Thursday, July 23, 2009

Staind Live in Asbury Park NJ

Well, it took me long enough, but I finally got some time to write about the headliners of the Stimulate This! Tour that passed through Asbury Park, NJ back on July 15th, 2009.

It was a fun night, and I was exctied because not only had I never shot Staind before, but it was also my first time ever seeing them live. I've been a fan of their for a while now and just never had a chance to see them on any of the tours that they'd done in the past.

To be honest, the first 2 songs were a blur to me, the lighting was changing so furiously that I spend more time trying to get my settings correct on the fly than I did even paying attention to what I was actually seeing. Not the most adventurous shooting, or most exciting, but it certainly was an excercise. Now, I've shot in all kinds of conditions; I've shot shows that were so dark that a full second exposure at f/2.8 was still too dark, and then I've shot shows that anything less than 1/250th at f/8 was overexposed. Imagine the frustration in going between those 2 extremes, oh, about, every 3 or 4 seconds. - Oh, and in case you're wondering, the third song, "Falling" woke me up from my frustrated confusion because not only is it one of my favorite Staind songs, but the lighting finally normalized a bit.

Either way, whether you chalk it up to luck or experience I still walked out of there with some great shots, and some performance video, which you can find on my YouTube account.

Staind played a great set full of fan favorites and some new tracks from their most recent release The Illusion of Progress. Then came the encore that I wasn't expecting. Maybe it's something new, or maybe I'm just a loser who has never seen Staind live before. Anyway, the stage went dark, people did their usual chanting of the band's name, waiting for the next few songs before fighting their way out the door and into traffic. Suddenly a spot light starts shining on the sound booth and there's an empty stool, and then before you know it, there's Aaron Lewis junping up on the stool, armed with an acoustic guitar, and starts up "Outside" followed by "It's Been A While." After the 2 acoustic tracks, the lights go back to the stage where the other 3 guys are standing by and you start to hear the opening bass lines to "Mudshovel." The show ended with that tune, which made me happy, as well as the rest of the crowd.

It really was a great show, I'm a Staind fan, I'm a Shinedown addict, and it was great to finally catch Chevelle. I missed Lo-Pro because of rush-hour traffic, but Halestorm had the crowd going, as usual. Overall it was definitely a show you didn't want to miss if you are a fan of any of these bands. The high moment for me was actually being lucky enough to be in the photo pit during Shinedown's ".45" when Aaron Lewis came out to sing with them.

For now I only have one Staind video and one Shinedown video on Youtube. I will post some more when I get the chance, but for now here are some shots of Staind and a link to my video of "King of All Excuses" - Check back on YouTube often for new videos, and don't forget to check the blog archive below for entries on Chevelle and Shinedown.

YouTube: Staind - King of All Excuses Live

Staind: The Full Gallery on

Johnny April, looking badass

Jon Wysocki, bashing things with sticks

Aaron Lewis, in a moment

Mike Mushok, ..."Hi mom"??? (couldn't think of anything witty for this one)

More soon, very soon, got a lot going on and lots to say.

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