QOTSA & NIN
Qantas Credit Union Arena 06.03.14
This gig was kind of a big deal for me. Two of my favorite fucking bands in the world, co-headlining a national tour... and this was opening night. The bands decided to flip a coin each night to see who plays first - and on this particular evening it was Nine Inch Nails first up... and they do not disappoint. Reznor stalks the stage, all venom and rippling muscle, beneath a stripped down, yet still impressive ( although sometimes blinding ) light show. The back catalog stuff gets the biggest response from the crowd - but Trent is a beast onstage throughout - slathered in a slick layer of sweat by the second track of the night, seemingly feeding off the pulsating bass lines and screeching guitar. There is clearly nothing held back and by the end of their set, the audience is satiated - having already seen more than their money's worth.
After being hugely impressed by NIN, Queens of the Stone Age take the stage and do the unthinkable... they blow their co-headliner away.
The old and the new mesh beautifully and the setlist is nothing short of sublime. Josh Homme is pure rock n' roll swagger, effortless in his cocky yet entirely charming banter. The music is nothing short of fantastic, the live format opening up guitar solos and and improvisation within already chaotically structured tracks, it's fucking magic to behold.
Every female in the audience ( and a few of the dudes ) are left breathless and pregnant by Homme's bristling potency. The highlight of the night, came with the thunderous finale - A Song for the Dead which left no doubt that QOTSA had won this battle - but the war was indeed far from over...
For a proper review of the night by an actual music critic - http://themusic.com.au/reviews/reviews-live/2014/03/07/queens-of-the-stone-age-nine-inch-nails-qantas-credit-union-arena-andrew-mcdonald/
NIN SETLIST -
QOTSA SETLIST -
Te Sydney Opera House was a strange but beautiful place for a rock n roll band like The Preatures to play in. They made it their own. The photographers were allowed to stay for the entire show, a rare treat at that amazing venue. Izzy was lit beautifully and the band lurked in the shadows. The sound was amazing and it felt great to see such a new band enjoying the majestic surroundings.
This was a incredible year for live music in Sydney. I feel very lucky to have been able to photograph some of the best moments of the year...
top ten gigs of 2014 -
( in no particular order )
the rolling stones - allphones arena
nine inch nails / queens of the stone age - qantas credit union arena
royal blood - oxford art factory
pearl jam - sydney big day out
outkast - splendour in the grass
arctic monkeys - qantas credit union arena
glen hansard / eddie vedder - state theatre
tumbleweed - young henry's festival
violent soho - splendour in the grass
nick cave - the state theatre
honorable mentions -
dz deathrays - splendour in the grass
rufus - splendour in the grass
the war on drugs - metro theatre
portugal. the man - sydney big day out
joss stone - bluesfest
alice in chains / down / walking papers - enmore theatre
brant bjork & the bros - cherry rock festival
I gotta be honest with you, I flat out love shooting The Preatures. The music is awesome, it gets under your skin and doesn't let go till the lights go down. Each band member is captivating, energetic and enthusiastic. They've had a mega sucsessful year, yet they sound hungrier and hungrier with each show. Izzy is a hurricane on stage, fist pumping, cart-wheeling, laughing - 50% flirtation and 50% death stares - as charasmatic as any lead singer I've seen, without ever missing a note. Last night's gig at the HiFi was no different. Showcasing their kickass new album, Blue Planet Eyes, the band tore the lid off the joint and left no doubt in the punters minds. These guys are legit, infectious, powerful and on a tragetory for an even bigger 2015.
This was probably the highlight of my photography experience this year. The greatest living rock and roll band of all time swooped into Sydney to play a couple shows. I haven't been this nervous taking photographs since the Foo Fighters show in 2011 - the first big shoot of my career. The shoot itself was difficult, we were only allowed to photograph two songs, and tucked in behind the VIP section our view was largely obscured by a sea of waving hands and iphones. It was always gonna be interesting to see if this band could live up to the hype - especially at their age... and they did. In fact, they blew away my expectations... Opening the show with Jumping Jack Flash, the arena was electrified and Mick Jaggers energy, swagger and enthusiasm were undeniable. Best gig of the year.