An afternoon of thunder, lighting, and rain didn’t stop the line from forming outside The Observatory North Park in San Diego, California before doors were even open. Kudos to the venue for requiring a Covid -19 vaccination for entry and the staff outside handled it really well. A check of the vaccination card and drivers license to make sure the names matched, along with an offer of a mask to anyone who needed one made this show feel as safe as anything these days. I also noticed that Headcount had a table set up getting people registed to vote, which is fantastic. Voting is the most important civic duty anyone can do, and if you want your voice heard, you need to vote. Now on to the music.
It takes some skill, a fair amount of guts, and large amounts of talent to sit down in front of an audience and play your songs. Gabe Goodman, (along with Samson Klitsner and Michael Blasky) did just that, treating there all-ages crowd at The Observatory North Park to a great seven song set. As a photographer, there were a few challenges that needed to be overcome, the main being the lack of front lighting with no spots in use at all. The other challenge was that since the musicians were stationary for the set, there was not a huge variety in stage action. It was important to move around and get different angles while at the same time trying to stay out of the way of the fans who had been waiting on the rail for over an hour. I hope you enjoy this election of photos as much as I enjoyed hearing and photographing Gabe. I’m sure I’ll see him again down the road.
1.) Hold On (unreleased track)
3.) It Will Come Back
The Cold War Kids, “New Age Norms 3” album had just dropped that day and the band seemed eager to get out and play in front of the packed crowd of fans. The heavy backlit stage made photographing more of a challenge, but with five photographers and a videographer in the rather large pit area, there was plenty of space to move around and capture the show. I really liked what the lighting director was doing and tried to capture the saturated LED colors. The last time I photographed the Cold War Kids was more than a decade ago and a lot has happened since then, but their ability to turn a phrase and keep the audience enthralled has only increased. I look forward to listening to the new album.
Nathan Willett – Lead Vocals / Piano / Guitar / Percussion
Matt Maust – Bass
David Quon – Guitar / Backing Vocals
Matthew Schwartz – Keyboards / Guitar / Backing Vocals / Percussion
Joe Plummer – Drums / Percussion
Alan Hess is a photographer based in San Diego, where he lives with his wife and two rescued boxers.
Alan is currently the house photographer for a large concert and event venue in Southern California where he photographs everything from major musical acts to ice hockey. When he isn’t out taking photographs, he spends his time writing books and is an accomplished photography educator and trainer.
Alan’s images have been published in a variety of places including news papers, magazines, websites, promotional materials, album artwork, and press releases. His clients include The Associated Press, Fox Television, FX Network, USA Network, Hasbro, Framus Guitars, Gibson, The Dead, Picture Group, Photoshop User Magazine, Steel Pulse, Ziggy Marley, and many more.
He is the author of sixteen photography and technology books covering everything from night and low light photography to multiple shot techniques. His books are sold around the world and have been translated in other languages including: Chinese, French, Polish, Japanese, Thai, and Italian.