Another beautiful September Friday night in San Diego, the weather is perfect, the weekend has started, and Dave Mathews Band is about to take the stage at the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre down in Chula Vista. It’s been three years since DMB has been to the San Diego Area and the fans were eager to get their fix. The parking lot was already quite full when I arrived and there was a constant stream of fans meandering towards the venue. No one seemed in a rush, it was just a laid back Southern California evening. After the heat wave that baked Southern California the previous couple of weeks, the slightly cooler weather was a real treat.
Originally we were told that photographing the show would be the first two songs from the soundboard area, but when we arrived at the venue, the Live Nation rep told us that had changed. We could now shoot from the pit or from the soundboard or from the back of the GA pit area in front of the stage. The same two song limit still applied but I chose to shoot from the back of the general admission pit area, as the area inside the barricade was very, very tight. It looked as if it would be quite difficult to move around easily and I was carrying a 400mm f/2.8 lens which is very large and quite useless up close. While to two songs seemed to fly by. Then it was time to check in my camera gear and go enjoy the rest of the 19 song show.
The Dave Mathews Band first big album was Under The Table and Dreaming which I bought when it came out in 1994 (really doesn’t seem that long ago) and my favorite song from that album was a track called “Ants Marching”. I was originally turned onto the album and band because it featured John Popper of Blues Traveler (and you can read how I feel about that band here) on the hit song “What Would You Say”. So I was a very happy concert goer when I heard the distinctive beat of “Ants Marching” last night. The rest of the set pulled from the entire DMB repertoire and everybody in attendance, or at least the folks around me, sang along all night. As I said, another beautiful September Friday night in San Diego.
2. Where Are You Going
3. Louisiana Bayou
5. Drive In Drive Out
7. Grey Street
8. Drunken Soldier
9. Madman’s Eyes
10. Seek Up
12. Fool In The Rain (Led Zeppelin cover)
13. Ocean And The Butterfly
14. You and Me
15. What You Are
16. Jimi Thing
17. Ants Marching
18. Pay For What You Get
19. Stay (Wasting Time)
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.