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Thursday, October 3, 2013

What little girls are made of....

Seems to me the Austin360 Amphitheater ( has my number...and in a good way. Although I haven't done press for every single show I have put a request in for, I have still done some key shows and am very happy the way it has panned. New professional acquaintances and some great life experience(s) always make any sweat and hard work worth it.

Being at the Circuit of The Americas ( for  the inaugural and mind blowing F1 races, to the grand opening of the Austin360 Amphitheater with Kenny Chesney and the No Shoes Nation (. Shooting photos and writing up the hottest rock tour of the summer in the form of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival featuring Rob Zombie and then capping it off with Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert on the Locked and ReLoaded Tour. Pretty damn nice.

The changes to the whole environment of what is The Circuit of the Americas and the Austin360 Amphitheater are tangible and worth while over the course of the last year. On the COTA side there is  the growing grass, solutions to traffic, and shuttling patrons around. On the Austin360 Amphitheater side there is the improvements to path lighting, ambient surround lighting, and location/lighting of the portable bathrooms.

If you have only been out to this facility once and didn't notice, fine and understandable, but if you have been out there 4, 5, or 6 times and seen the growth and improvement, you know and understand. COTA was world class from day 1, but with the arrival of the Summer X Games in 2014, COTA is now putting its Austin footprint on the world!

Enough BLAH BLAH BLAH and butt smooching to COTA and the Austin360 Amphitheater (though  I will be back in November for the F1 races again), let's talk about some fun ass country music and a few great performances.

Charlie Worsham ( you, sir, KICKED ASS! I was not able to shoot any photos of you (but thanks to my friend Suzanne from Front Row, there are some great ones here - ). I WAS however able to enjoy the whole performance without the distraction of a lens to my face. I have no doubt that I enjoyed your musical genius and talent as much as every other lucky person that was there early enough to. Without a doubt, if there is someone out there in the world that is going to do a cover song and make it there own, but still recognizable....'Crazy Train' is the EPIC, UBER COOL, top of that pyramid, done by Charlie. To my surprise I overheard someone who was saddened that Charlie chose to close with the title track to his debut album 'Rubberband' and not his up and coming hit single 'Could It Be'. I personally don't give a shit as I thought the performance was pretty damn cool and just flowed perfectly.

I am a fan of music, get star struck like most, and act like an idiot when I am lucky enough to meet someone. After shooting the obligatory first 3 songs of the Dierks Bentley set, all of the photographers where being herded back to out stoop when I was stopped DEAD IN MY TRACKS. None other than Charlie EFFING Worsham is standing, leaning against a rail, in the crowd watching Dierks perform. Both "WOW" and "HOLY SHIT" come to mind. I simply stopped dead in my tracks called him out by name '"Charlie?" and then proceeded to shake his hand like crazy and pat him on the shoulder. Looking around to my photography peers, I was in awe. To you Charlie Worsham, I can't say enough "Thank you's" to express my gratitude and happiness that you took the time to go hang out and watch the show from our perspective and were cordial enough to accept my praise. Thank You, and if I am lucky enough that you read me or email me...

Dierks Bentley ( This was ALOT different of a performance than the last time I did a write up 3 years ago ( Although Dierks wasn't the headliner, it didn't matter and you would have never guessed. The stage show and performance were really to the moon! Kicking it into gear from the opening song and not looking back, Dierks really put the crowd on its feet. This was not a warm up for Miranda, it was a damn barn burner! Even when Dierks settled for a slowdown it was nothing like that in the crowd. Hot and sweaty, with woman ripping off their little white tank tops, throwing them in the middle right next to him, it was crazy. I swear there is one lady I saw before and after Dierks and she WAS wearing a little white tank top before his performance and then magically was wearing a black one afterwards...she denied it to hell,...I SWEAR! Even having the band as a whole, climb onto the scaffolding at the back of the stage as a giant, full moon rose across the screen to perform 'Up on the ridge' was pretty damn cool.

 I strongly hold the opinion that people pay money and go to live performances to not just hear and see that musician play the songs, but to give us all a little piece of themselves. It's not just the story telling that is woven into the music, but it is the VH1 Storytellers that the artists become onstage. Telling us those intimate moments about writing this song or that one. Dierks does it
wonderfully and with a smile. From the tear jerking moment about the song in memory of his dad ('I Hold On'), to getting the girls to throw it onstage, it's what makes a good show it to a great memory! BTW Dierks, don't EVER get rid of the Stubbs cap! It was cool seeing you were that for the live performance broadcast from New York.

Miranda Lambert ( Ohhhh Miranda Lambert. What could be better than Dierks about that blond hair woman with all the attitude, spark, and confidence ONLY a Texas woman would have the balls to be! Miranda Lambert's very cool opening and tribute to all the strong woman of the world and of the west, was right on the money. The unexpected, but 'HELL YEAH', moment in realizing what her opening song was, to her non stop movement on the stage. If you like Miranda Lambert, then you Love her. For the kick ass,  don't take no shit from anyone attitude she has in songs like 'Gun powder and Lead' to the moving and
heartfelt 'The House that built me', was a roller coaster ride. Intricately tying her videos to her performance and mashing up some covers was just loads of fun. All the way down to how she introduced the band mid set....very cool. From the crowds perspective and  for the love of all that is Texas...Miranda kept it locked and reloaded!

Can't forget to mention Jukebox Mafia ( and their ninja like performance in between Dierks and Miranda. Yup! If you didn't know, that is actually a real band playing all those country mash ups of your favorite hit songs! Those guys are GREAT FUN and big props to Miranda for letting these guys work up the crowd in between sets. F N Genius!

I have to finish up by talking shit to a buddy of mine. Jorge, I shouldn't get my man card revoked for going to a Miranda Lambert show....I GET THAT CARD DOUBLE D STAMPED!!!!!