I went some 17 years of shooting bands without being able to get approved for Green Day, then I got two in a row. We were already planning to go to the Pittsburgh show, at Peterson Events Center. And then I got a pass at the last minute. This is the first time I’ve ever shot an arena show – I started out taking photos of my husband’s band at VFW halls and other holes in the wall, and then moved on to ever so slightly bigger venues that still didn’t have photo pits.
The first time I didn’t have to just shoot from the front row in the crowd felt like cheating. I could move my elbows and I didn’t really have to keep an eye on crowd surfers. But this was my first experience with having to check in with a coordinator, and being escorted into the photo pit, and shooting a big production with pyro and whatnot.
Usually being so short in these situations is a challenge, but I got to share the pit with Rich Frollini, who is both a kind and tall man. He was fine with just shooting over my head (and letting me bogart the good spots). Since I’ve seen Green Day a lot, I filled some of the other photographers in on their habit of pulling kids up on stage for Know Your Enemy, so that they could set up for good shots of it. And the kid they picked this time made for some really good shots.
Against Me! opened, and I got to sit up in the rafters singing Teenage Anarchist with the old folks after I shot their set.
Forever taking pictures of people taking pictures. The blur in front of him is somebody’s cell phone.
Mike Dirnt, expert photo bomber.
This kid got me some of my very favorite ever concert shots. The first time I ever saw Green Day play, they made a band on stage – they pulled up a guitarist, drummer, etc. and taught them to play something or other really quickly. It might have been Knowledge, I don’t remember that part.
But I do remember thinking it was about the coolest thing I’d ever seen a band do. They usually don’t replace the whole band anymore, since that shit takes awhile, but they’re still finding guest vocalists. Through the magic of the internet, I managed to find this guy’s uncle and get him copies of the photos I took.
Need more Green Day?
If you want to see more of these (seriously, I have even more of these), check out the Flickr gallery. If you’re looking for some more recent shots, check out my friend Clair’s. Or see more music photos from yours truly.
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