Smith & Myers, January 6, 2018, The Forge, Joliet, IL
For diehard Shinedown fans, getting a ticket to an event like Smith & Myers is not an option, it's a must! The duo is half of the rock band Shinedown (additional members bassist, Eric Bass, and drummer Barry Kerch).Shinedown has had 23 consecutive #1 songs. Their most recent coming from their "Threat to Survival" Album, "How Did You, Love?" was the most played song on the Active Rock Charts (US).
So when they announce that Brent Smith and Zach Myers are heading back out on the road while Shinedown #6 (title yet to be released) is finishing up, super fans were emphatic about attending the duos acoustic show, Smith & Myers.
This show was a bit different for me.
The show in and of itself was on point. Zack Mack and JR Moore opened with their melodic harmonizing southern music. Zack is brilliant on the harmonica of which I was able to capture images, and JR's voice is distinctly his own and easy on the ears.
When I am shooting in the pit, my brain is in two places at once. It's focused on the music, but it is substantially more focused on the photographic aspect that I am capturing. While I heard the music and even sang along, so of the show is absent in my mind. I battle between the photography and the music, but when I am shooting music, photography wins out.
Zach Myers joined Zack and JR to finish out their Mack, Myers, and Moore set. It was time for Brent and Zach to take the stage. This is it; this is go time. Time to be one point, quick and precise. You only get the first 3 songs of a show, so that 10-15 minutes is incredibly valuable. You must succinctly capture THE images, THE money shots, the ones that show the most interaction, emotion, and movement. I was confident I got those shots.
It's an indescribable feeling when you're shooting in the pit. It's an intense few minutes of capturing the energy and personalities on stage. It's like if you took all the energy in the world together in that one little space where you are standing. In the pit is where I feel alive. That is where my soul needs to be.
Brent and Zach star their set with a cover of "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden, followed by "Bully" from Shinedown's 4th studio album "Amaryllis." At some point in the evening, they played the title song from Amaryllis. I fought through the concert goers to get a close-up shot of Brent while singing Amaryliss.
Many of their songs have deep meaning to me, but Amaryliss and her lyrics are something I am relating to as of late. The phrase of lyrics "Ohhh I wish you'd open up for me, Cause I wanna know you
Amaryllis...Bloom!" describe how I feel about myself opening up and blooming in many different areas of life, more specifically music/concert photography.
I will bloom in 2018.