This past week was an amazing week for concerts in Southern California, and FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine was the center of attention. Tuesday night was Blink-182, Thursday it was The Smashing Pumpkins, and Friday Korn and Alice in Chains brought the house down.
If you follow my posts at all you’ll know that Korn is one of my favorite bands to photograph. You rarely see a band take over a show and visibly leave everything on the stage the way that Korn does. Brian “Head” Welch (above) is one of the most amazing guitarists to photograph, and his artistry on the guitar just rises above almost everyone out there…. except James “Munky” Shaffer (below) that is. These two guys elevate this band to a level few can reach.
Then you’ve got Fieldy on bass keeping the everything grounded, along with drummer Ray Luzier. Together this bands makes staying in your seat damn near impossible – which made photography very tough from back at the soundboard. Trust me, see Korn live… and then see them every chance you get.
Before Korn was Alice in Chains, and now I realize I had no idea what to expect. Holy crap. I am about to say something that doesn’t come easy… this is the best sounding live band I have ever heard, and I have heard a lot.
Every single song, every bit of the house mix…. freaking brilliant. And this is one of those setlist where you know every song (and unfortunately so do some of the other photographers around you… photographers that can’t sing – I’m kidding Matthew and Steve – or am I).
Guitarist Jerry Cantrell, along with vocalist William DuVall, bassist Mike Inez, and drummer Sean Kinney are just insanely good live. I think I mentioned the sound mix at least 5 times to people I was with, and wanted to go tell the crew at the soundboard how much they were appreciated.
The setlist Friday was hit after hit, after hit. Kicking in with Angry Chair and Man In The Box let everyone know they here to take over the place, and songs like Them Bones, We Die Young and Would? completed the task. Closing out with Rooster was nothing short of special.
Alice in Chains is so solid live I would photograph them again any chance I get. Before Alice in Chains we heard from Florida rockers Underoath. Originally identified as a Christian band, they have now openly distanced themselves such an identity. Musically Underoath is straight up rock, with a performance style of pure energy.
This was my third, or maybe forth time photographing this band, and I can tell you they never disappoint. Vocalist Spencer Chamberlain is awesome. Be sure to check them out.
One more thing on Underoath, Keyboardist Christopher Dudley (above) was a blast to watch. The most active keyboard player I’ve seen. And that brings us to the opener, Fever 333. Where do I start…
The band came out with someone on stage with a black hood over their head, with the numbers 333 on their chest, along with “there’s a fever coming…”. That of course was vocalist Jason Butler – of LetLive fame. Immediately you knew where this show was going. I heard many people make the comparison to Rage Against the Machine, because of the lyrical content and delivery, but to me it was less structured than Rage – more…. uncontrolled, and I mean that in a good way. I had honestly not heard of the band before Friday, although I have photographed LetLive numerous times, and I truly enjoy enjoy everything Jason does.
Aric Improta, of Night Verses fame, lit up the drums, and former the Chariot member Stephen Harrison handled guitar. This is a three piece band that sounds much bigger. Every concert has a surprise, that band you’d never seen or known what to expect from, and Friday it was Fever 333. This band is why I always tell people to get to every show to catch the openers, you never know what magic you might miss. Friday , as the opening band for a four band show, the crowd was thin when they hit the stage, and I love that Jason didn’t care. He flew off the stage and into crowd. After running out of mic cord he climbed head first into a trash can and sang, he ran through the aisles, hugged a Live Nation employee that helped him up, and just gave it everything he had. The whole band did. Watch for these guys, they are great.
There is a gallery of more photos below, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show. Follow me online at:
All Images Copyright 2019 Steve Brazill, All Rights Reserved. Do not use without permission.