Last night Hollywood was rocked by Weezer. It was time for the Axe Music “One Night Only” concert series to hit the west coast. Axe Music had turned the Dunes Inn Motel on Sunset Blvd into kick ass Rock’nRoll venue for Weezer.
This show was both the most fun I have had shooting in a while and one of the most frustrating experiences I have had in a while.
Lets start with the positive: Weezer is a blast to photograph. The energy put out on stage was absolutely infectious. I know the whole show was being filmed and since it was sponsored by Axe, it really was just a big marketing event but Weezer made it different. They gave the fans a really solid show and while I don’t know the bands music very well, I found myself really enjoying it.
They also had a great set of special guests. Since the new Weezer album is called HURLEY, named for the character played by Jorge Garcia on the ABC TV show LOST, the band had Jorge as the opening presenter and he even came back out later to join the band on a tune. He can sing. The best line I heard all night was right before Jorge and the band started “Perfect Situation” he muttered ” I love my life”. It was a great moment.
It was during “Perfect Situation” that I realized that photographing Weezer might be a little different. Thats because lead singer, Rivers Cuomo left the stage about halfway through the song, ran through the crowd and out onto Sunset Strip,and never stopped singing the whole time.
It’s tough photographing a lead singer who throws himself into the crowd. Especially if the crowd all wants a piece of him.
The crowd gave “Hurley” a great round of applause after he joined Weezer for “Perfect Situation”. But that wasn’t the only guest for the night. My Chemical Romance were in the house, or in the parking lot.My Chemical Romance took the stage with Weezer and the two bands together blasted out a rocking version of “My Name Is Jonas”.
Now for the bad.
Whoever put the event together, didn’t really take into consideration how concert photography works. They had a section off to the side for press that gave a very limited view of the stage. A very limited view. Needless to say, I didn’t actually stay in the area. Since no-one said we could only shoot from the “pit” area I went out into the crowd. It was easier to shoot from the edges of the crowd than it was to shoot from the pit area. I was using the Nikon D700 with the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and still had to crop every image. Oh, one more thing, it’s good that I’m tall since otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to get any shots at all.
So while I really enjoyed shooting Weezer, I really didn’t like the setup at all.
Oh.. I nearly forgot.. There was a red carpet arrivals setup where some of the guests posed for photos before the show. My favorite of the night was this one of Vanessa Hudgens. And yes, that is the weezer sign she is making with her hands.
Some quick updates:
The gallery of photos for L.A. Radio Station KROQ are HERE
The concert images for PR PHOTO are HERE and the red carpet photos are HERE