On September 1st, 2018 the San Diego band Aether X performed at the House of Blues in San Diego Ca. Aether X is a new progressive/hard rock trio that features James Brady on guitar and Jeff Smith on drums. I’ve known Jeff for a long time since he is, like me, a software engineer. This show was the EP release show for the band and they put on a great show!
On January 27th, I was proud to do photography at the Eric Johnson show at the House of Blues in San Diego, CA. Eric has always been in my top three guitarists list since I fist saw him on his tour to support his first album in the 1980’s. So, I was very excited to shoot this show!
Eric is a “guitarists guitarist”. Like at the show in the 80’s, I would estimate that 90% of the guys there are guitarists or want to be. The only women at the show were the few that those guitarists convinced to come, including the woman sitting next to me. She ending up loving the show that included guitarist Arielle from Austin, TX opening and playing a few tunes with Eric.
Eric still seems pretty shy and rarely looks at the audience, which is fine with me. We aren’t there to look at him… okay, maybe his hands (which I call “alien hands” since they do things I’ve never seen a human hand do). We are there to listen to him.
Here are some observations that I made during the shoot and the show. First, Eric hardly looks different from the 80’s. At age 63, the only thing different was his hair color and maybe a few wrinkles. Being a guitarist, the biggest thing I noticed was his pedal board (see below). It looked to me that he has not upgraded from the first time I saw him (or cleaned). Only his amps looked newer. Previously he played through 3 amps but I saw 5 at least. He is pretty busy with the right foot switches to switch between the amps. It also looks like he is also using his original tape delay machines (I’m sure there aren’t many of those left in the world).
With the ever-changing world of guitar pedals and effects, Eric stays true to his roots and to his tone.
I’d like to thank the House of Blues and LiveNation for allowing me to shoot this show. Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, you are next on my list to photograph, since you are the other two in my favorite three guitarists list.
Below is a photo I took of Michael Wilton of Queensryche on November 18th, 2016 at the House of Blues in San Diego. I chose this photo to be the picture of the week since it was liked and re-posted many times by fans and Queensryche. Michael even posted it on Thanksgiving when he wished all of his fans a happy holiday.
At age 67, Rick Nielsen, founding member of the band Cheap Trick is still rocking his fans (as seen in the picture I took in July 2015 below). Cheap Trick has been will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
I first saw Cheap Trick open for Kiss in 1977 (my first major concert). At the time I never heard of Cheap Trick and out came these four guys, two dressed like normal rock stars (Tom Petersson and Robin Zander) and two dressed pretty goofy (Rick and Bun E. Carlos). Rick, being the most energetic of the four, ran around the stage and at one point pushed his guitar off of the riser he stands on multiple times.
The week after the show, I was talking to a classmate, telling him about this goofy band that I saw open for Kiss. While fun to watch, I wrote them off until he told me to check out their latest album because they are actually good musician/ song writers. So I went out and purchased Heaven Tonight and gave it a listen… I have been a huge fan ever since.
Cheap Trick is still rocking hard, so go see them the next time they are in your town. They are still a really fun band to watch!
I’m a rhythm guitarist (some leads) and am looking to join a tribute band (have lots of great ideas) or one that does covers and maybe originals. Prefer established band with gigs coming up, otherwise would really like to start or join band that wants to focus on songs by The Cult, Collective Soul, AC/DC or Queensrÿche and more. To learn more about my music tastes, check out my blog and my videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL939FFCAE80EB4BE0
This is a short video on how I rocked the geeks in India before my conference session:
This is a gig I played with the Wayward Sons at the Belly Up in June 2014.