Nick Oliveri

I haven’t updated this blog for ages.
I just don’t have the time to dedicate to less than 200 contacts a day.
I am sorry for the ones who have been waiting, the many still subscribed, the people who write to me to ask more photo tips and put on more bands’ photos.

We are all victims of Social Networks.
When liveon35mm started, I was shooting on film, there was no Facebook, Myspace was the next big thing and blogs were the best way to interact on the virtual world.
Not anymore.

Nowadays we spend more time on FB than anywhere else online, Facebook has become the Internet and the Internet is what is being linked onto Facebook (or Twitter).
it’s a fact and google analytics confirms it. Forget G+, Pinterest or , erm, Ello.

I haven’t stopped shooting gigs, though. Who’s in touch with me (on liveon35mm Facebook page for example or Twitter :-) knows.
I don’t like posting “just another gallery” of a live show in here. I didn’t do it in 2007, when music photography blogs were a handful, I don’t feel like starting today where there are at least 3 online galleries for any concert happening anywhere in the world. Concert photography has become so ubiquitous to the surreal point that it becomes a news when it is not anymore in the news.

These months I photographed many good gigs and some of the photos have not seen the light of the day, the best always go to my ever growing live music gallery on my website, if you’re interested.

Rarely I have the will and the time to write about a gig again. This is one of those moment.
I love all the crazy guys that went around the stoner age.
I posted Briant Bjork with his Bros. here actually I have to rescan that pic of him, is one of my favourite 35mm shots.
Than also Eagles of Death Metal, Queens of the Stone Age when Nick already left, and Kyuss when Nick rejoined them.

I have seen Nick Oliveri with and without clothes in most of his bands

Yesterday he came to Cambridge to play a date of his solo Death Acoustic tour 2015.

I didn’t know he had an acoustic album years ago, 3.5 mark on Pitchfork.
I didn’t know he was on tour.
I didn’t know even know he plays guitar too.

What I know is that he’s a super cool guy and on stage and, in a tiny place as the Portland Arms, it can only be fun. In fact if anything else this show is a lot of fun.

Promoter told gig would start at 10PM, but around 9:30PM, after an embarrassing support band, Nick’s on stage plugging his only guitar. It doesn’t take much does it?
A table next to him hosts a beer, a tequila and a couple of glasses.
A microphone pole.
A nice backlight and a lot of smoke to blur the background.

Even the ingredients for some photography are present, despite the light is never enough, it was OK.

There is not setlist, not a band. He goes freely picking songs in a back catalogue that would made envious about 80% of modern rockstars.
Not many, not even Josh Homme, can write down in the CV to have been part of Kyuss, Queens of The Stone Age and Mondo Generator.

Only Nick can say to have been sacked by all of them while dedicating the songs he plays to them. It’s a kind of great rock’n’roll mystery what went on inside those changing rooms.

The show starts and end on acoustic guitar, vocals and screams. Latter is the most interesting part.

Nick isn’t a great guitarist, he jokes during the set about what those two more strings are for. Mark Sandman would probably have agreed.
Nick is not a great singer either, especially when he confronts implacably with John Garcia‘s songs. Nevermind, he can scream those parts out.

Afterall Oliveri has an amazing band with him: the fans.
They are ready to sing, chat, joke and, if invited, happy to stage invade.

Midway through the set there is a group rendition of Queens Of The Stone Age early anthem Feel Good Hit Of The Summer that basically goes on and on around the line… “Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, Marijuana, Ecstasy and Alcohol
Cocaine”. Sang with 50 people on stage is one of the best pits of Portland Arms since Pulled Apart By Horses crowdsurfed.

Everyone knows that, when a girl comes to tell he has 20 minutes, about a hour into the set, it means much longer.
So we are delighted to two more songs for the main set, some chat, about three for an encore, two more pints fell on the floor, another drunk guy that has to leave because he cannot, literally, stand. Few more are attempting that British gimmick of dancing with a pint in hand while gigging, with mix results.

A hour and half later the gigs closes. The super-sweaty Portland Arms opens the door to the beer garden and I am all ready for a pint and a chat to refresh a bit.
It’s a wonderful, warm summer night.

Not Anymore. I see a strong light on the horizon. Not sure what it is. A second one leaves two options. Either Milton village is being attacked by an air strike or a summer storm is about to arrive. I live close and leave in a rush, without beer. I got the scooter, a light denim biker jacket. 5 minutes I am at home.
5 minutes and 1 second Cambridge is submerged by the most violent storm I ever seen here.
A sign?
I download the photo you can see here.

Nick Oliveri meanwhile is going to play London and touring Europe, including my hometown in Rome. If you’re around and up for a fun night out, this is the gig you’ve been waiting for a while.
Nick is online somewhere here [website] [Facebook] [Twitter]

Photo tip

I received an e-mail recently, a girl wanted to know some info on how to behave when she had to go to one of her first live gigs… one of the question was:

“Would I be better off only taking with me things I need (ie. Camera & camera accessories, phone, ID, confirmation email and travelcard) as opposed to a backpack with my things in?”

It’s a fair question. Gigs are busy, when photographing you lose track of your belongings, space is never enough and queue at the cloackrooms after the show is usually much longer than my patience.
The answer needs a counter answer. What’s the venue like?

If you’re going to shoot in a big theatre, with a pit, you’re fine with whatever you have. Leave all the bags and coats under the step of the barrier delimiting the pit.
Under,not over, because you never know who’s in the first rows and your lens are quite expensive to be at hand reach of some excited fans. Plus the risk of liquid spills is high, photographic gear doesn’t like beer as you may want, so keep it protected enough but not too much that is unreachable. It happens often that plans are wrong and the lens you need is the one in the bag.

In a small (packed) venue, with no pit, as it was this tonight, it’s tougher. You need to find a safe place, so arrive early, get to the front and spot it. Look if other photographers have one. I usually leave it to the front next to me, in sight all the times. Or under the stage if there is space. The worst case scenario is you have to move the stuff with you along the stage if you’re moving. Don’t keep backpack on your back, that’s annoying for the other people and useless to you.
Leave it in the cloackroom is an option for coats and stuff, but the essentials (batteries, lenses, memory cards) needs to be with you all the times.
Even when you’re allowed to shoot the whole set, going to the cloackroom to get the charged battery and coming back to the front can be a (too) long Odyssey.

~ by Valerio on July 17, 2015.

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