When I was in college, I really loved photographing my favorite bands in concert. The only problem was that it was illegal to do so. The good thing was that security was little more than a pat down and we came up with all kinds of ways to get camera bodies and long lenses into the show. In the days before metal detectors.
My Pentax K1000 body fit pretty nicely in one of my socks and was more than once mistaken for a flask and let pass through. The lenses were more difficult. Sometimes smuggled in a box of tampons with my female friends, sometimes in someone else’s sock. We managed to get a complete camera and lens set in a few times.
So when I was invited to photograph Heavyweight Dub Champion at the Chicago House of Blues this month – with a photo pass this time, all those old memories came flooding back again. No need for smuggling and dividing up camera gear.
The band asked me to shoot from as many places as I could including on stage with them. Great fun and much better than stolen photos from the upper balconies of years past.
The only downside when shooting a concert is that I’m so focused on making the photographs I really only hear about half the show, even when I’m three feet away from the musicians making the music.
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