Wow. I am in love. Pemberton was the first big camping music festival I’ve ever been to and it completely blew me away! So many great shows, such little time! With multiple stages running it was so hard to decide which of the incredible shows we were going to see. Also, what shows do we bring the camera gear to and what shows do we just have a dance party? Decisions, decisions. We ended up photographing and dancing to infinite talent and energy in the most gorgeous setting you could imagine. Camping on the valley floor next to a picturesque sheep farm surrounded by huge rugged mountains made the festival all the more magical.
Empire of the Sun
Smashing his guitar like a boss
Nine Inch Nails
Gold & Youth
In the photo pit waiting for Snoop Dogg
Haha. This guy.
High-five runways out of the photo pit
Our beautiful neighbours
By Sunday, the festival grime made it a must to hit up one of the local lakes. Such a beautiful, relaxing, refreshing start to the final day of the festival. Until the drive back to the festival grounds…
We hit a sharp rock on the ride home which poked a hole in the oil pan. It was early afternoon on a Sunday and nothing was open. We were pretty desperate to get it fixed because I needed to head back to Vancouver that night to be back in time to pick up Ella first thing Monday morning so Gene could go to work. We walked to the tourist information centre where a fabulous lady named Shirley (who happened to be the old mayor of Pemberton) said that her best friend’s son was a mechanic and she’d give him a call. Well it turns out her friend’s son is Terry, a professional race car mechanic who happened to be hanging out in his totally outfitted “home” garage. We could not have been in better hands. After giving us beer while we waited, fixing my car, sharing stories, and refusing to accept payment, I was utterly convinced that Pemberton is just code name for Heaven. Terry, you are a gem of a human and I will “pay it forward” as you requested. I hope I can do it with the honour, helpfulness, and comradeship that you did.
Pemberton, I will be back. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
Special thanks to Nick Blasko and Colin McTaggart of Amelia Artists for making the festival coverage possible.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Bif Naked up at the Prince Rupert rally. I had never seen her live before. She has a casual and intimate air about her that made it feel like she was playing for us in her living room. For someone that has had to face some major challenges in her life, it is apparent that she rolls with the punches and comes out smiling. I will definitely try to catch her show again.
I want to start with a great big thanks to Atomique for putting on such great shows and making the Victoria music scene what it is.
I went down to the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre last night to photograph the Metric show. It was great to finally see them live (well, the first three songs anyway). The difference between shooting musicians in the dawn of their career and those that are really well known is access (obviously). I adore shooting the smaller gigs as you have a lot of freedom to roam, time to get into the groove and, in my mind, capture truer images. With the larger shows it is typical to be ushered in just before the set starts, you shoot for the first three songs, and then you are ushered out. The amount of shoot time isn’t an issue for me (I shoot fast and a lot) but it is when it happens in the set that feels wrong to me. *I understand it isn’t all about the photographer, I’m trying to get over that. Haha I’m sure the music industry has excellent reasons for making it the first three songs. * But let me explain where I’m coming from on this one. Music shows are like conversations. When it begins there is usually an air of tension as you try to read the other side while covering the standard rote questions “Where are you from? What do you do?”. It takes a bit of time before you can relax into discussing the stuff that actually matters. The stuff that is a truer representation of you. The stuff that will have you walking away thinking about how awesome the other one is. It takes time to warm up. To get deep. It is the same for shows. The end of the set is ALWAYS (o.k, I’m sure there are some notable exceptions) better, purer, rawer (is that a word?), richer than the start. It is THAT that I’m interested in capturing. THAT is the gold. Not the hello. Not the how are you. But the HEY, THIS IS WHAT I LIVE FOR! THIS IS WHY MY HEART BEATS.
So until I change the system, I give you a hello from Metric:
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