But there’s only technically two weeks left of this lavish holiday, as we return for classes on… the 5th. However, my winter quarter stars on…fucking new years. Those …’s were me going and checking my Google calendar. Oh well. This week’s been goddamn amazing, and next week will surely have a lot to live up to. But Caity’s coming home, so everything will be great!
I still have yet to send my WAS-board secret santa gift. I think I’m going to have to 2-day that shit. Good thing I paid like nothing for the actual supplies, so I can pay for shipping! I’m really excited for he/she to get it, and I’m really excited to get mine. And in case you didn’t know, because you aren’t cool and haven’t joined the Sci-Cave yet, we did a giant worldwide secret santa gift exchange. I’ll be surely back with pictures once I get mine. EEEK yay.
Okay, so I didn’t come here to blabber on about WAS, but I would gladly do that any way.
I CAME HERE TO TALK ABOUT DECK THE HALL BALL.
So I updated the other day with the news that I’d acquired a photo pass, but I haven’t told you about the show. I posted my show review here: POPWRECKONING. BUT THERE’S SO MUCH MORE TO TELL THAT’S IRRELEVANT TO THE MUSIC.
Laura and I left late, because I’m an idiot. My GPS took on the wonkiest route I could have imagined. We almost got stuck on a slippery hill where another car was stalled. That was kinda scary. We found the ridiculous parking at Qwest field, which Laura paid for (thanks love), and who parked right next to us? Why it was Anna! Anna, whom I haven’t seen in like a gazillion years, who I went to high school with. Huge coincidence. And a nice surprise, then Laura had someone to hang out with until we found Joe. Cause, uh, I had to go wait with all the other rocktographers by the pit. Good lord that sounds cool. I’m not trying to flaunt how awesome this is, really I’m not, but IT’S SO AWESOME. Have you ever had one of those really really REALLY exciting moments that you couldn’t help but tell everyone? I got that way when I started writing freelance for the Gateway (blech), then when I got on the Ledger, then when I started writing for Popwreckoning, then when I got my first guest list spot to the Lonely Forest a few weeks ago. BUT THIS WAS SO MUCH BETTER. I had a lanyard and everything. It wasn’t like being able to bring my camera into a little indie rock show at a tiny venue in Seattle. No, this was one of the biggest shows in Seattle. It sold out in a day. ONE DAY. And me – little ‘ol 20-year-old me – got to be one of those people who calmly file in and out of the pit and take pretty pictures while the sweaty, dehydrated fans battle it out in the mosh pit, losing earrings and being inadvertently felt up my dozens of people.
Needless to say, I was frickin’ intimidated. As soon as Andrew walked me over to where the other photographers were, I felt so miniscule. Them and their huge-ass telephoto lens and fancy camera bags, and me and my borrowed Ledger camera bag and ‘lil 50mm lens. Don’t get me wrong, I freaking love my 50mm, but next to the ginormous lenses being hauled around me, it looked sad. And to my disdain, Vampire Weekend had way too much smoke machine during their act. Since we only got to shoot for the first three songs, and they were the first band I shot, I got too anxious to switch out my lens for the my 28-135mm. So those pictures turned out kinda crappy. Even processing wouldn’t help them, because the smoke machine hated me and wanted everything to be the same color and have no contrast. Balls. But I soon became more comfortable, switching between lenses quickly and promptly popping the element back in on my 50mm when it felt like breaking free.
BTW, Ezra Koenig is perhaps one of the most adorable people ever. I’d be all for marrying him. And VW was damn good too. “White Sky” is my jam, and I’m super pumped for Contra in less than a month. JANUARY 12TH!
Easing my way around the pit didn’t feel all that awkward after awhile, because everyone was more professional than I am, and no one got in anybody’s way. But people still were assertive enough to get the best shots possible. It was like an unspoken language that we all shared for those short blocks of time we had in the pit. Honestly, I was more awkward waiting outside the pit before each band, because all the other photographers seemed to know eachother, and there I was, a newbie who has no other connections besides Popwreckoning. I stood by myself, looking through my pictures between each set, deleting the bad ones to save room on my card. I still only have a 2GB card, by the way. Gotta save all the room you can.
Phoenix was up next, who blew my freaking mind. I mean, oh my god. I’m so much more in love with this band than I was before. And if I don’t get a pass to the show at the Showbox SoDo next month, I will be very sad. Because it’s sold out. But in 25 minutes, Phoenix could not have used their time better. Thomas Mars even managed to crowd surf all the way to the back of the room. Then again, a waify dude like that, it would be easy. My pictures got better during there set. A few of my favorites are of Thomas, and I was so damn close. That’s the coolest part. But I guess since I’ve never met any bands still, getting that close is still pretty cool.
Metric – let me tell you – so much better live than on the album. But that could be because The End played “Help I’m Alive” more than anything else this year, most likely 5 times a day. I got some of my best pictures of the night of Emily Haines, but they had much better lighting than VW or Phoenix before them, so it was easier. She’s so hardcore and sexy at the same time. And “Stadium Love” was an awesome song to close on. She had on this cool sparkly dress and a shaggy dog ‘do, and I wish I was as cool as she is.
Sadly enough, all three of the openers had half hour or less to play, which was bullshit, because they were just as good, IF NOT BETTER (COUGH PHOENIX COUGH) than the closers.
At this point, I needed water. But I didn’t know how long the intermission before 30 Seconds to Mars would be. So I waited. And when they came on, holy shit people got excited. Even though 30 Seconds to Mars was the odd band out in this giant lineup of awesomeness, they didn’t seem to care. Jared Leto (swoon) treated everyone in the room like they were there to see strictly 30 Seconds to Mars. He got a spotlight any everything. No one else got a spotlight. Good lord he loves his fans. Almost in a needy way. But this where the pit got even more interesting, almost dangerous. At the beginning of their set, Jared shouted at the crowd “Let’s see how many fucking people we can get to crowd surf at the same time!” Great, thanks dude. So people crowd surfed. I swear, every time I turned around a security guard was picking another tiny teenage girl on the verge of passing out or a 15-year-old frat wannabe. I’m never crowd-surfing in my life. I’d prefer not to have people’s hands all over my ass. About halfway through our time in the pit for 30STM, Jared decided he wanted to get EVEN CLOSER to the crowd, so he jumped off the stage into the pit, knocked into me, and climbed up on the barricade while a security guard held him down safe from insane fans. I know I kind of passed over this in that last sentence, but Jared Leto ran into me, practically fell on me in the chaotic moment he created. Really. Not sure if I have super powers because of it, but it was still pretty cool. And I got one of my favorite shots of the night out of it.
Yeah, it’s sweet.
And I was the only one who got this shot, because I was standing right there. The other photographers frantically got around me after he jumped in, but I was the only one who got THIS shot. I’m super proud of it.
After 30STM, I needed air and water, so I went out into the lobby. And I’m not sure who this was, but I knew he was a photographer, as he was toting around his telephoto. But I was sitting against the wall with my glass of water, lanyard around my neck, and going through my pictures so far. I looked up really quickly, but he just looked at my camera, and nodded and smiled.
Weird, but cool at the same time. Again, with this unspoken language. So crazy. I’m just kind of upset I didn’t introduce myself to any of the other photographers officially. Oh well, there will be plenty more chances for that. PLENTY MORE. And it’s still early. I’m only 20, you know.
Then came Muse, the band that we all technically came to see. It took way too freaking long for them to get on stage. Seriously, I was standing in the pit, listening to remixed Animal Collective and Ladyhawke for ten minutes. Great house music, but I wanted Muse, DAMNIT! Finally, Matt, Chris and Dom got on stage. And it was epic. That’s the only word I can use to describe it. No, wait, I’m going to look for a better synonym for epic…GLORIOUS. It as GLORIOUS. Yes, I’m going to use that from now on. Muse was the one act that I regretted not having more time to shoot. I got some good ones, but there were opportunities for better ones. Matt had this crazy huge mic that got in the way of his face in so many pictures that would have otherwise been excellent. Oh well. I got to enjoy the rest of their hour-long set after I finished taking pictures, and I went to find Laura. Apparently, she and Joe had been pushed to the barricade, and Laura was lifted out by a security guard. And apparently Joe was right behind me when I got this shot of Matt.
Another of my favs of the night. Muse was magnificent. And the closing song, a crazy spaghetti western-style “Knights of Cydonia,” complete with harmonica, could not have been a better way to end the show. Seriously.
Getting out of the parking lot was fucking insane. People are douchebags when it comes to backing out of parking spaces. There was this tiny car full of dudes that literally squeezed their way in between the van in front of me and my Nissan. And I wasn’t going to let them go. But they thought otherwise. Oh well, Laura and I played “Hot Fuss” really loud because I didn’t bring my ipod. I forgot how much I love that album.
Oh, here are a few more of my favorite shots. They’re so LEGITIMATE! (I’m not saying legit).