Loud. Sweaty. Fun.
Riot Fest hit Denver this weekend with a lineup of 80 bands over three days of craziness. LOCK + LAND was there to document the debauchery. Clad in leather studded jackets, Misfit t-shirts, and mohawks for days, the crowd looked ready to riot, but really for as big as this event was, it was pretty mellow and awesome. It's the thing about summer festivals...they're loaded with tons of amazing bands, but you're running around like crazy just trying to hit every one and stay hydrated. Even for three songs.
It what you get. Three songs mashed together in a photo pit with 20 other photographers trying to get some amazing shot before a performer even gets rolling and dripping with sweat and the signs of exhaustion and endorphins mix into complete chaos and better photos. It's what you get and you learn to adapt quickly and use what you're given to make it yours.
One half of us (Chip) in LOCK + LAND got our start in concert photography - going to see bands in school at CU in Boulder. Hanging around tour buses behind venues and trying to get some band manager to hand out a photo sticker to get a camera in. This was before cell phones and your view wasn't obstructed by 1,000 people with their hands over the heads trying to get some terrible video to post on social media. That was also before digital so film was the weapon of choice and often times because of cost only one roll was shot rather than the 10,000 shot on digital like this weekend's take.
Low light, chaotic performances, body odor, random feet to the face from a crowd surfer, heat, beer tossed on your head, and piercing speakers all blend into what would sound like a miserable time. Alas, this weekend was cathartic and what was really needed - a return to roots and some punk rock. Can't think of anything better - even when a 20-something friend makes fun of you for going to "Dad Fest."
I'm just going to own Dad Fest. This is music to feed the soul (at least for one of us) on scream at a time while taking in a ton of eye candy while shooting.
Super rad shout out to our friends in The Aquabats, if you haven't heard them go check then out now: http://www.theaquabats.com/)