The 2014 91X Wrex The Halls show took place on Friday, December 12 and I was there to capture the event in all it’s glory. The lineup this year was a mix of the classic and the new. The full line up for the night was: Cage the Elephant, Alt-J, Interpol, Billy Idol, Spoon, BANKS and Schitzophonics. There was also a surprise 2 song set by Vance Joy much to the delight of the audience. As for the photography side of things, it was a pretty crowded photo pit but not insane like last year. The lighting was really hit or miss with some acts like Billy Idol having great lighting for photos and other, like Alt-J just being a backlit stage with little front lighting, at least for the 3 songs we could shoot. Then there was Banks. We were allowed to shoot 1 song from the pit, but only from the left side and all the photos of her needed to get approved before posting. So in other words, no shots of Banks.
First up was a local San Diego band called Schitzophonics and they were a blast to photograph.
Next up was Spoon… Actually, next up was Banks, but since she really didn’t want photographs, lets just skip her and move on to Spoon.
And while the lighting was pretty good, the solid color washes was an omen of things to come.
Billy Idol has a new album and new book and will be touring in support of both next year. But before that tour kicks off, Billy and his band played one hell of a set at Wrex The Halls. Now I have photographed Billy Idol over the years and Billy Morrison and Steve Stevens are both on the cover of my concert photography book: All Access, Your Backstage Pass To Concert Photography. So it was great to see them on stage ripping it up.
After Billy Idol, it was time for Interpol to take the stage. Great lighting to start the set and then the color washes started. Red and green and purple washes.
Right after Interpol left the stage, it was time for the special set by Vance Joy. Vance was actually waiting to take the stage in the photo pit, then stepped up as if he was just in the audience. Great lighting, great performance and a fun 2 song set.
Alt-J was up next along with the toughest lighting of the night. They really love backlight. I mean they really love not being seen, at least during the first three songs. Getting a can shot of Alt-J takes a lot of practice, timing and a little luck.
The final act the night was Cage, The Elephant. High energy doesn’t come close to describing this band. They are all over the place and really keep photographers on their toes.
It’s always fun when he band members play in the photo pit.
Another Wrex the Halls is in the books.
All photos taken with Nikon D4 and Nikon D750 cameras and 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses.