Pennywise @ The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, NYC - 5.31.08 (5)

Pennywise @ The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, NYC – 5.31.08

June 2, 2008 | Concert Photography, Photography

I’ve shot Pennywise a few times on the Warped Tour but I never got the chance to shoot photos of them in a venue. While I like shooting outside in the daytime; the photos can be boring after awhile. But I had feeling I was going to prefer going back to shooting punk bands during the day because this set was hard! Members of the band were moving around the stage a lot, wearing hats, mics in their faces, and it was just hard to get some crisp photos of Pennywise. But I did get an awesome & hilarious photo of Jim Lindberg, which you can see above. But I’ll talk to you about that photo in a bit.

The band played a great set filled with new and old songs. Their new album is off MySpace Records and it was available to download for FREE for a whole month. I just think that’s really awesome of the band to do. They know they can sell out clubs across the world, so money really isn’t an issue with them. As long as you are listening to their music and coming to shows, Pennywise doesn’t care how you get their albums. The band started out with “Intro/ As Long As We Can” off their new album. Throughout the night they played songs like “Society,” “Fuck Authority,” “Straight Ahead,” “Perfect People” and “Western World.” At one point, they did back to back covers and Jason of Authority Zero came out to do “Minor Threat” with Pennywise. Jason Cruz of Strung Out and came out and did The Misfits’ “Astro Zombies.” That was really cool to see!

Now the funny photo part…Towards the end of the third song, I was taking pictures of Jim Lindberg of Pennywise. He started to walk over to me; he then GRABBED my camera by the lens and was grinning, and giving me the finger. I just kept pressing the shutter button and hoping I got that in focus. I thankfully got the photos and was relieved since I’ve had bands do that to me and then it wasn’t in focus or I had the wrong lens on. After that, I just kept shooting ‘til the end of the third song. I started to walk out of the pit, and Fletcher tells me to stop and tells the other photographers to stay there as well. He then said we’re going to give the photographers or “the paparazzi” another song to shoot. He said they never do this for photographers. Jim nodded at me and was smiling. Now I’m not sure why Jim and Fletcher picked me out from the photographers, it might be that I was the only photographer wearing a punk shirt (Screeching Weasel shirt)? I don’t know, maybe it was just coincidence?

I’m also kind of insulted by Fletcher calling concert photographers “the paparazzi.” I don’t want to be considered part of that slime; it’s not like I’m following the band to their houses and selling the pictures to those assholes at TMZ. I know the band is from LA and probably have to deal with them over there; but I’m sorry, calling concert photographers that isn’t fair. What would the music world be without all those photos you see on album covers and in magazines/zines/etc? You wouldn’t have a classic punk rock album cover like The Clash’s “London Calling” album would you? Or perhaps all those punk rock photos you see from CBGBs? I just thought that was an unnecessary dig at us, that’s all. After all, I’m there to PROMOTE their show and capture them in the BEST of light, not the worst like those shithead paparazzi. Ok I’m gonna end that quick rant.

So Fletcher tells the photographers in the pit that this is a punk rock show and you should take pictures of the crowd. He pretty much said “if you turn your backs to the crowd to shoot photos of them, we’ll spit on you.” So obviously I turned my back to the band and shot the entire fourth song of the crowd. I try to shoot crowds sometimes, but my main objective for most shows is to get great shots of the bands. Or if I can, both the band and the crowd. This show was an intense one with memorable moments and now I have the photos to back it up.

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