There was a chance my friends in Anewrage would’ve been selected to play at this huge Italian festival based in Milan, called I-Days Festival. They could’ve been playing the same day as Linkin Park, Blink-182 and Sum 41…and that’s exactly what happened!
On June 8th I got a message from Axel (the band’s vocalist) where he asked me to give him a call as soon as I had time. He told me they had the confirmation for June 17th, and also could bring a person as their crew for the day, so they wanted me to go with them. I don’t know how I kept an excited but normal voice when I had the Carlton dance going on in my head, but still…OF COURSE, I SAID YES.
A couple of days after, I was already seeing the guys because they had a gig in their hometown, Abbiategrasso. It was during a beer fest so there was plenty of food and beer to keep us company while talking about the details. Then we just had to patiently wait for THE day. Easier said than done, because the hype was real.
June 17th slowly came.
We met outside the entrance early in the morning (most of us without any sleep), because we had to go inside all together in one vehicle with all our gear (and I can tell you…we found ourselves in a pretty hilarious and half-dangerous situation, like a really bad Tetris game).
Once we had our passes, we made our almost 2 kilometres walk to the stage, while our drummer Ale was on another van with all the band’s gear. At the stage we met the stage crew, the other bands and learn the rules for the day.
[NOTE: I will often say ‘our’ or ‘we’ while referring to the band, because band and crew work together like they’re different parts of a single body]
Our stage-time was from 4:30 to 4:45pm, so we had a lot of time to kill and decided to relax a bit, then take a walk around while the doors were still closed and take some band pictures. During our free time I took a bunch of backstage pictures of the guys relaxing, during soundcheck, details of the band’s gear, the stage…the behind the scenes that not everyone has the chance to see. Also a bunch of small videos of what was happening around us.
We were all ‘just waiting’ for those fifteen minutes to come, and everyone was ready to kill it.
As a local band, when you play on a secondary stage of a huge festival, lots of people don’t even know you exist, so you really have to catch their attention fast. But when that same crowd, at the end of your short set, ask you not to leave the stage and keep on playing…it means more than something, to me.
Anewrage are a 5 piece band and they had just 3 songs to play, so organizing the time to take both good photos of every member and some videoclips was really challenging.
Since I knew the setlist and the band, I decided in advance where to be, who to shoot and when.
I started backstage with the Sigma 15mm and took a video of the singer’s entrance on stage, then placed myself on stage behind the drums and took some shots with the whole band and the huge crowd. After that, I ran in the pit (literally) and took some shots from there.
I switched to the Tamron 24-70mm and shot every band member besides the drummer, which was up in the back. All this in the first song and a half. Then I ran back on stage to take some pics from the side of the drumset and other band members facing the drummer (because I know they do this quite often).
For the third song I switched back to the 15mm to immortalize some interaction between the drummer and other members, with the clearly visible huge crowd in the back. Then I hid on the opposite side of the drumset behind some amplifiers to take pics of the drummer alone, looking for interesting perspectives (so basically putting the camera between the cymbals with more than huge carefulness). I decided to leave a whole song for the drummer because I know I need more time to catch a unique moment I’m satisfied with…he has that long hair that NEVER moves in the same way twice, so you just have to be there to catch a killer shot.
Meanwhile, I took short videos of the performance (with the same camera) for another idea we had in mind. That side job (that I also did for other dates of the tour), has been embedded into this:
After our show was done we had the time to relax, for real this time (some of us had a little anxiety going on) and enjoy our good mood…then we just lost our voices with Sum 41, Blink-182 and Linkin Park.
From a day like this you can only go home physically and mentally destroyed…but the satisfaction will be unreal, and this is exactly what keeps me going.
Until next time.
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