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Bands on the Run Tour at The Venue.

I had the chance to shoot a country music triple-bill at River Cree Casino last weekend: the Bands on the Run Tour featuring Blackjack Billy, Doc Walker, and The Roadhammers.

Shows like this are always exciting, even just as a change from the usual stage setups and this tour did not disappoint. From interesting stage lighting, to having to join the crowd at the front of the stage for some shots, to just the sheer amount of smoke being piped out from backstage, this show provided a few challenges.

Check out a few more shots from the show in the gallery below.

Bloc Party at Edmonton Event Centre.

I went to the Bloc Party concert here in Edmonton recently. This is not a photo from that concert.

It is the same band and the same venue though, although from about four years ago. I had no problem bringing a DSLR into Edmonton Event Centre back then. I brought it with me to this show, and to a coupleothers without any problem. No photo pit access of course but at least I could shoot what I could.

I was new to the world of the DSLR then, and very new to combining it with the activity of a live concert. I wasn’t familiar enough with the tools, and too shy to really push forward enough for a good vantage point (something I still struggle with). This shot isn’t anything amazing, but it is a starting point for me as a concert photographer, and I was happy for the opportunity to practice.

Sadly, Edmonton Event Centre seems to have become much more restrictive these days. The last few times I’ve attended a show there I’ve been denied bringing the camera along. The number of camera-friendly venues in town is slowly dwindling. Although a mid-range venue often has the excitement of more recognizable bands, it’s the smaller venues with local bands that force you to think about a shot and not just rely on star power for a good photo.

Although I’m really starting to hate LED colour washes.

Joe Rogan at The River Cree.

I had the opportunity to shoot Joe Rogan’s stand-up act at The River Cree Casino last week as well as meet-and-greet photos with fans after the show, and it was a lot of fun! He may not have the classiest act on-stage, but he was a class act off of it, bantering with fans and staff backstage.

I appreciated that too, since this was my first (of hopefully many) shoot for River Cree’s concerts and comedy acts—something I’m very excited to have the opportunity to shoot more of! Also exciting is not trying to shoot artists in dark rooms with nothing but a red wash for lighting. Thank you, lighting designers!

Check out my gallery with Joe Rogan and his opening act, Ari Shaffir!

I’m looking forward to seeing the variety of acts the River Cree brings in, and hopefully I can continue to branch out and try shooting at even more venues!

Mitchmatic. Old Ugly. Wunderbar.

These are three things that usually go hand-in-hand. 

Edmonton’s Wunderbar is often host to shows by Old Ugly artists, and they’re often fairly “seat-of-the-pants”-ish, but always entertaining. Mitchmatic’s CD release show last night being a prime example.

Mikey Maybe opening for Mitchmatic

Wunderbar has come a fair ways since I’ve been going to shows there; thanks in no small part to a close relationship with the Old Ugly crew. The changes to the sound system alone are a great improvement. The place has either a cozy or dive-y feel, depending how you look at it. Small stage, hardly any seats, and with a sold-out show like this the bar was standing-room only in no time, with a decent line outside waiting for a spot.

Mitchmatic performing at Wunderbar

Mitchmatic performing at Wunderbar

Any Old Ugly show is always entertaining though, especially when their core hip-hop trio of Mikey Maybe, Mitchmatic, and The Joe are involved. Not only are the three of them skilled and charismatic artists on their own, they play off each other so well and even when stuff goes wrong, they manage to make it all feel just like part of the show.

Creepy duck mask is creepy

Creepy duck mask is creepy

Old Ugly shows at Wunderbar usually feel one step away from utter chaos but always manage to pull it out of the fire for a great experience. Congratulations to Mitchmatic on an epic CD release show!

For some more photos from Wunderbar or Old Ugly shows, try these Flickr links here.