The Key’s Year-End Mania: Rachel Barrish’s Top Five Concert Photographs of 2013
Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, photographer Rachel Barrish shares her favorite shots of the year.
I’ve been photographing concerts for almost two years, and I started out right here at The Key. There is nothing I love more than being able to capture a moment during a concert by a musician I admire, and these are my top 5 photos from various shows I shot this year.
1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs at River Stage at Great Plaza
Being on a Tuesday, you didn’t really know what type of show this was going to be or how many people were going to show up. The place seemed fairly empty for such a large scale when Karen O first came on stage, but it felt like bliss. Seeing a band that big on a large stage with a fairly intimate audience is special and memorable. When the paper “Y” confetti exploded onto the audience I knew that I was lucky to have had the chance to capture this show.
2. Flaming Lips at Festival Pier
Being in the pit at Festival Pier during a Flaming Lips concert is a photographer’s dream. It was large enough for about twenty of us to move around freely and get shots of Wayne Coyne on his silver space ship podium. The colors and the lights were incredible and when the confetti exploded onto the audience I was scrambling everywhere to get as many shots as possible (in addition to grabbing my cell phone to Instagram the moment later on). I was pretty disappointed that Wayne didn’t get into his super size hamster ball and roll over on the audience, but hey, that photo pit was pretty big.
3. Mad Decent Block Party at River Stage at Great Plaza
Although the Flaming Lips show was incredibly beautiful and colorful, it couldn’t compare to the sights and scenes at Diplo’s Mad Decent Block Party. From the cartoon character outfits to furry shoes and brassieres, girls wearing luminescent shorts that barely cover their backside. At any event, it’s a photographer’s duty to get the best and most interesting shot; the Mad Decent Block Party provides no shortage, swarming with interesting and provocative scenery.
4. Sleigh Bells at Union Transfer
The late night party at Union Transfer on a Wednesday was super exciting. Alexis Krauss emerged on stage in a red lined cheetah printed cape and jumped right into their new album Bitter Rivals. Because Union Transfer doesn’t usually have a photo pit, I have to push my way through a hyped-up audience to try and get a good shot. But by being forceful I get the benefit of a good photo and having a great time. Sleigh Bells were intense and terrific, and their larger-than-life rock accompanied by Krauss’s delicate voice made for one heck of a party.
5. Anthony Green at Union Transfer
Anthony Green’s powerful voice, swooning looks, and eccentric stage presence made this a super fun to show to photograph. There’s nothing worse than a show where the members of a band stand still throughout the show without moving around or having any energy at all. Anthony Green’s performance was nothing like that, he captivated the audience and interacted with everyone in the house, making jokes, laughing and singing powerfully with his good friends from Good Old War backing him up.