• 8.24.8 Outside Lands Festival with Wilco – San Francisco

    JeffJeff

     

    No ways I would miss a chance to roam another music festival this summer….

    I took a quickie flight up north to hit the last day of this SF Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival for Wilco on the last show (this leg) of their tour. The arrived at the airport 8 hours too early to meet up with Nels who’s traveling on the Wilco bus. I staked out a corner at SFO to sleep and wait for the sun to rise. By dawn, I hauled my butt over toward the festival ground. This proved to be an unexpected adventure. By 10am, I did quite a few miles of walking back and forth around the outside of the festival gate looking for the right entrance to get in. The festival set up was ridiculously long in distance from one end to the other. Luckily I didn’t mind the mellow morning walk in the amazing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, even with my 75 lbs on my back full of camera gear. But soon after that, my feet were done. I didn’t explore the festival itself too much due to my inappropriate shoes. I didn’t allow myself enough time to THINK ahead as I barely made it to my flight out.

    Once there, and once all the fussy access issues were dealt with, I pretty much tailgated Nels Cline the entire day. The weather was warm’ish overcast. This festival was.. huge. The sea of happy people walking, dancing, laying around everywhere like ants. Good times were evidenced everywhere. I watched only a few bands; Toots & Maytals, Broken Social Science, and the one that impressed me – Bon Iver.

    Then it was time for Wilco to go on. Their stage was on the opposing side of the festival where all the tour buses parked. Everyone had to get shuttled over to stage and later back. Once I hopped on the side of the stage, seeing the sea of crowd was mind blowing. This actually prompted me to soon give up on looking for my local SF resident friend Dave – who’s amongst the crowd of 60 thousands somewhere to the … west …

    After Wilco finished playing, we were in a mad hurry to get out of the festival. I supposed being that it was their last show of the tour, and the day before Jeff Tweedy’s birthday, it was about wrapping it up and go chill in the City. I missed my chance to see Jack Johnson. I only heard him beginning his set from the distance as the bus leaves. I was a little bit bummed since I was looking forward to see him perform. Maybe next time, somewhere.

    Off to the hotel in San Francisco, a few of us had some drinks to cap off the night.  Again, due to the fixed work schedule, I had to catch a 6am flight back to be at work by 9am. Another exhilarating event, checked.
     

    schedule

    schedule

    policemen on patrol

    policemen on patrol

    Police Horse

    Police Horse

    Festival attendees watching band Wilco

    Festival attendees watching band Wilco

    Glenn as a rock drummer

    Glenn as a rock drummer

    Nels

    Nels

    Mikael

    Mikael

    Jeff

    Jeff

    Jeff and Nels guitar interaction

    Jeff and Nels guitar interaction

    Nels

    Nels

    John

    John

    Jeff

    Jeff

    Pat

    Pat

    Jeff - few hours before his 41st birthday

    Jeff - few hours before his 41st birthday


  • 8.14-17.8 Warped Tour with Mike Watt & the Missingmen

    MIke Watt with the Missingmen does Warped Tour 08 - Chula Vista, CAMIke Watt & the Missingmen does Warped Tour 08 – Chula Vista, CA
     

     

    “The longest running of traveling music festival!” Mike Watt announces often on this trip. He speaks very fondly of Kevin Lyman, “the Boss”, the founder of this. I had never attended a Warped Tour out of all 22 years of its existence. When Watt brought it up the he’s taking the Missingmen to do a few of the cities around California, I asked to join. With Watt, I don’t really know how things happen – It’s between my demanding to get involved, or his invitation to participate. In any case, I’d still do my best to be a part of the experience. 

    Knowing full well what I was signing up for, I braced myself for the BOAT RIDE. A space was saved for me in the co-pilot section as the Missingmen guitarist Tom Watson, drummer Raul Moreles, and general roadie friend co conspirator Richard Bonney were in the back seat. Watt signed up the band for 3 shows, and damn it all to hell, I will go to all of them. First show in Chula Vista near San Diego – 2 hour south of LA, then ‘hell ride’ 8-9 hours up the coast to Mountain View for a 9am check in at the festival office. One day break and the last one was to be back southward in Carson, just a bit south of LA. Yes, South – North – South…Watt Style. The third show was the last one to conclude Warped Tour.

    This is one place where I put my ignorance to use more apparently. I decided a long time ago that I would preserve my learning about people/events from real life interaction. This is also to help me be objective in my photography pursuit. The personal impression of people I meet is very crucial, this I find over the years. It is as if all the information from somewhere else – word of mouths, others’ interpretations, internet, websites – are hard for me to filter out once received. I would then get confused and nervous of portraying people the way someone else somewhere might expect. Selfish, I know – but I pay high price to get to be like this.

    Part of the huge ignorance I went in with was about anything Punk ; bands, personalities, histories, and relationships. Other than Mike Watt and his Missingmen that I traveled with, I knew no other bands. I didn’t even know that Warped Tour had always been held in parking lots. About them, I think the festival organization is quite outstanding. All bands must check in first thing in the morning, at the day of event. They were then given the schedule and stage assignment. This way, Watt explained, they will have no problems with bands showing up whenever they want. All the bands and crew get fed 2 meals, lunch and dinner. I appreciated the recycling effort implemented throughout the festival ground.

    Watt and his band was to play at the Old School Stage – this is unique to the West Coast leg of the tour. Bands like Fear, TSOL, The Germs, The Dickies and Watt’s played on this stage. Watching Watt glowed catching up with old friends from ‘back in the days’ was something else. I only caught performances here and there feeling very scattered and ineffective in photo coverage. I couldn’t help it but being crazy distracted by EVERYthing else that was going on. There were at least a dozen stages, and must be close to a hundred bands playing back, and at the same time. I had to constantly remind myself this was another Watt-centric photo coverage. That way I wouldn’t get tempted to stray far. 

    Partial photo report 

    Watt discusses the band schedule - Chula Vista, CA

    Watt discusses the band schedule - Chula Vista, CA

    Watt on stage in Chula Vista where the concert was not

    Watt on stage in Chula Vista where the concert was not

    Raul's smile qualifies to effect world's peace

    Raul's smile qualifies to effect world's peace

    Richard, Tom, and Raul

    Richard, Tom, and Raul

    Band loading out - Chula Vista, CA

    Band loading out - Chula Vista, CA

    Watt - Chula Vista, CA

    Watt - Chula Vista, CA

    neo-retro-punk fashion?

    neo-retro-punk fashion?

    Family Force Five or FF5, the most animated band I had ever seen - Mountain View, CA

    Family Force Five or FF5, the most animated band I had ever seen - Mountain View, CA

    Lee Ving of Fear - Mountain View, CA

    Lee Ving of Fear - Mountain View, CA

    Mondo Lopez of Fear - Mountain View, CA

    Mondo Lopez of Fear - Mountain View, CA

    Watt with Kevin Lyman

    Watt with Kevin Lyman

    Watt - Carson, CA

    Watt - Carson, CA

    Jack Grisham with TSOL - Carson, CA

    Jack Grisham with TSOL - Carson, CA

    Lorna Dooms and Pat Smear - the Germs, Carson, CA

    Lorna Dooms and Pat Smear - the Germs, Carson, CA

    Shane West - the Germs, Carson, CA

    Shane West - the Germs, Carson, CA

    The Dickies - Warped Tour, Carson, CA

    The Dickies - Warped Tour, Carson, CA

    Watt - Chula Vista, CA

    Watt - Chula Vista, CA

    Mike Watt and the Missingmen waiting for BBQ after the festival - Mountain View, CA

    Mike Watt & the Missingmen Raul and Tom after festival in Mountain View, CA


  • 8.6.8 Dillinger Escape Plan – Chain Reaction, Anaheim

    FINALLY I will get to see one of my most fondest of all bands, The Dillinger Escape Plan. I’ve been listening to them for sometimes now. They are the only band of this mathcore genre that I like. All screaming heads are not created equal. As opposed to other bands of a similar stripe, I prefer them for the music. They are stylistically superior in my opinion… and are still a band currently.

    I have always wondered to show up in one of their gigs to get the full experience. They were supposed to play at the House of Blues in West Hollywood AND Anaheim. Somehow, they found out that they are banned on the Disney property? So the HOB in Anaheim was out. I didn’t go to see them at the closer W.Hollywood location on Tuesday because some other conflict of schedules. The following day, I drove down to Chain Reaction in Anaheim instead. This venue is all ages, so I was curious to see how DEP translates in the young crowd.

    Regretfully I barely made it to the gig. They happened to start early for some reasons. I only caught a few last songs. Watching the sober, love-filled, crowd-surfing Orange County kids cranking out their best with the band was a little surreal. I didn’t really have a good spot to photograph. I ran out of time quite quickly too. Next time.

     

    Greg Puciato

    Greg Puciato

    Jeff Tuttle

    Jeff Tuttle

    Billy Rymer

    Billy Rymer


  • 8.1.8 The Return of Spacehog – Troubadour

    Royston LangdonRoyston Langdon

     

    Spacehog –  a band famous for a dramatic 70s style glam rock in the 90s is back. I have seen them many times, the first being on Sunday April 14, 1996 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. I only know that date because I just googled it… The other few times in Los Angeles, I couldn’t find the dates. Oh, wait -Here’s another – Saturday March 13, 1998 at the Hollywood Athletic Club was the one I took the most pictures posted here under the vintage area.

    This is a great band. Each member have their own vibes. Together they are fun to photograph because they can be so animated. I find it challenging to really get that energy translated in my photography style framework. Maybe I might have to break down and use a flash on them? Depends. 

    So, August 1, 2008 – First time in possibly 10 years I’ve seen the band. I was excited to see what they are about these days with the reunion. I was also nervous to see what kind of fans do they have these days? Maybe people my age who remember them the way I do? I ended up didn’t analyze the crowd so much. It was hard to say if the people were there for them, or for the headliner The Subways, which band I knew nothing about. They were actually a great band as I later found out. 

    So, my impression of the show was this – They were just as I remembered them. A slight bit ‘lose’ as for them trying to reach out to connect with the audience. They didn’t seem to have as much fun as before (which was overly) – understandably they are 10 years older. As was I – who is viewing them from a different state now. I do look forward to hear what their new material, and hear more about what they have been up to all these time.
     

    Friday August 8, 2008

    Royston starts the show

    Royston starts the show

    more Royston, easy target

    more Royston, easy target

    Antony Langdon

    Antony Langdon

     

    Vintage

    The following are pictures I’ve taken over 10  years ago. Starting from 1996 as stated earlier. 

    Sunday April 14, 1996

    Richard Steel, Great American Music Hall 1996

    Richard Steel, Great American Music Hall 1996

    Royston Langdon, Great American Music Hall 1996

    Royston Langdon, Great American Music Hall 1996

    Jonny Cragg at the Great American Music Hall, SF 1996

    Jonny Cragg at the Great American Music Hall, SF 1996

    Spacehog Antony Langdon

    Spacehog Antony Langdon

    The following ones were from The Hollywood Athletic Club Saturday March 13, 1998 – Apparently I’m missing a ton of photos from when they played at the Dragonfly a couple of times in between these 2 shows.

     Saturday March 13, 1998

    Spacehog at the Hollywood Athletic Club

    Spacehog at the Hollywood Athletic Club

    Antony

    Antony

    Royston and Richard

    Royston and Richard

    Royston

    Royston

    Royston

    Royston

    Antony

    Antony

    Richard

    Richard


  • 3.13.8 Mike Watt and the Missingmen benefit show for George Tabb at the Safari Sam’s

    Mike - with a handmade sticker someone just gave him

    Mike - with a handmade sticker someone just gave him

     

    Mike talking to Tiff

    Mike talking to Tiff

    Mike talking to people

    Mike talking to people

    Mike Watt and Tom Watson

    Mike Watt and Tom Watson

    Washboard percussionist in the band that played before

    Washboard percussionist in the band that played before

    Guitarist in the band that went on earlier

    Guitarist in the band that went on earlier

    Tom Watson

    Tom Watson

    Mike Watt

    Mike Watt

    Mike Watt

    Mike Watt


  • 2.20.8 Chicago bound : Destination Wilco day 5 Riviera Theatre

    Audience gathered in line waiting for the venue door to open     Audience gathered in line waiting for the venue door to open

    Finally the last night of a this residency at their home town Chicago . This day is as good as any day for me to say something about this band Wilco.

    This is the 2nd run I got to photograph them in an extended period of time. The first time being the West Coast tour in August of 2007. Then, I flew up to get on board with them in Redmond, Washington and rode-along southward covering all the shows in Troutdale, Oregon, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Jay Leno show taping in Burbank. All this was possible because of  their lead guitarist Nels Cline, my top friend. He vouched for me. 

    When I met this band for the first time, I only had vaguely heard of them. The most preparation I got before the trip was to look up wikipedia for the band members’ names. I jumped in and pretty much fell in love with this band before the end of the first show. 

    What makes this band outstanding in my view is first and foremost, the great catalog of music. The more I hear, the more I feel, the more it was right. The quality of the work is the core. Then the personalities around it, the work ethics and structures, the drives, the coordination, were all functioning. The most impressive thing of all was the amazing crew of people who were outrageously nice. All the managers Jason, Abby, Ben, Tony, Nate the drum tech, Steve the monitor guy, Matrix & John the guitar techs, Andy the merchandise manager, .. everyone all the way to the truck drivers were so very friendly and kind. It’s definitely a family.

    Maneuvering around this was then easy. Everyone was so inspiring.

    So here I was – day 5 of a very special event. By this time I was already used to with the cold lifestyle. For no other reasons than watching my cousin pulled together her daily routine without and issues. I was very comfortable in this city. Even the Wilco fans were a lot of the same sweet people I saw over the 5 shows. Dedication, love, and community – What an amazing entity in itself.

    Picture round up :

    Lovely people!

    Lovely and brave people!

    Will Call stationeer

    Will Call stationeer

    Securities in place, about to open the door

    Securities in place, about to open the door

    Mad rush for the best spot

    dashing for the best spot

    Audience anticipation

    Audience anticipation

    Pat and Mikael figuring out the samplers or .. the modules... or the plugins..

    Pat and Mikael figuring out the samplers or .. the modules... or the plugins..

     

    Sheet Music for the "Total Pros"

    Sheet Music for the "Total Pros"

     

     

    mic'd amp

    mic'd amp

    Mikael

    Mikael

    Nels Cline's petals and effects

    Nels Cline's petals and effects

    Pat

    Pat

    Mikael

    Mikael

    Ken streaming live music and stills

    Ken streaming live music and stills

    John

    John

    Zoran Orlic, the Wilco photographer

    Zoran Orlic, the Wilco photographer

    Nels

    Nels

    Mikael

    Mikael

    Jeff

    Jeff signing some posters

    Ben Levin and the Total Pros

    Ben Levin and some people

    Glenn and Ben

    Glenn and Ben

    Jeff

    Jeff

    John

    John

    Wilco last night , last song ending the 5 show residency

    Wilco last night , last song ending the 5 show residency


  • 2.19.8 Chicago bound : Destination Wilco day 4 Riviera Theatre

    Yes. I was there. But … I can’t find the negatives from this whole night. 
    They – will – turn – up —-


  • 2.18.8 Chicago bound : Destination Wilco day 3 Riviera Theatre

    Day 3 of the show : I was so excited to bring with me my 12 year old second cousin, (or niece in Thai term), with me to the show. This was crazy amazing mainly because it will be her first concert ever. Her best friend also coming along with her. Manager Jason was super cool that he gave them “working passes” so they can run around with me freely.

     

    John with acoustic bass guitar and Glenn

    John with acoustic bass guitar and Glenn

    Mikael and Pat keys moment

    Mikael and Pat keys moment

    Andrew Bird and Glenn Kotche

    Andrew Bird and Glenn Kotche

    Pat, Jeff, and Glenn before show

    Pat, Jeff, and Glenn before show

    Nels during the show

    Nels during the show

    Pat during the show

    Pat during the show

    John and Glenn during the show

    John and Glenn during the show

    Glenn

    Glenn

    Guest - Andrew Bird

    Guest - Andrew Bird

    Jeff

    Jeff

    Wilco on stage day 3

    Wilco on stage day 3


  • 2.16.8 Chicago bound : Destination Wilco day 2 Riviera Theatre

    Day 2 of so many things :
    Day 2 of Chicago winter.
    Day 2 of reconnection with family
    Day 2 of  Wilco-centric photography

    Wilco the snacks

    snacks

    Nels and Glenn discussed yet another music related item

    Nels and Glenn discussed yet another music related item

    Mikael Jorgensen and Manager Extraordinaire Jason Tobias

    Mikael Jorgensen and Manager Extraordinaire Jason Tobias

    Jeff T going through some songs

    Jeff going through some songs

    Mikael going through songs

    Mikael

    Glenn.. also going through songs

    Glenn

    Andrew Bird sits in with Wilco

    Andrew Bird sits in with Wilco

    Pat does his thing

    Pat does his thing

    Jeff during the show

    Jeff during the show

    Nels during the show

    Nels during the show

    Glenn during the show

    Glenn during the show

    Wilco on stage

    Wilco on stage


  • 2.15.8 Chicago bound : Destination Wilco day 1 Riviera Theatre

    A short flight from New York over to Chicago was simple. I arrived early in the morning to situate myself for the next five days of my stay in the city. The first concert was happening later the same day. The midwestern dead winter cold had been a challenge to me. It was the first time I experienced the temperature under … 30º! It snowed a tiny bit. It was the first snowing action I’d seen, ever. It was like powder…., yes, a profound observation here. I think it was 8º or some silliness. I don’t get how humans can live in such dramatic weather conditions? Looking at the buried drive ways and vehicles, it made me want to rebuild everyone’s houses to be underground with a heat pad roof top. But I speak purely out of humor at the expense of my own ignorance. Here I was looking forward to Wilco’s 5 day residency at the Riviera Theatre in Uptown Chicago. By the time the plane landed, I was  more queasy about meeting up with my family who I hadn’t seen in over a decade. I’ll be staying with them.

    I’ll skip the family part for a different blog.

    Later in that afternoon, I took the train from 10 miles northwest of the venue to arrive around 4pm to catch the soundcheck. The theater was a good size holding about 2500 people. All of the the 5 nights were sold out. What was most impressive to me was to see a line of people in freezing cold outside waiting to get in so they can get the best spots. The door opens at 6, but people arrive as early as 9 or 10 am! (I photographed some of that in later days. It took me more than a day to get used to being out in the element, and finally I got the guts to go take pictures of people huddling outside.) This band is so loved, and rightfully so, I think.

    tampered

    tampered

    Rehearsal/SoundcheckJohn – Soundcheck
    Jeff Tweedy

    Jeff Tweedy

    residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    Jeff - residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    Pat's side of stage - residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    Nels - residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    Glenn - residency day 1 The Riviera Theatre, Chicago

    Glenn

    Glenn