If there is one band that influenced me more than any other it would have to be the Grateful Dead. I saw a lot of shows in the 1980s and 90′s until the death of Jerry Garcia. Then I saw a lot of the show put on by the surviving members of the Grateful Dead, Bob Weir’s band RatDog in particular. I was fortunate to meet and become good friends with the RatDog lead guitarist Mark Karan and probably took more photos of RatDog than any other band. They allowed me to really grow as a concert photographer and for than I am eternally grateful. RatDog came to an end and Bob has teamed back up with Grateful Dead bass player Phil Lesh to tour under the band name Furthur, taken from the name of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters bus. Furthur has been touring for a while now but I had never gone to see them until this week. Mainly it was because it would just be weird to be back out in the audience after the access I had when photographing Bob (and keyboardist Jeff ) during the RatDog years. But times change and I figured it was time.
So there were five photographers approved for the show. I was the only one who actually met the venue publicist at the right time. It showed either a real lack of communication that was further evident when the band decided that we were not allowed to shoot from inside the photo pit but instead we had to shoot from between the front row and the photo pit. Effectively putting the photographers in front of the front row fans. Now the fans weren’t happy about this and neither were the photographers. How on earth are we supposed to stay out-of-the-way of the paying customers when the band puts us in the way of them? This was a baffling decision that was even stranger since no one had told the Live Nation rep.
I was so disappointed in this plan that I ended up staying way over to the side so that I wouldn’t get in the way of the deadheads having a good time.
All photos taken with a Nikon D4 and D700 and a 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 lens combo. I use the Sony XQD cards in the D4 and Hoodman Raw CompactFlash cards in the D700