I started the year 2019 by setting myself the challenge trying to shoot something new and different. I thought I'd try photographing a concert, something I had only tried maybe twice before.
After a couple of emails and phone calls, I got myself an all-access pass to photograph Steven Page and the New Brunswick Symphony Orchestra at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton, NB.
Steven, of course, is a founding and former member of the Barenaked Ladies (but you knew that already). Besides being accompanied by the NB Symphony, Craig Northey and Kevin Fox joined Steven Page on stage. Founding member of the Barenaked Ladies Andy Creegan joined them onstage conducted the orchestra. I'm talking about Canadian music royalty right there!
This was a pretty big deal for me because the Capitol is my favourite venue in town. It's gorgeous, historic and just has an amazing vibe (despite apparently being haunted by the ghost of a deceased firefighter). It was also an opportunity to not only photograph a concert, but to photograph a show with a full symphony... which I knew would have its added challenges. And of course, getting to photograph a musician I admire and whose music I love so much was just super cool!
My Highlight of the Night
The highlight of the night for me before the show. I was actually standing on the stage, looking at the venue and figuring out what spots I could shoot from, where it wouldn't bother the band. At that moment, the entire band and symphony walked on stage for their soundcheck. I stuck around, wanting to get some practice shots. Steven Page walked to to the mic, and said "let's just do Brian Wilson." My jaw dropped... Brian Wilson is my all-time favourite Barenaked Ladies song, and he was about to play it — with a symphony — with only me watching. I sat down on the front of the stage, just a few feet from the mic, turned off the camera, and just enjoyed the moment... No selfies, no live streams, no "likes". This was for me. Not for anyone else!
I need to thank the Capitol Theatre and the performers for letting me run around all night during their performance. Also, big shout out to California-based concert photographer Steve Brazill for generously taking some time to share some concert photography wisdom with me prior to the show.