My concert-going friend Jessie and I have been busy lately, with the highlight being Wednesday’s Paramore show at the Beacon Theatre. Thanks to StubHub, I got second-row center seats … and thanks to Eminem and Rihanna, I had Jessie to go with. I met Jessie when I was waiting in line for Em and Rih’s joint Monster Tour show at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and we’ve been going to shows together ever since. This time, I finally took a selfie with her to prove she really exists.
Paramore’s self-titled fourth album went gold recently — two years after it came out — and the band members received their plaques earlier that day, so it felt like an extra-special concert. Here’s lead singer Hayley Williams getting choked up while talking about ending the tour for the self-titled album and preparing to working on the next album.
Another emotional moment was when the group chose an audience member to get on stage and sing “Misery Business” with them. That’s a thing that they do regularly, so a diehard fan named Kelly Longaker came prepared. The second row was full of people waving signs saying, “Pick Kelly!” She kicked ass!
I got some great photos, even though it was a challenge to keep up with Hayley as she zoomed around the stage. That gal has a lot of energy!
When this is full-size, her tattoo is perfectly legible!
More of my best shots are in a Flickr album here. Paramore fans, feel free to repost these as much as you like but please do not photoshop my watermark off especially if you’re going to put yours there instead! Jebus!
I got zero photos when Jessie and I went to see Bjork twice — once in March at Carnegie Hall, and once in April at New York City Center.
Bjork had a no-photo-taking policy. Seth MacFarlane annoyed me with that at the Highline Ballroom in 2012, but with Bjork’s venues, it made more sense. I’ve gone to a lot of performances at Carnegie Hall and New York City Center during which it’s a given that photography is banned (though I have absolutely no regrets about sneaking video of Neil Young performing “Ohio” at Carnegie Hall last year). Still, I wish I could have photographed Bjork, especially because I was fascinated by the big round headpiece that made her look like dandelion fluff. A lot of people these days clutch their pearls and complain about concertgoers not being in the moment at shows due to photography, which apparently was Bjork’s concern. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I feel perfectly fine about the amount of time I take photos and videos compared with the amount of time (plenty!) that I give the camera a rest. I don’t feel less connected to the performance and, in fact, the photos later help me re-experience the emotional impact of the show. Memory alone doesn’t do it justice, but when you have a visual prompt for what happened during a specific song, you’re right back there again.
In between Bjork shows (and after Ariana Grande), Jessie and I went to see Marina and the Diamonds at Rough Trade in Brooklyn. It was a blink-and-you-missed-it three-song performance ahead of a meet-and-greet with fans.
It was interesting to be surrounded for a couple of hours by a horde of teenage girls, many of whom gave stuffed unicorns and other toys to Marina before bursting into tears of excitement. They all had their cute teen fashions on too … now I’m kicking myself for not taking photos of the fans!