Friday, March 26, 2010

Keith Harris - Rockin' the beat for the Black Eyed Peas

One recent Friday in Boston, I had the pleasure of working with drummer/writer/producer Keith Harris again.

Keith is best known for playing drums for Black Eyed Peas, as well as writing & producing some of their songs. Keith has also worked with Michael Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Nicole Scherzinger, Mary J Blige, and other huge stars.

The Black Eyed Peas were headlining the TD Garden in Boston on their "The E.N.D." tour. Ludacris opened up.

With rock star photographer Nique Prokop (http://www.THErockstarphotographer.com) in tow, we met up with Keith's drum tech Keith Schubert several hours before the show. Keith S. gave us a tour of the backstage area and brought us up to the *3rd story* of the BEP stage, where the band members perform.

We checked out the space, I picked lenses, and Keith S. got the lighting engineer on radio to dial in lights for the shoot. Moments later, Keith Harris joined us.

For the next 10 minutes, we had a badass photoshoot with Keith... check out the photos below!

Big thanks to Keith H and Keith S for being awesome to work with! Big thanks to Nique for being my voice-activated light stand ;)

The entire photo gallery can be seen here:
http://images.willhawkinsphotography.com/BEP-26FEB10/
Click 'Read More' below to view this entire blog post!

Keith Harris of Black Eyed Peas by Will Hawkins
Keith Harris of Black Eyed Peas by Will Hawkins

Keith Harris of Black Eyed Peas by Will Hawkins
Keith Harris of Black Eyed Peas by Will Hawkins

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Muse concert, Dominic Howard photoshoot, and another line off of my bucket list!

This has been an incredible year for concerts already! Buddy Guy, BB King, Shinedown, Killswitch Engage (3 times!), Galactic, and Muse!

Muse is a band that I have loved for a while. They are a band that only releases strong albums - masterpieces from creative geniuses!

Muse is comprised of 3 members - Matthew Bellamy on Vocals & Guitar, Christopher Wolstenholme on Bass, and Dominic Howard on Drums.

Each member contributes to the songwriting process. Each member brings huge sound to the album, and the live show.

The show was absolutely amazing. Incredible stage, stunning light show, spectacular performance of songs, great set list, and a variety of musical compositions played in addition to their songs.

Promark Drumsticks arranged for a 1 on 1 shoot with Dom Howard.
We got to the venue a few hours before the show. met with Muse' security, and were immediately escorted to Dom Anderson, Muse' long time tour manager.
Muse has a huge production and a massive crew - every member of which was *incredibly* polite and helpful. Muse' crew is comprised of some of the most professional and kind crew members I've ever met.

Soon after meeting with Dom A., we were linked up with Dom Howard. Muse's stage was already configured for the show, kabooki in place - so we needed to find another place to shoot.
Dom had a separate room with a full drumkit set up. A perfect, private little white room w/white ceilings.

I took a couple of minutes to set up 2 Canon 580EX speedlites on pocket wizards, pointing at the ceiling corners, and the shoot began!

Check out the photos and video below!

For the full set of photos of Dom, as well as of the live Muse performance, go to this link:
http://images.willhawkinsphotography.com/Muse-27FEB10/





Dominic Howard of Muse by Will Hawkins
Photo: Dominic Howard of Muse by Will Hawkins

BB King - The Legendary Bluesman - Live at MGM Grand Theater

BB King is a name that I have known my entire life. BB King's music has been run through these ears of mine ever since I was first exposed to song.

For nearly 20 years, I have wanted to see BB King play live. For about 10 years, I've wanted to photograph him in action.
February 14th, 2010, I was able to cross two items off of my bucket list.


BB King and Buddy Guy performed for a sold-out crowd at MGM Grand Arena @ Foxwoods in Connecticut on Valentine's Day.

There's little I can say here. Everyone knows who BB King is, everyone knows his music, everyone knows his influence. What else could I possibly say right now?

The entire set of photos can be seen here: http://images.willhawkinsphotography.com/BBKing-14FEB10/

Here is a photo from the evening which sums the entire experience up for me:
BB King by Will Hawkins
Photo: BB King

BB King's Beat - Tony Coleman

Promark endorsing drummer Tony "TC" Coleman began playing drums for BB King 30 years ago. During breaks from touring with BB, TC has performed with Albert King, Otis Clay, Etta James, Buddy Guy, and more!

February 14th, 2010, BB King and Buddy Guy performed at the sold-out MGM Grand Theater at MGM Casino/Foxwoods in Connecticut.

A few hours before showtime, we met up with TC on stage at the venue. Tony was still setting up his cymbals and a few other items.

Tony is a man of big talent and big personality. Working with him 1 on 1 prior to the show was a blast, and shooting the show was amazing. TC was kind enough to take us out after the show - Thanks, Tony!

The entire set of photos can be seen here: http://images.willhawkinsphotography.com/BBKing-14FEB10/

Here are some photos from the evening:

Tony Coleman by Will Hawkins
Tony Coleman

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Killswitch Engage - The Return of Jesse Leach, Night 2 - 19MAR10 - Fillmore at Irving Plaza

Killswitch Engage rocked a sold-out crowd twice this week at Fillmore @ Irving Plaza in NYC - Thursday and Friday.
Thursday's info, video, and photos are here: http://blog.willhawkinsphotography.com/2010/03/killswitch-engage-return-of-jesse-leach.html

Friday's video and photos - are right here!

Just as Killswitch did last night, tonight Killswitch performed at Irving Plaza, featuring two vocalists - Phil Labonte of All That Remains, and Jesse Leach - Killswitch's orignal singer.
Phil started the set off, Jesse did the middle, Phil came back, and Jesse performed the encore - with Phil joining at one point. For the setlist and info from the first night, go here: http://blog.willhawkinsphotography.com/2010/03/killswitch-engage-return-of-jesse-leach.html .

Same as last night, the encore was performed with the original Killswitch Engage lineup - Adam D on drums, Joel on guitar, Mike D on bass, and Jesse on vocals!

AdamD still tears it up on the drums. Joel has the talent of two awesome guitarists, so one guitar still really carries the music, and MikeD was still dropping dangerously precise and heavy bass.

Here are two videos from last night when Killswitch performed in their original lineup: (Sound is bad but maybe can get cleaner sound eventually!)

Video: Killswitch Engage "Prelude" and "Life to Lifeless" - Featuring Jesse Leach & Killswitch Engage's original lineup:



Video: Killswitch Engage "Fixation on the Darkness" - Featuring Jesse Leach & Killswitch Engage's original lineup:




Pictures from the night:
Jesse Leach singing with Killswitch Engage 19MAR10 by Will Hawkins
Above: Jesse Leach singing with Killswitch Engage


More photos of Killswitch Engage w/Jesse Leach and Phil Labonte after the break! Click here! http://blog.willhawkinsphotography.com/2010/03/killswitch-engage-return-of-jesse-leach_21.html

Friday, March 19, 2010

Killswitch Engage - The Return of Jesse Leach (UPDATED) - 18MAR10 - Fillmore at Irving Plaza

Tonight, the rumors were confirmed.

(For those looking for video and photos from night 2 of KSE's stint at Irving Plaza with Jesse Leach and Phil Labonte, check out the updated post from 19MAR10 here: http://blog.willhawkinsphotography.com/2010/03/killswitch-engage-return-of-jesse-leach_21.html .


Killswitch Engage's original frontman, Jesse Leach, took the stage with KSE at the Fillmore @ Irving Plaza in New York City.

Phil Labonte of All That Remains has been filling in on vocals since Howard Jones' surprise drop from the this tour last month. Phil has been doing a spectacular job and the crowds have been posting great reviews! Love for Howard is definitely out there as well..!

Tonight, Phil sang a few songs (killed it!!), the lights went out... and the intro to "My Last Serenade" began... The crowd began singing the intro/chorus, the lights came on, and Jesse powered out onto the stage! A few seconds later, the crowd was in a complete uproar!

Jesse sang My Last Serenade, Numbered Days, Self Revolution, Vide Infra, and Temple from the Within. Phil joined Jesse on stage for a bit!

Joel was tearing the room apart with monster guitar sound, AdamD did the same, only with a dollarsign cape on. MikeD was dropping some heavy bass, and Justin was performing incredibly on the drums....

After Numbered Days, Jesse began to introduce himself - "For any of you who don't know who I am..." - and stopped. The crowd was already chanting at full loud "Jesse! Jesse! Jesse! Jesse!" No introduction was needed.

After a few songs, Phil came back to close out the set. For the encore, Jesse returned with yet another surprise - the original Killswitch Engage lineup!! Adam D on drums, Joel on guitar, MikeD on bass, Jesse on vocals!
The encore included 'prelude', Life to Lifeless, and Fixation on the Darkness.

Luckily, I was on hand to witness the amazing event - and photograph the entire set! Despite being the worst videographer on the road, I threw one of the Canon 5D Mark II's into HD Video mode and recorded "My Last Serenade."

Without further adieu, I present you with my video from the evening, and a few photos.

More photos will be posted soon - just getting a few together for now! Also keep an eye out for blog updates on here featuring photos from Friday 19MAR10's show, as well as photos of Black Eyed Peas, Muse, BB King, Buddy Guy, and more!


Video: Killswitch Engage "My Last Serenade" and the beginning of "Numbered Days" - Featuring Jesse Leach

(I apologize for the slow focus and distorted sound! This was taken on a DSLR right against the stage)

Killswitch Engage Pictures:

Jesse Leach and Phil Labonte singing with Killswitch Engage 18MAR10 by Will Hawkins
Above: Jesse Leach and Phil Labonte singing with Killswitch Engage


More photos of Killswitch Engage w/Jesse Leach and Phil Labonte after the break! Click here! http://blog.willhawkinsphotography.com/2010/03/killswitch-engage-return-of-jesse-leach.html