Rock the Garden 2015

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Yesterday we went to Rock the Garden which has become quite a tradition in our house. Every summer we’ve lived in our house, we’ve been going there, so that’s cool. Sometimes the lineup isn’t always our bag, but it’s a fun day to hang out, see some music, run into everyone we know, and drink delicious Praire Vodka cocktails (the ones this year, a honeydew-basil concoction, felt like jumping in a cold creek. It was a HOT ONE this year). Through my media savvy (ok, so my more savvy godfather clued me in), I was able to score a last minute photo pass, and I was STOKED about getting a legitimate opportunity to bust my chops and see what it’s like shooting a festival. I packed up my festival bag with all my little tools which I thankfully had been accruing with rapid succession in preparation for next months’ Eaux Claires festival. I have to say, while festival shooting is kind of overwhelming, I’m really glad I did it yesterday, just so I know what I’m in for. I know now that my main lens, the Sigma 18-35 1.8, which I love of course, is not versatile enough. I know that I can’t drink too much water. I know to do some hand exercises so I don’t get cramps and numb fingers (my right thumb is still numb!). But, it was invaluable experience. And while the festival itself was fun, getting in the pit and going nuts with my camera was the real treat. RTG2015-1 RTG2015-2The first act was thestand4rd, which is an impressive little group of young (local!) rappers who have already gotten a ton of wide exposure. Allan Kingdom up there recently collab’d with Kanye West. I feel like that’s about the widest exposure you can get. RTG2015-4 RTG2015-5 RTG2015-6RTG2015-12 RTG2015-13 The group also has Corbin aka Spooky Black who, to me, sort of working in the media for a couple years now, is vaguely enigmatic, even though he’s still in High School. And he’ll always be Spooky Black to me!RTG2015-18 RTG2015-19Yeah no offense to the other dudes in the group but Allan Kingdom was most definitely the most magnetic (and photogenic). He’s come so far since this. RTG2015-23 RTG2015-24 RTG2015-25Then it was Lucius, whose work I knew little of. They have a hot single on the radio right now (The Current, who co-hosts this event) but that was it. Their press photos communicated to me that this was a band with all style and no substance, but I was happily proved wrong. They’re really soulful and harmonious melodies sung with heart (and style).RTG2015-26 RTG2015-27 RTG2015-28 RTG2015-29I did have my 50mm with me, which I did whip out a few times, but it was crystal clear that it was not a lens that could handle the fast-paced environment of a photo pit, when you only get 3 songs to shoot.RTG2015-30 RTG2015-31RTG2015-33 RTG2015-34 RTG2015-36Courtney Barnett is an awesome lady and her music rocks. RTG2015-38 RTG2015-39 RTG2015-40 She also had the fog machine working overtime and her hair was flying all over the place so she was a fun subject. It was hard to edit this set down. Actually, it was really hard to edit down 1,600 photos just in general.RTG2015-42 RTG2015-43RTG2015-45RTG2015-46I’ve had a sort of ambivalence about Conor Oberst for pretty much all the time I’ve known about him. Never got into Bright Eyes (despite that, I insist that I hate them) but have found some of his solo stuff on the radio to be sad and pretty. RTG2015-47 RTG2015-48
RTG2015-52 RTG2015-53 RTG2015-61 RTG2015-62 RTG2015-56 RTG2015-57RTG2015-64RTG2015-65RTG2015-66RTG2015-63RTG2015-67Then the headliner, Belle & Sebastian, wooooo.RTG2015-72
¯\_(ツ)_/¯RTG2015-74 RTG2015-77Stuart Murdoch was waltzing all over the stage, I had to be on continuous shooting pretty much the whole time.RTG2015-82 RTG2015-83 RTG2015-84RTG2015-87 RTG2015-88 RTG2015-89 RTG2015-91 RTG2015-92 RTG2015-93RTG2015-95RTG2015-96RTG2015-100During the penultimate number, they pulled up 20 or so people from the audience to dance onstage, which was the cutest and happiest and *coolest* thing I’ve ever seen at a show. As a side note, I saw one of my old enemies trying to get onstage, and I thought “meh.” RTG2015-101 RTG2015-102There’s a whole other day of festivities and bands today (there’s probably been a whole set in the course of me writing out this blog) BUT we didn’t get tix, and I don’t think I could do a whole nother day of it, even if I wasn’t lugging around expensive equipment and couldn’t drink. It was a cool day (I mean, it was a HOT DAY, but it was also very cool).

About the Author

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Hi! I'm a graphic designer, photographer and female person. I live in Minneapolis with my husband Alan and our baby son Alexander and baby cat Arya.

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Photo, Shows

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