Friday, June 8, 2012

The Steepwater Band - House of Blues, Chicago




I normally would tell the story as the evening unfolds, starting from the beginning, and ending at the end. However this time I am switching it up, because I cannot wait until the end to give you the top billing tonight. I was blown away, and so I need to do my humble best to put you in my seat . . . hang on for the ride . . .


The Steepwater Band
at
House of Blues Chicago

Jeff Massey

Tod Bowers


Joe Winters


Eric Saylors



For those who are new to my blog, you can click on the photograph to enlarge it, and then click on the enlarged photo once again to index through. Also, for the most part I do not edit my photos. What you see is what I shot. There are those occasions when I have to color correct because of lighting, to better present to you the voice of the concert. The photos of The Steepwater Band are all raw. (I was tempted to do some correction, however I am going to lay myself on the line on this one.)

For a band to function as a whole, body language is used a lot to indicate the mood, the change up, the vibe as I call it. (Oh, let us not forget a lot of practice as well.)  The signal bounces from musician to musician, as a wireless sync. These guys are at the top when it comes to sync. They watch, take note, and school us as to their interpretation of what music is.  The Steepwater Band's music needs to be taught to everyone!!!!!!  (I have a CD now to learn from . . . oh ya.)

Here are some photos of the evening . . .














(my hero, Joe . . . wished I still played the drums)










The entire band is great. Once you sit back and re-revisit as I am with these photos, one memory keeps coming back to me, and that is of Tod Bowers. He has a very comfortable stage presence, using the entire floor to jam on, sort of overseeing the emotions of everyone and making sure they are pumped up and on edge.  Tod became the X-factor for me this night, and please do not connect that with any TV show.  And realize, this role can change from night to night in any band.  This seemed be Tod's turn by nature.






Though I do have at least a couple good shots of everyone, this next one of Eric stands out to me a pretty cool for whatever reason. Perhaps because this is not a shot most photographers would choose to take.






I am sorry, after looking at these photos again I have come to my personal conclusion that Bass players are cool . . .



And, I had always wanted to play the drums as a kid. Started, just was never supported in it. Drummers are cool too . . .








Hey, photographers were only to be in the "pit" for the first three songs . . . however many were cheating when Steepwater was up . . . hmmm (see bottom of next photo)



So, back down to the "pit" I go . . .

House of Blues only allow you in the "pit" for the first three songs of each band. I believe it is so the fans are not obstructed by the photographers. I am not really sure (I'm new at this). However, about half way into their set, after seeing others taking advantage and later getting told to leave the pit, I ducked back in myself and sat down on a small platform.  I was able to take these next set of photos before my seconds were numbered. I think because I was courteous to the staff all evening, following all the rules up to that point, they cut me a little slack and gave me my time.  Or, super stealth struck again!  Also, I am sitting near stage left, so the next set of photographs are a bit biased because of what I was able to see.





Why do it if you are not having fun . . . and it shows not only on them, but in their music . . .




No, this is not a face of pain, but rather one of making those guitar strings cry out to you to listen, feel the vibe, to join in and get down . . .



These guys put a lot of emotion into their music. Each has their moment in time during a song, and you can see the strength of the band shift from member to member, each telling a story through every note, gesture, breath.  I think Eric did an excellent job when it was handed to him.  Those strings sang out what I saw, and hopefully what you will see in my photography of him . . .




Okay, now I want to be a guitar player, they are cool . . .







Guitar players seem to do their best when it looks like they are making love to their guitar, trying to hit that climax . . . seems to be a natural emotion . . . Eric made it happen . . .  (A lot of photos of Eric here, but there is a story being told.  Taking out words cheapens the story as it were.)







I can see why chicks dig guitar players . . . I wanna be a guitar player when I grow up . . . until then I am playing with my camera.






Well, at this point I was asked to leave the "pit", so I went back up to the balcony where it seemed most of the other photographers were not using.  So I did a little elevation exploitation . . .





Drummers normally do not get their share of good photographs, being in the back, and as a photographer not being allowed to walk around "on-stage" to get a shot. However, this is probably the cleanest photos I have taken of a drummer, so here you go Joe . . .




Man, I do not know now.  Maybe I still wanna be a drummer when I grow up . . .




Time to shift to another balcony section . . .







Hmm. Maybe it is cooler to be the lead vocal and guitar player? They seem to be the most popular with the ladies, which means it is the most popular for the guys who want to play in a band. (Bottom line, it is always the talent, not the position . . .)










Damn, the band is getting down right now. The energy in the air is jumping at you. Like little static charges at your skin.








Okay, I am indecisive on what part of the band is the coolest, so it must be the band itself.  Though not all bands are created equal . . . there are those who give the effort to the band first with the result of a magnificent performance that we the people enjoy!  And, I think I need to join a band to loose weight . . . these guys really work at what they do and enjoy it !!!

I want to thank the The Steepwater Band for giving me this chance to grow my photography skills.  I have been doing this since this past January (2012), and I have been deep diving into it because it is a hell of a lot of fun.  Sort of a burning passion that was kept low lit all these years, and now on fire.  Wish I could quit my day job!

Another special thanks to Pete Calacci, a friend of The Steepwater Band and me.  Pete is not just an excellent lead guitar player himself, but also a friend who hooked me up for this photo shoot with The Steepwater Band, and photographing in a large venue as the House of Blues Chicago.  When Pete makes it to House of Blues, I want to be in his face taking photographs . . . 

I hope I have excited you to go see The Steepwater Band.  If not, then I have failed . . . so then tell me why and I will improve.  Oh, and one of these days I have to meet these guys in person!!!!

For more on The Steepwater Band, check this out . . .



Also, much of this night's energy was generated from The Steepwater Band's music that can be found on their CD . . . so check this out too . . .

CLAVA

Just listened again to Track 1, Remember the Taker again today while driving to work.  Really top end music, the groove I remember having fun listening to sitting around with friends, and a most excellent piece in the concert at House of Blues Chicago.

3 comments:

Kelly Gathman said...

Kick ass shots, man! REALLY made me feel like i was there and not here in Oklahoma!! Enjoyed reading about ur evening with them! Glad to hear u had a good time!! ^_^

Wesley Bushby said...

Glad you liked them. Had a blast listening to them, and taking the photos.

Kelly Gathman said...

Ive known about this band since 1999...still havent seen them live yet. :) I hope to, someday! ^_^