The day was a Friday, 21st of September 2018, sometime around 8.37p.m. A sudden urgency starts to kick in to leave the house as soon as I get out of the shower. I was somewhere in Dublin 6 rushing to pack my bag with camera equipment thinking to myself “I’m a bit buzzed from after college drinks”, Even though I had managed to sneak in a 2 hours nap to try to get myself straight and narrow but might not have fully been successive. I double check my bag for its contents. I have my main camera with its original 18-55mm lens, a big feck off 70-300mm lens, a recording mic, a pouch full of various colour temperature filters, a sack of camera cleaning equipment and a wireless shutter release button. There was also a decent collection of pens, a note pad and an emergency toothbrush and a small purple tub. *puff puff* I quickly blow dry my hair tie my shoe laces, lock my room and head out the door to catch a bus into town with my roommate. Bus stop seems to be a tad bit crowded than usual. *puff puff*
We get on the bus, go upstairs, suddenly the time slows down. There’re people everywhere some on their own, some with friends but all seem to be heading down to the same destination in the hopes of pursuing happiness, friendliness, or some sort excitement. After all, it is a Friday night.
I make my way through the herd of people running around the dame street area to temple bar to go to my destination “Button Factory”. It’s 9.25 and I’m thinking to myself surely, it’s time for the soundcheck by now. At the door of Button Factory, added to much of the confusion it turns out there’s another a band called “Ross from Friends” playing a gig before and I’m not on the guest list for it. After a few phone calls, some obligated social encounters *puff puff* we get to 11.15 p.m. The gate is still closed to public but not for “the photographer” obviously. The funny guy with dreadlocks at the door gives me the nod while I walk passed the public que. *puff puff*
As I throw out my smoke walking in through the front door, I hear some drums banging in the periphery. There I was thinking to myself where are the dressing rooms? Where do stash my camera gear? And how do I even get back stage?
After a few mins of pondering finally discover the dressing room and As I walk in, I have a bit of a run in with the Headliners “Brave Giants”. Longford lads, seemed like a great bunch.
Finally, I’ve managed to get myself back stage. There it was the big black curtain that separates the reality of a show and what it takes to put on. People working hard behind the scenes making sure the artists gets everything to do their thing in front of the audience.
I use my left hand to poke my neck out to suss out the area, the bright spot light hits my eyes. There it was in its glory, the 15mins of fame that light all these stage performers thrives in. If I’m being honest I realise at that moment, that sort of attention scares me, I have fear of disappointing people, I have a fear of being judged. Maybe that’s why I hide behind the camera and capture others as they bring joys to others. It could be my current state or am I just having a epiphany I don’t know.
The guys from fallen Lights start to play their first song and that was my que to get going. They start off with a song called “Modern Romance”. By the time boys got to their 3rd song, as a youngster in 2018 would say, “they had the place lit up”. 3rd song was called “lifeline” if anyone was wondering. They also played “You and I”, “Extra time”, their new single, “last train home” and the final song, “It’s too late”
I had rushed around to take pictures during the whole set list trying to get that “money shot” but for a moment I realised there I was in Button Factory taking pictures for maybe one of the biggest up and coming band not just in Ireland may be the whole of Europe. It wasn’t just their music that was attracting people’s attentions, It was also the way they gave people a show that might have been worth more than they’ve paid for, The use of that spot light, how they conveyed themselves for the people who were there. Surely, that gave people some joy if not at least, some appreciation for the performers. It seemed like to me they gave their all to the people in the crowd.
On the way home, it hits me, I was there in the corner of the world documenting something that people might look back in many years’ time and discuss with their friends, family and loved ones that they witnessed these guys in flesh and how much of a good time they had. Maybe that’s what we are all here for exchanging stories, making memories and sharing a little bit of joy to everyone’s heart.
N.B.: This article was inspired by my own personal hero Hunter S. Thomspon and his Gonzo writing style. Thank you, Hunter, for being an inspiration in this chaotic world. For you Sir
I’ll always keep one Lighting.