Ho99o9 Record Release Party – 6.18.15

I saw Ho99o9 last night and it was awesome. Now let me make this shit about me real quick.

I don’t really like photographing bands. I did almost nothing else for the first decade of my photo life and I just got sick of it. Most bands are easy to shoot and with the “three songs; no flash” rules that most medium sized and up clubs have everyone’s photos look exactly the same. Added to that is the fact that everyone is a photographer now since digital photography is easy and cheap so you have the same photo taken by twenty people every single night. Who gives a shit?

So when a band like Ho99o9 comes along I get excited. Here’s a band that is both fun to photograph, fun to listen to and is also relevant so people actually want to take 11 seconds out of their lives to look at the photos. I fucking love Ho99o9 and shooting them is challenging and really god damn fun.

When I found out their record release party was the day after I landed in LA I was fucking stoked. So last night I went to the Mystery Box, pushed my way to the front and started taking photos in the middle of the pit. Unfortunately I am not the only photographer psyched to shoot Ho99o9 and there were as many photographers at the front of the stage as their were people. I took about 10 shots, 8 of which were blocked by lenses and flashes and iPhones and I gave up and just jumped in the pit to have fun. Of course I still had my camera on me and I went down pretty quick.

I ended up subluxating my shoulder because I was trying to help this guy not get trampled while also being on the ground and also holding my camera in the air so it didn’t break. It felt like my arm had been ripped off and I thought I was done for the night. Fortunately after a few minutes I could lift my camera again and I said fuck it and went back in. I didn’t want my night to consist of a handful of mediocre photos. So I went back in.

By this time most of the photographers had cleared out of the front and were either gone or on the stage. At one point Eaddy was on the ground on the stage singing and the photographers surrounded him and started taking photos inches from him. This shit drives me nuts, especially with the video guys who just hold their camera’s right in front of the bands face ruining the show for everyone.

I took a photo of them all and Tweeted it with some angry caption. I invited Hannibal Buress to the show last night and when he saw my photo he retweeted it to his 500k followers and I got to spend the next hour editing images while arguing with strangers on the internet.

I just wanted to go on this rant because photographers need to check themselves a bit. When shooting live bands or news or events or pretty much anything outside of the studio we have to make choices. Should we try and get the best shot possible or do we need to get out of the fucking way and let shit happen. I don’t think I took the best photos last night and I am sure if I got on the stage it would have been easier to shoot. If I spent the whole show holding my camera two feet above my head I might have got a few nice shots I wouldn’t have had normally. But a show isn’t about the photographers, it’s about the band and the fans. I just think we sometimes need to compromise between getting the shot and getting in people’s way. Sometimes you take the shot at all cost, but if you spend the whole show doing that you are gonna make it shitty for everyone else.

So last night I sublimated my shoulder, bent my knee the wrong way on the stage, got covered with beer and sweat and got fucking birthday cake all over my camera. On top of everything else I didn’t even take any photos I was exceptionally proud of, but you know what? I had fucking fun and I think if nothing else I captured the energy of what was a fucking awesome show.

Fuck it, I am glad Ho99o9 exist and I am glad people want to take their photo. I would rather 20 photographers shoot them than 99% of every other boring fucking band that stands around looking at their guitar pedals. So I am gonna end this rant and try and hang out with some babes cause I am in LA and mostly on vacation.

Now go download Ho99o9’s new EP Ho99o9s Of 1999. It’s free.

And then click here to see all the photos I took of Ho99o9 EP release party at the Mystery Box. (NSFW for Eaddy’s dick.)






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