Pierce Edens, based out of Asheville, NC, is one of my all-time favorite musicians. I've now had the pleasure of photographing his performances three times. The concert at Deep South Bar in downtown Raleigh last weekend was full of energy and great vibes. It's fantastic to attend a show in such an intimate venue where you can be close to the stage.
I don't often photograph concerts. I do have a photography series of street musicians, which is comprised of photos that I've taken both in Raleigh and during my travels. However, photographing performances presents unique challenges. The lighting inside a bar is not meant for doing photography, it's meant for drinking and enjoying music. Fast lenses and a high ISO are of the utmost importance. I really specialize in doing portraiture in a setting where I control the light, so doing concert photography brings me out of my comfort zone, which is something we all need from time to time in order to grow as artists (or even to grow as people).
As for Pierce Edens, his music is a high-energy folk-rock from the mountains of North Carolina. He stops in between songs to talk to the audience. Sometimes, he plays with his band, The Dirty Work, who are super fun guys. However, at last week's concert, he played alone. The crowd was truly enjoying his music. Many of us were dancing in the front row, singing along with the lyrics, and participating when Pierce asked us to sing or clap with him. This is my definition of a great rock show. When you leave the venue smiling and you want to listen to more of that artist's music in the car on the way home, that's when you know you went to great show.
I leave you here with a few of the photos I took at the concert. I hope I have the opportunity to go to one his shows again in the near future.