It's mid August in Missoula, MT and that means only one thing to an ever-increasing number of partiers, rockers, floaters, barbecuers and good-time-havers: It's TOTAL FEST TIME! Having photographed this gem of an event for the past several (4? 5?) years, I am stoked to see that one of my images has wriggled its way onto the cover of this week's Missoula Independent. The shot is of No-Fi Soul Rebellion front man Mark Heimer doing his thing in the crowd at the Badlander. Seeing this cover gets me excited for this year's line up of bands. Especially some little known, soft rock emo band by the name of Red Fang.
A photo I took on the opening night of Total Fest X made it into the Missoula Independent this week. It's a shot of Dane Hansen, aka Bad Naked, making a huge mess of the Top Hat's floor and himself. The text beneath the photo is a Pro/Con type discussion about Bad Naked's "art." Near the beginning of his performance (or rather ... "performance") he tore into the paper mache whale he had on stage. I think ballons and candy were involved. Then, out came the fruit. Yep, wet, messy, sticky, gross, doesn't-belong-in-a-bar fruit. Some revelers were giddy with smiles thinking how cool it was. Others, like the people that work really, really hard to organize the event and the volunteers that had to clean up after him weren't so smily.
Personally, I thought the spectacle was barely more than that ... a spectacle, and I'm really glad my camera didn't get banana'd. Also, the music sucked.
A couple weeks back I was asked by good friend and 1/3 of the genius that is Dead Hipster, Chris Baumann if I'd be willing to spend a Thursday night photographing them in action at one of their Thursday night Dead Hipster dance parties. This is kind of like asking a kid if they would like to stick their face in a bag of sugar. Obviously, I didn't need much time to think about it. Here are a few shots from an insanely fun Thursday night shooting at the Badlander. I can't thank Chris, Mike and Abi enough for allowing me to a part of the fun. If you ever happen to be in Missoula on a Thursday night and want to max out your fun-o-meter, go to Dead Hipster.
Saturday was the third and final night of TFX. Needless to say, equal parts beer, sun, river floating and staying up till the wee hours of the morning for a few days left me a feeling zapped. Luckily there was plenty of full-on, all-out, high energy music to wake me up. Watching the Unstoppable Death Machines' drummer bounce off the walls, dive off the speakers and hang from the pipes on the ceiling helped a bit too. That dude was wound up and fun to watch... unless you were one of the people who got his foot in your face. Here's a few shots from the last night.
Friday, August 19 - night #2 of Total Fest X kicked off at a new venue. Zoo City Apparel hosted five bands before the action moved to the Badlander/Palace compound. Loved having some new scenery and a new space to shoot in. And, my favorite part of any Total Fest - shooting Japanther - took place here. Here's a few shots from Friday night.
Seeing as how I'm heading into the third night of shooting Total Fest X, i figured it was past time to start throwing some photos up on the blog. Better late than never, right? Here's a few from Thursday night (the first night) at the Top Hat. I'll be posting more images of all the sweat, hair, beer and energy that makes TF so awesome year after year..... just as soon as i get done floating the river.
That's about all I can say after taking in 40+ bands in 3 days, adding many, many GBs to the hard drives and witnessing 3 a.m. several nights in a row...as if I were a spry 20-year old again...which, as it turns out, I am not.
I spent the weekend shooting Total Fest IX at the Badlander, Palace and the Missoula Art Museum of all places. Billed as "an all-ages, volunteer-run, nonprofit, DIY event that brings together creative, non-commercial musicians and fans for three-days of great music and times," Total Fest has also been referred to as "King of all DIY rock festivals" courtesy of The Stranger in Seattle.
TF is always a good time for people to get together, reunite, float a river or two, BBQ, shoot the shit, play music and have a good time. For me, it always serves as a good reminder of what attracted me to photography years ago: ENERGY. There is so much raw, real, sweaty, loud, angry, happy, no nonsense, genuine, creative, don't-give-a-shit energy generated by every band; every person at TF, that it is hard to take it all in. There were so many moments of awesomeness over the weekend I feel like it would be impossible to grab them all.
Check out the Total Fest IX image gallery on my website to check out the moments I did capture.
I entered an image from Total Fest VIII in a photo contest sponsored by Billboard and PDN. As of last glance, there were about 1,439 images entered so far. In the Fan's Favorites section, mine was sittin pretty with only 28 images receiving more votes. (Of course, the first place photo has about 440 votes, but...). The contest ends today, and the winners will be announced in October sometime. I am not usually one to enter photo contests, but this one caught my eye shortly after shooting TotalFest this year, and I really like the image - so what the hell - why not? The image is of Donny Fite, lead singer for the Leaders from Portland, OR.
A screen shot of my image amongst a sea of other images is below. By the way, thanks to everyone who voted for my image. Your check is in the mail.
If you want to check out all of the other shots in the contest, click here.