J Boog and Iration Summer Tour

This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to shoot photos for J Boog and Iration while they were on the Slightly Stooped summer tour. As a long time fan this was a bit of a dream come true, but as a photographer this was an opportunity to expand my horizons. Being new to photography I was a bit hesitant to even ask for a press pass, but I hit the band up for a press pass and was surprisingly granted one. Nervous as hell I reached out to Chris Reezy (keyboardist for J Boog) and right away I could tell it would be a very relaxed atmosphere. Chris hooked it up and met me at the doors with my first official press pass. I walked backstage in a bit of a daze and pretended I knew what I was doing. Chris introduced me to the all Hawaiian band and crew and I was instantly made to feel like I was part of the family. The guys got me water, talked to me about what was going on in Idaho and really made an effort to help me  feel at ease. Rocco, J Boog's TM walked me around the stage and gave me some tips for what their set would look like. With my  camera out I put on my 35mm lens and figured I'd get straight to work. I started taking pics of everyone and everything in hopes of getting that perfect shot. As their set began I moved to the pit (the front of the stage) and I realized there was a crowd of two thousand people behind me and I was on the other side of a barrier with full access to the stage. After letting everything sink in I realized how blessed I was and got back to shooting. I was getting pics of Boog singing out to the crowd, Ambrose laying down bass lines, Chris working the keys and Carl slaying guitar solos. As their set came to a close Rocco told me I should try and get a pic as the band gets everyone to throw up the "Shaka." I got on the drum riser right behind Leslie (the drummer) as he was still playing and got ready for the shot. Boog and they boys put their hands to the sky and so the crowd followed. The end result was one of my favorite shots of all time. Boog exited the stage and the band jammed out for another 3 minutes. I stood next to Rocco still somewhat confused on how I was backstage. As the band packed up their gear Chris came up and thanked me for my work. He told me to enjoy the rest of the show and he looked forward to seeing my work. 

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As J Boog and the boys headed to the bus, Iration got ready to hit the stage. Iration has been one of my favorite bands for years and I've seen them a handful of times, but now I was backstage and taking pictures of them. I caught Micah P. (singer for Iration) walking upstage and he threw me the peace sign which made for a great pic. The rest of the band joined him backstage and they did their pre-show chant. They began their first song, Hotting Up while I was in the pit and I found myself singing along with the crowd as I took shot after shot.  It was so crazy to be right in front of Adam (bass player) as he worked the crowd and to be five feet from Micah Brown (lead guitar player) while he was ripping guitar riffs. For the next hour I was in heaven listening to my one of my favorite bands while I just kept taking photos. The band thanked the crowd for enduring the heat (it was easily 100 degrees) and played their last song. Still on cloud 9 I packed up my gear and headed home. 

Back at home I began to go through the 1200 pictures I had taken that night. I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face as I sent the final edits to both bands. I was even more surprised when both bands responded that they were really happy with the results. Im unbelievably grateful for such an amazing opportunity to work with some of my favorite bands and Im honestly so excited to see what's next for LiveHighPhotography.

 

Mike Abbondandolo