I photographed Miley Cyrus’ concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday and fortunately I edited all the images right after the concert because late that night I managed to spill a pint glass of water onto my computer. The worst part is that I didn’t realize what had happened until I picked up my computer and water came pouring out of it. I took my computer to Apple and they can fix it for about $1300 but they won’t restore the data so I went over to Tekserve and they will hopefully get my data back for a relatively reasonable $300. The problem is that it’s going to take a week and by the time I can give the computer back to Apple I will be leaving for LA for 10 days so basically I am not going to have a functional computer until the 26th of this month. Fortunately my old MacBook sort of functions and I can use it to update my website and answer emails… I just can’t do much else.
So before I get to these Miley Cyrus photos I wanted to mention that I put a 20% off sale on everything in my Etsy store. Tons of signed Polaroids and even a few copies of my Route 66 book! I also put up one of my favorite photos of Charlotte Stokely for significantly less than I would normally sell it. All proceeds will obviously go directly to paying to get my computer working again or to pay for my funeral after I die of internet withdrawal. You can also sign up for my app if you want to help out in a small way that also let’s you see extra boobs and stuff. Okay, enough fundraising, let’s get on to some weird photos of pop stars.
The Village Voice asked me to shoot Miley Cyrus for them because I think they think it’s hilarious to have me shoot shit like this. In six years of working for them they have given me maybe 5 total assignments (the rest I assign myself) and those have included shooting One Direction and Britney Spears. They just like fucking with me. They think it’s funny to send a borderline pornographer to shoot a teen pop star, but fortunately I was in good company because I ran into fellow creepy photographers Kirill Was Here, Nick Gazin and saw Terry Richardson inside. Part of the gig was to shoot fans outside and shooting over sexed children did make me extremely uncomfortable but what are you gonna do?
The show started with openers Icona Pop who do that song I Love It which is about crashing a car into a bridge and not caring because you are a 90′s chick or something. I remember seeing a 7 year old girl in a bodega singing that song loudly while her mom was buying cigarettes and thinking how fucked the next generation is going to be. I spent most of Icona Pop’s set thinking about how this is probably how my grand parents felt about Elvis and about how fucking old I am.
Sky Ferreira went on next and I have enjoyed her set both times I have seen her and it was nice to have someone somewhat reserved in between Icona Pop and Miley Cyrus. (I mean that’s reserved in comparison… this is the woman who made this video.) Unfortunately she stayed at the very back of the stage in the dark corners for most of her set so I couldn’t get very many good photos from where they stuck the photographers. I’ve photographed her before in the small room of Public Assembly so I think I got my shots. Pretty cool to see her play in front of a billion teen girls after seeing her there.
So now that I have gone out of my way to seem old and somehow bothered by the sexualization of teen girls (despite my career being based on naked women) I want to mention that I am a Miley Cyrus fan. I mean not of her music because before yesterday I had only heard that Wrecking Ball song, but as a human. This is a girl who spent her entire childhood as a Disney Channel start and decided she needed to get the fuck away from that stuff and become her own woman. She’s clearly a talented singer and has spent the last couple years pissing people off by over sexualizing herself and being a “bad” role model for young women. Personally, I think that female pop music needs bad ass women who carry on the tradition of the Go Gos and Joan Jett and Madonna letting girls know that they are in control of their sexuality and shouldn’t be slut shamed by a male dominated music industry that has been singing about sex and marginalizing women for years.
Okay, I feel like I haven’t had enough coffee to clearly express myself right now and I have used the word sexual way too many times in this article. My point is that I don’t hate Miley Cyrus and I do think there is something artistically valid what she is doing in regards to subverting her Hannah Montana image.
Whatever the case her show was fucking awesome. I only was able to photograph the first three songs and then they kicked all the photographers out but I would have stayed and watched the whole thing if they let me. She is a fantastic front woman and put on a fucking super weird show that comments on sex, race, pop culture and her own celebrity in the first 10 minutes and features her sliding down her on tongue, dancing with furries, slapping a large black woman’s ass and essentially masturbating on top of a low rider. Also, the music is not bad.
In conclusion, I am pro Miley Cyrus, pro Sky Ferreira and I feel like Icona Pop might be the worst thing to happen to humanity since crack cocaine. These photos were shot from pretty far away but I think there are some nice shots anyway, especially of Miley Cyrus. I just wish I got a chance to see her whole set and take photos of her without a ton of people holding up cell phones in between me in the stage.
Click here to see all the photos from the Bangerz tour at the Barclays Center featuring Miley Cyrus, Sky Ferreira and Icona Pop.