That Was The Year That Was 2008

2008 was another hectic year, which in photographic terms looked something like this:

  1. Girl Talk
  2. Buck 65
  3. The National
  4. Enter Shikari
  5. The Police
  6. Battles
  7. Scul Hazards
  8. Brisbane Sounds
  9. Died Pretty
  10. Soundwave
  11. Broken Social Scene
  12. Toto
  13. Coco Rosie
  14. The Brisbane Sound
  15. Buffalo Tom
  16. The Bellrays
  17. Sinead O’Connor
  18. Whitesnake
  19. QOTSA
  20. Jesus & Mary Chain
  21. Spectrum
  22. Wolfmother
  23. Gin Club
  24. Mess Hall
  25. My Disco
  26. Biffy Clyro
  27. Rocket Science
  28. Kate Miller-Heidke
  29. The Audreys
  30. Story of The Year
  31. Powderfinger
  32. Cut Copy
  33. 4ZZZ Tater Stomp
  34. redsunband
  35. Mr Rascal
  36. Splendour In The Grass
  37. Robert Forster
  38. Kim Salmon + The Surrealists
  39. X
  40. Sixfthick
  41. Gentle Ben & His Sensitive Side
  42. New Pornogarphers
  43. We Are Scientists
  44. Joan As Policewoman
  45. Tim Finn
  46. Def Leppard
  47. Steve Earle
  48. Texas Tea
  49. John Mellencamp
  50. Jeremy Jay
  51. Pivot
  52. Global Gathering
  53. Saul Williams
  54. MGMT
  55. The Datsuns
  56. MereNoise Xmas Party

At least that’s the bands/singers/festivals I turned up for and tried to photograph; I probably should have removed QOTSA from the list due to walking away from the contract they wanted me to sign and not making it into the venue, and also The National, whose tour manager decided that although I’d been cleared by the promoter, it should have referred it to him to approve, and so he wouldn’t let me photograph them. But even without those two gigs in the list I still managed to meet my target for the year of 52 gigs (i.e. an average of one a week), a not bad return considering the combination of working away and holidays meant that I was out of the city for about 8 weeks.   Interestingly, 21 of those gigs were at The Zoo, which, as last year, remains my venue of choice by a long way (The Tivoli was in 2nd place with 8 gigs).

On top of the gigs I photographed (or tried to) there’s another 14 gigs I went to as a non-photographing punter. Most of those were at Ric’s but also included Sufjan Stevens at the Tivoli, Iron Maiden at the BEC and Big Day Out, which I seem destined to never photograph and so will be there as a punter in 2009.  I guess there’s always 2010, right?

Photographic highlights of the year were (in no particular order):

  • Photographing The Police, a band who were one of my earliest musical memories and my first stadium shoot;
  • Being let loose on Splendour In The Grass, and the whole buzz of photographing a major 2-day festival (even if the line-up wasn’t that good this year compared to some of the previous years…); and
  • Soundwave, which despite the woeful organisation and extreme 40+ degree heat was fun, although possibly more in retrospect…

Gig of the year was probably the non-photographing Iron Maiden gig at the BEC. I only decided very late on that I should go and managed to get a $50 ticket off eBay on the day of the gig. Even though the seat was in the very back row, as far from the stage as you could get it was still amazing. Hopefully I will get to photograph them some day… Other highlights were Def Leppard, Toto and Whitesnake; 2008 was obviously all about 1980s rock.

Musical lows of the year were probably all the mediocre-at-best bands at Splendour playing to full tents whilst all the good stuff went largely unoticed in the GW McLennan stage and the train-wreck that was Spectrum at The Step Inn. Photographic lows? Any gig with rubbish/no lighting, which was probably most of them…

And finally, personal favourite photos from the year include some of these:

It all kicks off again in the new year, with gigs by Stars, Black Keys/Gomez, All Tomorrow’s Parties at Mt Buller, Dead Meadow/Fuck Buttons and Bon Iver already in my diary to photograph in the first half of January.  So, there will be blogs, there will be tweets, and there will be photos.

9 Responses to “That Was The Year That Was 2008”

  1. That’s a pretty bloody impressive list! See how we go in 2009 with the dollar down…Love that shot of Sting too. I came out of the Maiden show claiming it was the best show I have ever attended…nothing’s changed. It was awesome. Also glad to know I’m not the only geek who keeps photo passes and concert tickets!

  2. Justin says:

    Don’t know about best ever but was amazing, even from the very back row as far from the stage as you could get. Was a bit surprised that they came back to do NZ later in the year but didn’t come back here. The dollar will affect the overseas acts coming over but about half of the stuff I photographed was Australian and about half of that was Brisbane bands. So I guess there might be less glamourous photo ops going on next year, although January and February are still pretty amazing months for gigs. Shame I’m away in NZ for all of Feb though…

  3. Heath says:

    Sure is an impressive list. Gotta agree that The Tivoli and The Zoo are the best venues to shoot in. I’ve been unfortunate enough to do a few gigs at the Troubador. It’s like trying to shoot in the dark, with just one candle lighting the stage, from behind a red gel.

  4. blair hughes says:

    Well done, outstanding pics and a very honest site. Thanks for taking the pics of Brisbane sounds 08. Your right, the one of Jo looks quality too. Cheers, Blah from the Zoo!

  5. That Forster shot is incredible.

  6. Justin says:

    Thanks Andrew. He is one of my favourite people to photograph, so looking forward to another chance at ATP this weekend.

  7. Justin says:

    Thanks Blair. I’ve taken so many bad shots of Jo and she’s forever reminding me. I just really like that one, not sure if she’s seen it as I can’t remember her commenting on it.

  8. Justin says:

    Thanks Heath. Although there are venues with better lighting set-ups than The Troubadour they can all still be very hit and miss. The Zoo has been pretty bad in recent times and I’ve had bad lighting at The Tivoli and the BEC on occasions. At least you know what you’re going to get at The Troubadour so it’s probably more annoying and frustrating when you get rubbish lighting at a bigger venue.

  9. Stephen says:

    I agree with Andrew. That Forster shot is superb. Possibly the best of yours that I’ve ever seen.

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