An album two years in the making finally presented itself this past August. Dry the River’s Alarms of the Heart exudes a confidence that wasn’t as obvious in listening to the band’s first album. Actually, in a lot of ways, the two albums are super different.
I’ve been to Live on the Green three times in all. My first time was last year as a freshman and my was it wonderful. Naturally, I returned this year and went to the first show I could – Head and the Heart. However, I was most excited for Cage the Elephant. While I imagined myself watching from a spot close to the barriers, carrying crowd surfers, and fighting for room to breath, I took on a very different perspective as a photographer backstage instead.
The opportunity arose through the Vanderbilt Hustler. I spent most of my summer exploring the world of photography and was interested in joining the photo staff for the school newspaper. Upon seeing the availability of shooting (taking photos) Live on the Green the Thursday Cage the Elephant was playing, I immediately volunteered. And just like that, I had backstage passes to what was bound to be an incredible show.
One fun fact I learned about concert photography is that in most cases, once a set goes on photographers are only allowed to stay in the “pit” (the space between the barriers and the stage) for the first three songs until they are escorted out. I got there just in time for Johnnyswim. One thing that I noticed as a photographer was the movement of the musicians. We are usually so focused on the sound they make, but their stage presence is so incredibly important. I suppose that some musicians make it look natural, but I could tell that they are particular in how they stand, hold their instruments, and where they move.
Delta Spirit, the next band up, was a rock band and adhered to their own form of rhythm. They were a bit more show-y than the acoustic Johnnyswim and the lighting and motion reflected this. As the night went on, photographing the singers became more difficult as night fell and lighting became more difficult. However, I noticed that the most striking pictures I took were of the people in motion – frozen in time with guitar in hand or holding that high note on the mic. It became all the more magical.
Finally, Cage the Elephant went on. As fantastic as they are live, they were a nightmare to shoot. One could say that the better the stage presence of a band (engaging with the audience, moving around the stage, immersing themselves in the music) the more difficult they are to photograph. The lead singer was all over the place and ended up crowd surfing, jumping on the guitarist, and going through various stages of stripping. But wow what a show. The energy was like nothing I had ever seen. Having to capture these moments of insanity and excitement made me realize just how much work goes into performance. Playing music is one thing, but stealing the spotlight is a gift that so few people possess.
Moral of the story is next time you’re at a concert, don’t just pay attention to the sounds. You could do that on your own computer or iPod. Instead, make sure to also focus on their expressions, their movement along to their own music, and how they react to a swarm of people chanting their name. What you see may surprise you.
With all students — both old and new — arriving back on campus this weekend, our e-staff curated the last playlist of our summer series based on our favorite songs from and about the bustling happy bright shining wonderful happy city of Nashville.
Enjoy, and stay tuned for the return of our live shows September 1st!
Lots of music out there is just a little bit different, and that’s the common thread running through the songs on this playlist. The experimental, unconventional, and slightly off: all are highlighted in “Left Field Favorites”. From the careening krautrock of Can to the intricately programmed techno of Autechre, tune in for music that makes you think.
The summer Spotify series continues. Here’s what DJ Gracie Gonzalez has to say about her playlist, “Ridiculous”.
I crafted this playlist at the beginning of summer, imagining my friends and I piling into cars with beach chairs and boogie boards. It’s mainly a mix of 50s-style doo-wop and Spanish music. The fast-paced happiness spawning from the combination of those genres spoke “summer” to me this year. A couple of 80s and 90s gems are thrown in there to break up the monotony but every song featured is certifiably merry.
‘Nuff said. If you like what you hear, be sure to tune into Gracie’s show Heena Koona in the fall.
My attendance a few weeks ago at the strange 4-day escape from reality called Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival marked my fifth year at the event. Early on every year the same doubtful thought runs through my mind: Why do I continue year after year to put myself through this? Sometime between my first use of the less than gleaming porta-potties and the realization that yes, I would indeed be this sweaty and disheveled for the next four days, that moment of panic comes.
Just in time to help ring in another year of freedom for the reigning greatest country in the world, it’s WRVU’s officially certified Party Playlist. Turn Up features hard hitting tracks perfect for getting hyped in any situation.
But wait, there’s more. The party can’t last forever, and eventually you’ll want to dial back the extreme state of excitement Turn Up put you in. We’ve got you covered! Chill out, relax, Turn Down, with this light, friendly mix.
Be sure to follow our Spotify account (WRVUNashville) for easy access to all of our playlists.
Next up in our series of summer Spotify Playlists, 3 hours of picks from DJ Brett Tregoning. Featuring Brian Eno, Death Grips, Aesop Rock, Animal Collective, and much more. For more like it, be sure to check out Brett’s show “Diabeatus” this fall!
Here’s what Brett has to say about it:
Hey WRVU! Summer is well underway and, if you’re anything like me, that means hour and a half long commutes into major metropolitan areas for your internship! Here are some of the tunes that have been keeping me company in the car this summer. These should keep your mind off of the road rage. I have included some Death Grips just in case you need something to blast out your windows to intimidate your fellow motorists.