Fab 40

The Fab 40 pay tribute to the original Fab 4 with a free, live performance of “Abbey Road” on Saturday, September 12 at Discovery Green.

40+ (probably closer to 50) local musicians – handpicked by Beatles enthusiasts David Blassingame and Steve Candelari – performed the Beatles’ album “Abbey Road” from beginning to end.

It was an ambitious project. Nearly felled by illness, loss of critical instruments and the weather, it went very well despite all this.

Fab 40

Close
Fab 40

Fab 40

Close
Fab 40

Fab 40

Close
Fab 40

Fab 40

Close
Fab 40

Fab 40

Close
Fab 40

You can see a slideshow of all the photos I took that night by clicking here.

Roy Head

Roy Head is one of my all time favorite performers. He’s a local legend due to his 1965 hit single “Treat Her Right”

Check out the moves on the young Roy Head in this video from 1965

He’s about to turn 70 next month but you’d never know it from the energy level of his live performances.

All shots below with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 on the Sony Alpha 700

Roy Head

Close
Roy Head

Roy Head

Close
Roy Head

Roy Head

Close
Roy Head

Soul Fest – 2009 – The El Orbits

The current line up of The El Orbits is Thomas Escalante on vocals, Jim Henkel on guitar, Allen Hill on the bass and Eric C. Hughes on the drums. On Saturday night they opened for Roy Head, Barbara Lynn and Archie Bell. They also served quadruple duty as the backing band for each of the acts throughout the entire evening.

For this show I used three different Sigma lenses on the Sony Alpha 700, each of which is represented below.

Sigma 20mm f/1.8 – Click for larger image
The El Orbits

Close
The El Orbits

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 – Click for larger image
The El Orbits

Close
The El Orbits

Sigma 10mm f/2.8 Fisheye – Click for larger image
The El Orbits

Close
The El Orbits

Minolta 100mm f/2

Just beginning to play with my recently acquired Minolta 100mm F/2. It’s an amazingly sharp lens and the IQ is on par with anything I have ever shot with. Considering this lens was made in 1987 it holds up well when used with the modern day digital Sony Alpha 700.

Jamie Adams

Close
Jamie Adams

I would go so far as to say that this lens is easily as sharp wide open as my Sony Zeiss 135 f/1.8 is when stopped down to f/2.0. Similar in focal length (100mm vs 135mm) this lens is considerably smaller and more light weight. That means it’s easy to carry around in my small bag with a few other lenses where the Zeiss requires a bit more of a commitment to lugging around some heavy gear. A huge plus.

Dooley

Close
dooley

I can easily see this lens becoming one of my heavy rotational favorites, espeically for low light portrait work

Dwight Silverman

Close
Dwight Silverman

Chango Man

Chango Man

Close
Chango Man

Having a Friday off allowed me to stay up late on a school night and finally catch Chango Man at the Houston Continental Club on Thursday after Beetle.

I’d heard good things about Chango Man, mostly from the members of Chango Man but still, I wanted to check them out. Described as America Cumbia music it is a fantastic blend of Latin sounds that really sounds great. As front man El Fausto (Tino) Jackson likes to say: [paraphrasing] “There’s no reason Latin music can’t rock” and rock it does. It was a great show and definitely worth the time to go see.

Tino is great front man. I’ve seen him play with Beetle and Disco Expressions but when he is out front and taking charge is when he seems to be at his finest.

Chango Man

Close
Chango Man

Chango Man

Close
Chango Man

Chango Man

Close
Chango Man

Additional photos in the Chango Man Gallery

Fleetwood Mac @ The Toyota Center

After the Geek Gathering I wandered over to the Continental Club where I ran into Chris Gray, the music dude for The Houston Press. He asked if I was free on Saturday as he needed someone to shoot the Fleetwood Mac concert @ The Toyota Center. I told him I was available and he asked if I had a “long lens” because the photographers were going to have to shoot from the soundboard which is a pretty good distance from the stage.

My longest concert lens is my Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 which works out to be about 300mm on my crop sensor Sony Alpha 700. I told him I would give it a try.

When I arrived @ The Toyota Center there were two other photographers, one with a Canon and a 400mm f/2.8 and another with a Nikon connected to a 300mm f/2.8 and each was armed with a monopod, something I have not yet invested in.

We were escorted to the soundboard before the show started and I was a little disheartened at the distance from the stage which was about 3/4 of the way to the back of the floor seats.

This shot was taken @ 70mm and gives you an idea of the distance

Fleetwood Mac

Close
Fleetwood Mac

Yea, it was back a ways. I shot the show fully extended at 200mm without the benefit of a monopod. Thank you built in image stabilization from Sony!

Stevie Nicks

Close
Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Close
Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Close
Stevie Nicks

Lindsey Buckingham

Close
Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham

Close
Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham

Close
Lindsey Buckingham

Not bad, but I would have liked to have been closer, or had a lens with more reach and a monopod. Just not sure

Zappa – Them Or Us Tour 1984

Frank Zappa 1984
Close
Frank Zappa 1984

Back in the 80’s, my brother John gave me a Yashica camera which was the first 35mm camera I ever used. I don’t remember the model or the specs, but it was pretty basic as I recall.

Zappa was coming through Houston in 1984 on his Them Or Us Tour and I wanted to get some pics. I knew I would have to smuggle the camera in and that meant flash photography was not an option. John told me about a technique called Push & Pull Processing where you increase the ISO setting on the camera to underexpose the film and then compensated for this in the darkroom. This would allow me to shoot without a flash and hopefully get something usable from the experience.

I had 7th row tickets to this show so a flash might have been helpful, but would certainly draw attention to what I was doing so I decided to shoot using this method.

Now back in the day security at concerts wasn’t all that secure. Still, if you had a camera bag you could get turned away at the door. And even if you did get the camera in the door, if security caught you shooting pics at a major show they wouldn’t take your camera, they would just take your film, usually pulling it from the camera or canister. I’d seen photographers lose a night’s work this way on several occasions.

With this in mind I felt confident my camera was not at risk, but I wanted to make sure I could pull off my plan and walk away at the end of the show with some photos.

I’d seen Zappa before. It was 1981 at The Fox Theater in San Diego. I noted that many of the fans came to the show dressed up in various costumes. I decided I would attend this concert dressed as a Sheik (a la Sheik Yerbouti). I could hide the camera gear in the folds of my robes and hopefully skirt security.

The plan worked better than I could have hoped. Concert security stood practically next to me during most of the show. They either thought I was supposed to be there, or decided that a guy who was dressed in such an attention grabbing manner could be ignored while they scanned the audience for real trouble. I was able to pull out the camera and shoot uninterrupted for the duration of the show.

The results were “so so” but I was happy enough with the results considering this was my first effort.

Frank Zappa 1984
Close
Frank Zappa 1984

1984 Them Or Us Tour
Sam Houston Coliseum

Frank Zappa: guitar, vocals
Ray White: guitar, vocals
Ike Willis: guitar, vocals
Robert Martin: keyboards, tenor saxophone, French horn, vocals
Scott Thunes: bass
Alan Zavod: keyboards
Chad Wackerman: drums

Fun Fun Fun Fest


Chris Trew –Terp 2 It

It was with great anticipation that I headed off to shoot Fun Fun Fun Fest (my first music festival) this weekend. I could only take in one day of the two day festival as I needed to get back home on Sunday.

I arrived in Austin around noon and checked into my hotel and headed off to Waterloo Park to pick up my press credentials. The weather was fantastic and the crowd was very diverse and pleasant.

Johnny

Close
Johnny Peebucks Bonnel of Swingin Utters

The festival organizers did a great job with the hospitality/media area. Comfy couches and chairs with workstations for getting online and chargers for personal electronics. Also food and drink. Top notch, all the way.

The various acts were available throughout the day for interviews and photos

Dan Hobson and Michael Gerald of Killdozer

Close
Dan Hobson and Michael Gerald of Killdozer

The park was very dry and all the pedestrian traffic was kicking up a pretty hefty cloud of dust that was growing thicker and thicker as time went on. Unfortunately, this took a hefty toll on my ability to breath and by 6:00pm I began to crater and headed back to the hotel.

This meant missing The Dead Milkmen and a few other shows I wanted to catch.
Fun Fun Fun Fest

Close
Fun Fun Fun Fest

What did get to see, I enjoyed.

Maybe next year I’ll take my portable respirator.

Fun Fun Fun Fest

Close
Fun Fun Fun Fest