Rachid Taha @ Central Park SummerStage, NYC – 7.5.08
July 12, 2008 | Concert Photography
I first heard Rachid Taha on the Black Hawk Down soundtrack. I liked the song when I heard it but didn’t check him out any further at the time. Then I just kept happening to listen to the song “Barra Barra” over time and finally decided to get some of Rachid’s music. My favorites album are “Diwan” and “Diwan 2” but I also love his cover of the Clash’s Rock The Casbah. Once I found out he was performing a free concert in Central Park, I knew I wanted to experience one of his shows. The day was rainy and humid but that didn’t stop the masses from seeing this French-Algerian Rai-Punk legend.
Before the concert, it was raining a lot. It stopped for the first two bands but then started to rain in the middle of Rachid’s set. At that point I didn’t mind because my camera was packed away after getting a lot of good shots of the band. He played many tracks off “Diwan 1 & 2” and his other albums. I was hoping he played “Barra Barra” but he never ended up playing it. He did play “Bent Sahra,” “Ecoute Moi Camarade,” and “Rani” which are some of my favorites. During his set, he had great stage presence; dancing about like Michael Jackson and chain-smoking his way across the stage. At one point he came up to photographers and was dancing, grabbing himself right in front of photographer Ryan Muir. I was cracking up as this was happening. I also noticed Rachid getting pissed at the techs because the drums weren’t working and he just kept yelling & spitting on the ground. I thought, how French. The crowd loved him and I thought he was great as well! I wished he played longer but perhaps next time he’s in town he’ll play longer and I’ll get to hear more songs from him.
During this set, I used the 70-200mm f2.8 lens. I shot most of the photos of Rachid Taha, but I got a lot of other members as well. We only had 3 songs to shoot, I believe the other bands were given a little bit longer to shoot. This was my first outside show this year so it was nice to get some daylight photos and not have to worry about lighting. Of course the outdoor show I go to it’s raining out but at least a torrential downpour didn’t happen like I heard happened at the Vampire Weekend show. Rachid Taha was definitely worth taking the train down to Central Park to see. If you like eclectic music that mixes rai, rock, punk, and techno be sure to check him out.
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Tags: barra barra, central park summerstage, Concert Photography, new york city, Photography, rachid taha, rachid taha show, rai punk, summerstage