It was a really busy weekend with both the Photo Expo west and the San Diego Quarterly Coimic Convention going on, but the highlight for me is when I can shoot a live show and thats what I did on Saturday night. Keller Williams played a fantastic show at the Belly Up Tavern in San Diego. I have shot Keller quite a few times in the past especially when he was the opening act for Bob Weir & RatDog a few years ago.

It is difficult to describe Keller, he is one of the acts that you should go see live to appreciate. He is a one man band. He samples, he plays guitar, bass, drum machine, keyboards and a variety loops and well a whole bunch of other stuff. Amazingly he pulls it off every time. But he starts with the guitar and ends with the guitar. Forget all the audio tricks and you have a great guitar player who is at heart a story teller.


The stage was set up to look like the inside of a guitar shop or maybe the inside of Kellers head. Either way is was really freakin cool. Kudos to whoever thought that up.


The biggest problem with the show from a photographers point of view was the lighting, or the lack thereof in the Belly Up. But hey, thats what Nikon made the D700 and ISO 1600 for.

This is probably my favorite shot from the night. Not because it is great photographically or perfectly exposed  but for the memory I will always have of Keller singing the chorus to Gate Crashers Suck. The lyrics are not something I can repeat here as they are seriously not safe for work or anywhere else for that matter. The song was written about the gate crashers that effectively ruined the Grateful Dead lot scene.

The song will never make it onto any radio play but it resonates with those of us who went to these Grateful Dead shows back then and witnessed the death of a great scene.


All photos taken with a Nikon D700 on Lexar Pro 16GB CompactFlash cards using Nikkor lenses.