MUTEMATH / Nothing But Thieves / Music / by Jordan Hefler

I mentioned in a previous blog post about how I sometimes benefit from the use of a 70-200mm lens at concerts when there isn't a barricaded "photo-pit" for photographers to shoot from. This MUTEMATH concert is a perfect exmaple of one of these times. I knew the show was sold out and I knew the venue (The Varsity Theatre in Baton Rouge) didn't have a photo pit. So I made sure that I got there PLENTY early to get up to the front of the stage and hold out a spot. I went alone, so I knew if I had to go to the restroom or do anything I would probably lose my spot and have to push through the crowd with my camera- my absolute least favorite thing to do in the world. I actually cringe thinking about it. It's a huge anxiety I have, because I generally feel like I'm in the way and that I'm an inconvenience to the people watching the show. You would think that most people would see that you are a photographer with a photo pass and that since you have a camera you need to be close to the stage, but alas, most people get rude about it. They simply think you are trying to cut in front of them and I am too much of a pushover to deal with that, so I would rather just get at venues super early and stake out a spot so I don't have to push my way through the crowd later (this people pleasing thing is something I am still trying to work on, ugh)

ANYWAYS, I got to the venue super early and stood in line forever (another thing- am I allowed to cut the line when I'm there to pick up a photo pass? I will never know. I'm too much of a rule follower to find out.) When I got to the box office, there was a miscommunication with the venue about my name not being on the list, when I had email verification that I was approved for press credentials. Weird things like this have happened to me before at the box office, but usually we get it figured out. Thank god I made friends with the merch people, who then radioed their tour manager (who was beyond kind and apologetic, shout out to you my Tour Manager friend) and informed me that there had been some issues with their software or something, so my approval emails didn't get communicated to the venue. Long story short, I almost didn't get to shoot the show at all, but by the time I did finally get in the venue it was PACKED...which is what I knew would happen and which is why I got there obnoxiously early. I did find a little spot to cram myself into on a raised portion of the stairs which was actually perfect, because then I shot pretty much the whole show over everyone's heads with my long lens. And I'M SO HAPPY that I did! Because look at these photos!! I am in love with them. This was some of the coolest lighting I have ever gotten to photograph, and I really don't think I would have been able to capture that had I been closer than I was. It seems that in my most stressful situations, everything usually works out. I'd also like to give a shout out to the nice girl behind me who let me stand in front of her all night when my ponytail kept hitting her face. She thought I was with the band and kept yelling at everyone SHE'S IN THE BAND! I am not with the band. I'm just with myself. Sorry for hitting you repeatedly with my ponytail.

Any photos reposted must retain proper photo credit. Photographed for Stitched Sound.