There's a reason it took me 25 years to finally move away from CA. There are times I miss the energy and people of New York and Houston, but there's a lot about CA that has me happy to be back. It's been a weird transition. Not bad, but not great. I went from quasi-suburbia to the big city circuit, back to the quasi-suburbia. Getting away was good for me. It made me appreciate what I had and also made me realize there was more going on in OC than I was taking advantage of. My new gig with OC Weekly has been helpful, as it demands that I'm more aware of what's going on in the 34 cities that fall within the counties' border. Been spending a lot of time at the beach, trying to make up for my mostly surf-less year and a half away. The following photos aren't waves or surfing, but they're back on familiar territory.
Up close and personal. Close enough to gather the spit that misses the microphone. I'm not not the agro, overly-obsessive with a band type, so this was pretty gross. Even the saliva flying from the perfect glands of Minka Kelly would make me cringe. Nonetheless, with my photo and VIP pass for KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas show at Gibson Ampitheatere near the Universal City Walk, I was close enough to reach out and touch Mike Ness' shoe. I was inches from Jimmy Eat World, then My Chemical Romance (not my kind of music, but the lead singer with the burning red hair was engaging) and, finally, Social Distortion. I missed Bad Religion (blame LA traffic!) and The Smashing Pumpkins had some weird rule against photogs in the pit. Was part of a feature I'm working on for OC Weekly. First time shooting a big concert. Fun experience. Lessons learned. A few goods images found in the bunch. Music fans are crazy, and some scary.