Tag Archives: Music

Photosafari: Sasquatch! 2012

I said it before and I’ll say it again; “someone will have to pay me to go back next year.”

Sasquatch! is a young person’s game and I’m getting too old to deal with the hoards of party folk blaring late-night dub-step.

My yearly pilgrimage to the Gorge (a.k.a. the shrub-steppes) now consists of taking photographs while enjoying a handful of musicians.

This year’s lineup was not as spectacular as years prior but there were still some great acts that did not disappoint.

As for the photos, I managed to snag a couple good shots here and there despite not having a “media pass” for the third year in a row. This has got me thinking; I might be the best Sasquatch! photographer to never have proper media credentials.

But, I digress…

Let’s take a look at some of the photographs from this year’s photosafari.

Approximately 1/6 of the campgrounds at Sasquatch!. In the foreground, people play a game called “ladders.” They try to wrap a bola around one of three rungs on their opponent’s ladder.

Before you feast your eyes upon the Gorge’s natural beauty, you must wade through the lawless wasteland that is the campgrounds.

A circular field of farmland transforms into a campground overnight in order to accommodate 30,000 concert goers.

Life in the grounds resembles a frat-house squatters camp. People spend their days drinking, playing games (flip cups, beer pong and “ladders”), listening to music and, if need be, looking for drugs.

Wild winds blow through the campgrounds moving tents around like tissue paper.

During the Memorial Day long weekend, the temperature is always hovering around the mid-high 20s (C). Wind and rain can roll in at anytime making things unpredictable.

Just like the weather, the campground antics is also unpredictable. It is a goldmine for bizarre sights and oddities.

A young man wearing a horse mask is being examined by a couple Grant Country Police horses.

Shower time.

Passed out.

Endless lines.

So many people are vying to expose their unique characteristics and be accepted in a temporary-anarchistic society. It’s a fair assumption to say that the average person cannot handle the four day festival culture that breeds on the banks of the Columbia River in Central Washington.

The beauty of the Gorge with moody clouds.

The Gorge Amphitheatre is the most beautiful theatre I have ever had the privilege of seeing. Every year, I take the same shots but they still seem as fresh and beautiful as my first time at the Gorge. It’s a shame that the Sasquatch! organizers try to impose lens limitations on DSLR’s.

Girl Talk at the main stage.

On the first day, I tried to bring my new GoPro camera into the concert. The bag-check security, that normally looks for booze, told me I could not bring the wide-angled recording device into the fairgrounds. As he was telling me this, a young man with a slack-jawed grin was holding a GoPro in his hands walking through the gates.

I pointed and said, “but that guy has the exact same video camera.”

The guard said I would have to return to the campsite with the camera. I managed to talk my way out of a twenty-minute walk back to camp by promising that the small camera would never see the light of day. I kept my promise because I had other plans for my Nikon and 200-300mm lens.

Jack White with his all male band headlining Saturday at Sasquatch! White was, in my opinion, the best act of the weekend.

People ask how I managed to get all my camera gear into the fairground and every time I’d tell them that I smuggled my lenses in a secret compartment in my backpack. Once I’m past the gates, I’ll take off the 50mm lens from my camera and then fasten an appropriate lens for sniping sweet pics.

Catch Hell Blues.

Tenacious D and the Rize of the Fenix

John C. Reilly and Friends

John C. Reilly and Friends

Photographing musicians/bands is cool but it often leaves me feeling hollow. Unless you are shooting a lively band hell-bent on doing sweet jumps and emitting sweet emotions with a visual display happening right behind them, every gig seems the same. Photographing bands then turns into an act of capturing superficial trophies. It’s kind of creepy in a One Hour Photo type of way.

I’ve made it clear to some that I make this annual photosafari to document the freaks and their adventures at Sasquatch! And, I mean “freak” as in:

a. A drug user or addict: a speed freak.
b. An eccentric or nonconformist person, especially a member of a counterculture.
c. An enthusiast: rock music freaks.


1. An abnormally formed organism, especially a person or animal regarded as a curiosity or monstrosity.

Look at the counterculture all over her face and someone’s flashing a peace sign. #GiveMeABreak

I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty tired of writing this post. I’m probably just going to wrap it up with a couple more photos and say “see you next year.” Hopefully I’ll get some coin thrown my way next time around…

War paint on a pacifist.

Kids love hugging.

Got Bent.

Thanks Sasquatch! I can’t wait till next year when 30,000 people come together to shit on one of the most beautiful places on Earth, again….

New Pornographers in the Park

The New Pornographers play the main stage at a free concert at Stanley Park to celebrate 125 years of Vancouver. Three giant inflatable balls were released into the audience and passed around during the performance.

A concert in the park is not a phrase normally associated with Vancouver or Stanley Park but for three days in July the city hosted free concerts showcasing an array of local talent.

The festivities were put on as a celebration of Vancouver’s 125 year anniversary. The location for the event could not have been any more perfect than along the peninsula of Stanley Park’s lush green Brockton Point. The stage and festival goers were surrounded by water and towering Douglas Firs and Western Hemlocks. These grand old trees filtered the day’s radiant dying sun and a slight breeze from Coal Harbour kept the summer night below the average annual temperature.

Saturday night’s headliner was The New Pornographers. They are a successful local band that started back in 1997 and have released several acclaimed albums with hits like “Mass Romantic,” “Use It” and “My Rights vs. Yours.”

The New Pornographers took the stage around 9:30 as twilight set in over Vancouver.

Niko Case singing with The New Pornographers during a free concert at Stanley Park to celebrate 125 years of Vancouver.

For the most part, The New Pornographers’ sound was crisp and clear. The band has a polished live performance and they prove to play with masterful skill. The only technical snag to the show came with moments of sharp feedback when all members of the band sang in harmonious chorus. As the concert continued, most of the audio problems were properly regulated by the sound crew.

The crowd had its moments of douche-baggery. There were a couple of ass-holes in the crowd that pulled some idiotic stunts. The first came during the intro to “Adventures in Solitude.” Some of the crowd started to clap out of time with the rhythm of the slow ambient sound of the intro. Frontman, A.C. Newman started to laugh and stopped playing.

“You’re not even close,” he jokingly said to the crowd. “Do you know how hard it is to play when you’re clapping out of time?”

A.C. Newman sings with The New Pornographers at Stanley Park during free shows to celebrate Vancouver's 125 years as a city.

The band started the song over again replaying the slow intro of a carefully plucked acoustic guitar and the soothing sound of simple piano chords.

A handful of people started a rhythmic clap just like before.

“Stop it!” said Newman with a serious authority.

The clapping faded out a second later but a few people continued the distraction in defiance of the simple request. Newman accepted this and waited a few more beats before attempting to sing.

Another display of idiocy came during the last song of the night. The band had just started singing the final portion of “The Bleeding Heart Show” when someone threw a half can of beer on stage. The can landed to the right of Nico Case and some of the beer showered her as she sang. There was a brief moment of disgust on both Case and Newman’s face but they carried on with the final song.

It was unfortunate to see a beer thrown on stage at a free, family friendly event. I can understand if this happened at a rowdy major music festival. It is a luxury and a privilege to have an opportunity to watch a free concert at a beautiful venue.

It seems like a very small handful of people keep overstepping the boundaries of acceptable behaviour while the rest stand by and watch for what happens. I only hope I’m out of this town when these few rotten apples spoil the harvest for everyone else…

Photo-Safari @ Sasquatch!

First off, I would like to apologize for my absence. I have not posted anything in a long while because I was preoccupied with practicum at BCIT. It got a little crazy at times but I powered through like everyone else.

To celebrate the end of my first year of Broadcast Journalism, I went on a little trip down to Sasquatch Music Festival in George, Washington.

Fellow colleague Mitch Pollock and I were supposed to get media passes to cover the event but we were refused only weeks before the festival.

This little set back did not keep me from bringing my camera and taking some good shots.

A hipster rides his bicycle along the stoney roads in the Gorge's camp ground.

The campsite at the Gorge is a giant circular crop field. Campers can be overwhelmed at first by the layout of the land. One solution is to set up a landmark in your campsite. This one particular site has an American flag as its indicator.

A young man plays a mandolin from the back of a station wagon in the campgrounds at the Gorge. Playing music is a popluar activity to passtime before the concert grounds open.

Three young men sit on top of an RV and look over their campsite. Sitting and waiting is an important part of the Sasquatch experience. There is usually a lot of time before the concerts begin so the festival goers pass that time with drinking and drugs.

Amanda Coumbos brushes her teeth from the back of a van in the Gorge camping grounds during the first first day of the Sasquatch music festival. Brushing teeth is and baby wipes becomes the most important thing in upkeeping personal hygiene while camping at the festival.

A group of young men kick around a soccer ball in the camp grounds at Sasquatch Music Festival.

A young woman poses for a picture in the middle of the campground roads. Thousands of people attending the festival want to replicate a Psuedo-Native-American/Neo-Hippy look with head bands, feathers, and body paint.

A young man dressed in a star costume walks around the camp ground hours before the first shows at Sasquatch Music Festival.

Two young men play beersbee in the camp grounds. The point of beersbee is to knock your opponents beer bottles off of a post. The opponents must try to catch the falling bottles or frisbee to not get scored on.

Weird sights and sounds are normal at Sasquatch! Music Festival. A Young man carries around a blowup doll on the first morning of the concerts.

Three girls excitedly invade the frame for a forced photograph at the Gorge's camping grounds.

Two men walk along the campsite selling neon Sasquatch hats they had designed for the four day festival.

Stephanie Talbot sits within a camp with body paint on her arm.

Three young women pass around a long wooden pipe and smoke an unknown substance from the bowl.

Once again, hula-hoop girl takes the time to do her thing in the camp grounds at Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge in George, Washington State.

A woman hula-hoops in the early morning of the first day of the Sasquatch music festival at the Gorge in Washington State. Hula-hoops seemed to be "in" this year as a popular passtime in the camp.

Hula-Hoop girl takes to the roof of her car to demonstrate her talent yet again.

Another hula-hoop girl does her thing at the top of the hill at the Gorge. Hula-hoops were the latest rage at this year's Sasquatch Music Festival.

Female vocalist from Black Mountain Amber Webber sings on the Big-Foot Stage at Sasquatch Music Festival.

Black Mountain performs on the Big-Foot Stage at Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge in George, Washington on Memorial Day.

Black Mountain guitarist and singer Stephen McBean plays on the Big-Foot Stage at Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge in George, Washington.

Female vocalist from Black Mountain Amber Webber sings on the Big-Foot Stage at Sasquatch Music Festival.

People pack the Banana Shack at night to catch a DJ set. One young man is chewing on a glow stick while enjoying the show.

A Beverage Enforcement officer tells one of the festival goers to get off of a garbage can that is being used as a platform for a better vantage point to see the bands. The young man on the garbage can eventually gets down from his perch.

A group of girls decide to go topless and put body paint hand prints over their breasts.

The silhouette of Sleigh Bells guitarist Derek E. Miller as seen from the rowdy crowd in the Banana Shack at Sasquatch Music Festival.

Sleigh Bells singer Alexis Krauss performs in the Banana Shack at Sasquatch Music Festival.

The Glitch Mob plays their set in the Banana Shack at the Sasquatch Music Festival. The Banana Shack is where many DJ's and smaller rowdy shows get played later during the day.

A man wears an elaborate Native American head-dress to Sasquatch Music Festival. The four days of music attracts many different styles to the Gorge at George, Washington.

Two hipsters sit in the grass by the mainstage at Sasquath Music Festival.

Three young men wash their hands after using the Honey Buckets located in the camp grounds at Sasquatch Music Festival.

A young women waits her turn to use the Honey Buckets at the Gorge's campgrounds at Sasquatch Music Festival.

This is a test. How many items in this picture reveal that both these people are hipsters.

A young man embraces the young women in front of him while waiting for Black Mountain to hit the stage.

Guitarist James Bowman from Against Me! rocks out an Am Chord at Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge.

Tom Gabel from Against Me! plays in front of a couple thousand people during the first day of Sasquatch! Music Festival.

Andrew Seward from Against Me! plays bass in front of thousands of people at 2011 Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge in George, Washington

Death From Above 1979 bassist Jesse F. Keeler plays at the main stage at Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge in George, Washington.

Death From Above 1979 bassist Jesse F. Keeler plays at the main stage. Thousands of fans rushed the front to watch the reunited band playing at Sasquatch!

A couple people jump rope in the furtherst camping grounds at the Gorge in George Washington. This area has been given the nick name New Somalia because things are much more liberal and unstructured in those camp grounds.

A couple people jump rope in the furtherst camping grounds at the Gorge in George Washington. This area has been given the nick name New Somalia because things are much more liberal and unstructured in those camp grounds.

A man jumps through a hula-hoop while by the mainstage at Sasquatch Music Festival.

The Sasquatch main stage during the Flaming Lips show.

The Flaming Lips front man Wayne Coyne ventures into the crowd in an orb. The Flaming Lips are known for putting on an extravagant show.

The Sasquatch main stage was packed with people during the Flaming Lips set.

Sam Roberts playing the single "I Feel You" live at Sasquatch.

Sam Roberts Band bassist James Hall plucks his vintage Rickenbacker at the Sasquatch Music Festival in central Washington.

The Sam Roberts Band posing for a picture after their show on the Big-Foot Stage.

A man practices poi-poi during the day at the festival campgrounds at Sasquatch. He said that we should come back at night when he gets the fire going.

A mother carries her child as they watch Wolf Parade at the Sasquatch mainstage. It is not uncommon for parents to bring children to the four day long music festival.

A group of shirtless men jump around while watching Flogging Molly at the main stage along the Gorge in George, Washington.

A man is held up above the heads of fans watching the Sam Roberts Band perform at the Big-Foot Stage at Sasquatch Music Festival.

A women leans in to whisper into the ear of her friend while standing at the top of the hill at the Gorge in George, Washington.

The Decemberists played one of the last shows at the 2011 Sasquatch Music Festival. Many fans watched the show from the slopes of the main stage hill.

Someone drove their old Thunderbird to the Gorge. It's an odd sight to see such an old car in a dangerous place like Sasquatch.

A man sleeps in the grass while Sasquatch Music Festival happens around him.

Deer Hunter guitarist Lockette Pundt performs on the final night of the 2011 Sasquatch Music Festival.

Deer Hunter plays on the Big-Foot Stage on the final night of 2011 Sasquatch Music Festival.

Deer Hunter guitarist and singer Bradford Cox plays the final night at the 2011 Sasquatch Music Festival.

A Sasquatch fan takes a minute to lean against a fence and find himself.

In total, I took over 2000 photographs. These were some of the better pictures I shot over the four day festival. There may be some new additions to upload later but these will do for now.

Prisoners @ The Biltmore

Prisoners released their first EP album “THIS IS ALL OF THE TIME” on April 7. They played to a pumped audience that filled the Biltmore. It was a great set with some decent pictures to show.

I strongly suggest you go out and download their album here. I’m really digging some of the tracks on this EP and I hope to hear more from this band sooner than later.

Anyways, here’s some of the photos from that night. Enjoy!

Analog Bell Service @ The RedRoom

The Peak’s WestCoast Pop put on another Saturday night concert series at the RedRoom. We Are the City and Aidan Knight were headlining the evening but I was extremely impressed with Analog Bell Service.

ABS has a lot of energy and their stage presence shows in these photographs. The RedRoom is quickly turning into one of my favourite venues to photograph live shows.

I was mesmerized by this last photo. In a semi-drunken stupor of amazement, I gazed at this photograph for about five minutes last night. Practice, practice, practice before Sasquatch!

The band, the myth, the legend…

This video is the reason I have not had any time to post new content on my blog.

At the start of this semester we were told we had to produce a five minute feature. Our group brainstormed a couple ideas but nothing struck us as original or interesting. That was, until we heard about Killarney.

Killarney is the house band that plays at the Blarney Stone. You’ve probably heard them play if you’ve ever been to the Gastown pub/club on the weekend.

This is the story of a little band that’s been playing for the generations.

I’m very proud to present Killarney.

I would like to thank the band for allowing us to tell their story.

And, I would also like to thank the Blarney Stone for allowing us to film during their busy Saturday night rush.

Project: Sasquatch!

God's Amphitheatre.

Sasquatch! is coming quickly and there’s not much time until colleague Mitchell Black and I embark upon an important mission to acquire media passes to cover the main event.

Black is an impressive writer with a renowned taste in music and I have a sharp eye for imagery with a quick trigger finger.

From bands to life in the camps, we will experience and cover the great wonder that is Sasquatch! Music Festival.

This is the tenth year of the music festival and fans are expecting it to be the most impressive show to date.  Already, we have seen a fourth day of music added to the weekend but so far The Foo Fighters is the only band to be confirmed as a headliner.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at Sasquatch! 2010.

Sasquatch! Music Festival 2011 reports that Wolf Parade and Das Racist are also booked to preform during the Memorial Day weekend. The website has also released a list of bands rumoured to play at the festival. Chromeo, Cold War Kids and the Arcade Fire are speculated to be just a couple of the bands slated to rock the Gorge.

According to the Seattle Weekly, the festival’s line up is set to be released February 6 during a Sasquatch! Launch Party at The Showbox in Seattle but there is no information regarding the event on the venue’s website.

Get ready folks.

It is coming.

Maybe these photos will appease your anxiousness.

‘Money For Nothing’ and the CBSC

A press release from the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council shocked classic rock radio stations and music fans across Canada.

On January 12, the CBSC ordered all Canadian radio stations to stop broadcasting Dire Straits’ 1984 hit ‘Money For Nothing’ because of the word ‘faggot’ (used three times throughout the song).

For many music fans, the CBSC’s decision comes as a shock.

‘Money For Nothing’ has been played countless times on various radio stations across the nation for over 25 years.  Dire Straits has also won many prestigious music wards because of this mega-hit single:

1986 Grammy for Record of the Year / 1986 American Music Award for Record of the Year / 1986 9 MTV Video Music Awards / Billboard #1 single September 21 ‐ October 5, 1985.

Even if you’re not a fan of Dire Straits, you’ve probably heard the song at least once in your life and you’ll recognize the controversial lyrics in question; “the little faggot with the earring and the make-up / yeah, buddy, that’s his own hair / that little faggot’s got his own jet airplane / that little faggot, he’s a millionaire…”

But on February 1, 2010, a listener of CHOZ-FM, a New Foundland based radio station, filed a complaint to the CBSC.

“I find this extremely offensive as a member of the LGBT community and feel that there is absolutely no valid reason for such discriminatory marks to be played on-air,” said the unnamed listener from an excerpt of the complaint to the CBSC.

Nearly a year later the CBSC made their decision on the controversial lyrics.

“The CBSC concluded that the presence of the word “faggot” in the song contravened the Human Rights Clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code.”

Gorgeous Hannah Georgas stole my heart…

Hannah Georgas first full-length album, "This is Good", was released April 27, 2010. It is definitely worth a listen.

For nearly 34 minutes today I felt something that I had not experienced for quite some time.  It was as if my heart was revived and suddenly susceptible to the dumbfounded follies of love.

All I could think about was this beautiful voice singing only for me.

Hannah Georgas first full-length album, “This is Good”, captures the soft but potent songs of love, confusion and all the trivialities that come with being alive during the 21st century.

The Vancouver based singer-songwriter has crafted some of the most astounding songs of the year and has released a marvellous collection of music.

After listening to the album all the way through, I came to the conclusion that Georgas must know who I am.   I’m sure she wrote those songs specifically for my reawakening of juvenile innocence as the blossoming lazy days of spring and summer suddenly pass me by.

Every single song spoke to me and each catered to a forgotten memory lost along the way by each passing day.

Songs like ‘Love Sick’ are a master piece of modern music.  Georgas’ voice has the ability to open the mind to a blissful state of some unknown nostalgia and reveal that moment you first fell in love or how we tend to get caught up in the chaos of daily circus.

‘Your Ghost’ sounds like an eerie mix of Alanis Morissette sung to a Matthew-Good-style of meaningful melodic music.  The finished product is four minutes of hauntingly beautiful splendour.

And ‘Something for You’ is a magnificent closing song for such a wonderful album.  The incorporation of clarinets, horns and guitars create a playful jazz sound fit for the wildly sexy streets of New Orleans and Paris.

After listening to the album, the seriousness of my daily routine suddenly ceased to exist.  I wanted to leave work and lie in an open green-grassy field while Georgas sang songs for me.  I wanted to spend the day in the sun, eating grapes and talking to friends while enjoying the luxury of wasted time.  I wanted to ask Georgas a thousand questions and talk about life.

For a little over half-an-hour today, gorgeous Hannah Georgas stole my heart and reminded me how fun life can be.