeartRadio just days earlier? Of course, I would've loved to have heard more music, but the guys were out of time and respected that. Wally tossed his drum sticks into the crowd and told them to come see them in two days at Williamsburg Park to see the rest of their set. Cheeky till the last minute.
• The Only Way
• What Do You Want?
• Easy Way Out
• Eyes Wide Open
• Smoke and Mirrors
• State of the Art
• Thanks for Your Time
• Dig Your Own Hole
• Night Drive
• Giving Me A Chance
• Somebody That I Used To Know
• Save Me
• Heart's A Mess
• Seven Hours With a Backseat Driver
Normally, I end my concert posts with what's become my signature shot: a detail of the performer's shoes. Although I was right at the edge of the stage, I couldn't go higher than stage level. Sadly, there are no shoe shots from this night. Instead, I'm putting in the last picture of the night, which I had featured as my Photo of the Week last week. It's a Polaroid picture of Wally at the after party. It's probably one of my favorite portrait shots of all time.
One of the things I admire most about Gotye and his creative process is the use of quirky, old instruments and devices and the way he integrates them into his unique style of music. I feel the same fondness for old cameras and equipment. I have four different Polaroids, but the SX-70 is my favorite. It's the original Instagram.
If you want to learn more about the camera I used, check out this awesome instructional video from the '70s.
The experience was out of this world and I would've been completely content if it ended here. But it doesn't. I also attended the Williamsburg Park show and with Wally's permission, photographed the entire show. I hope to start processing those photos over the weekend and get a portion of them up next week. Unending thanks to Wally and his staff for this opportunity, and again, to my readers old and new.