I really thought that 2018 might be my final season at Bank of NH Pavilion. I think I have taken just about every image I can of the tailgating, midway, sponsors and facility that you can think of. There's not a lot left for me to add to my portfolio when it comes to artists. Going into my eighth season this summer, I just didn't see a lot of challenges left for me as an artist. I have a lot of other outside interests, and maybe it was time to move on from the venue I've called home for many summers now.
I worked Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum on July 27th, a show that I said I would never work for personal reasons I am not going to get into. Darius came out with Straight to Hell and I was drawn back to the venue to work, just to see him do this song. So, I managed to get on the roster for the night and Darius and Lady A reminded me why I love it there. It's not about the photography, which I thought it was. It's about the music. it's about the atmosphere of the place itself. The people I work with, the patrons I meet, and the experience of being there.
Damned if it ain't my happy place.
So, I choked back some emotions and sat there, soaking in the good vibes as Darius went through his new country stuff and his Hootie and the Blowfish hits. (Let you in on a secret? They are the same thing, but don't tell the A&R people.) I watched as a purple heart winner got a new house and engaged on stage, and I remembered why I am there to begin with... 'cause I love it.
Then, I actually attended a show as a patron with my family. First time since 2009. I was able to show off to my daughter a little bit, and really have a great time enjoying Chris Stapleton. I worked the second night of Stapleton's weekend, my final of the summer. After shooting the first couple songs of his set, I grabbed my new tripod and headed up to the lawn. There was a full moon that night and I thought it might be fun to get a full house shot on a long exposure with the moon rising over the pavilion.
I set up my tripod and Stapleton says, paraphrasing, "light 'em up so I can see 'em". The crew turned on the front lights right on cue for me and I get what is probably the shot of the summer. The pavilion has it set up on their home page, you can see for yourself! As I sit here, listening to The Traveller, I am already looking forward to 2019. So, if they'll have me back, I will see you all at the show!