In this blog write-up, I will be posting photos that were taken during my time in the cities of Newmarket and also Toronto while out with my friends in Texas In July.
We arrived at the venue in Newmarket at about 3 p.m. which was about an hour or so before load-in. The guys in Texas In July always seem to be on schedule (at least while I am out with them, haha), or it’s maybe because if they weren’t, Jimmy would kick their butts into gear and tell them to get a move on. Before this show, I had never been to Newmarket before. Newmarket is a small city just outside of Toronto in the Greater Toronto Area or GTA. The venue the guys were playing at was just a small legion hall called the Royal Canadian Legion. Because of the way it was set up, it reminded me a lot of a local hall where I am from called the Portuguese Hall.
As we started loading everything in it began to pour rain, so I helped the guys load everything in so it would be done faster. After everything was in the venue, there wasn’t a whole lot to do. The venue was in a suburban area with all housing and no malls or places for the guys to go, so we decided to just hang out at the venue until doors opened. I went outside to see if any of the guys were out at the van. Ben and Adam were lounging in the empty trailer to stay dry and I snapped a few images.
Ben and Adam
Sean, who does merch for Texas In July, and Alex then came to hang out in the trailer for a bit.
Jess and Sean had been bugging me to take a photo of the two of them together since I got on the tour, so once the rain stopped I managed to get a couple of them. Jess is a friend of ours from London and she tour manages a band called Volumes. She came out with us for a few dates just to hang out and help Sean run merch a bit.
Sean and Jess
Because of the fact it had stopped raining, the guys decided to play some “Water Bottle”. For those of you who are unaware of what Water Bottle is, it’s a game where you fill a plain old water bottle up half full, stand in a circle and throw it to each other by doing trick shots, without letting it hit the ground. When everyone in the circle has touched the bottle and thrown it once, it’s considered “one bottle” and so on. It may not seem like the best game ever, but it is a fun, cheap way to stay entertained when at venues where there isn’t much around to do. I only took a few images and then got in on the action myself.
Adam and Alex
After a few rounds of bottle, we decided to head back inside. Ben and Adam were talking about something while getting some stuff out of the trailer and I managed to grab this photo of Ben laughing. “Candid” style photos like this one are my favourite photos to get because they show true emotion and are unplanned, just a moment captured in it’s true essence.
Adam and Ben
Intervals had just finished up their set so the guys were busy getting their gear prepared for their set. I hung out and took a few photos of the guys warming up and getting ready.
The stage tonight wasn’t all that great, so I decided to only shoot Texas In July‘s set. There was essentially zero lighting on stage other than a few pot lights that the promoter had brought to use, but first thing I noticed when we got there was that the roof was completely white. Luckily I packed a few speedlights and some light stands and I finally had a great chance to put them to use. I rigged up my Nikon Sb-28 speedlight and a Nikon SB910 speedlight I borrowed from my good friend Brendan for the tour (thanks again,dude!) on two different stands and placed one stage right near Chris’ guitar rig and the other stage left more in front of the band, both facing directly up at the roof. The one to the right would pop off the back of the roof causing a fill light, and the other pop off the roof to put some of the light on the band members. I didn’t have time to test this before hand, so I was just hoping I could get some useable images out of it. The setup ended up working awesome and I got some shots I really like.
After shooting the guys from near the stage, I went to front of house and took some photos of the guys with the crowd as the focal point. I personally enjoy watching kids mosh, but usually don’t ever get in there myself. The only mosh pits that I enjoy are circle pits because even though everyone is running around pushing each other, if someone falls, there are usually a few people who help that person right back up.
For how small the venue was, it ended up being a kick ass show. I decided to just watch Structures set from the crowd, it was really awesome being able to see those guys perform every night. The next show was in the city of Toronto and we didn’t have very far to drive next day, so Spyros of Structures was generous enough to let us come crash at his place. Tomorrow’s show in Toronto was at the Mod Club and projected to be the best of the tour, so I was really excited to get some rest and take a lot of photos that day.
I personally love the city of Toronto and hope to one day call it home. There aren’t a whole lot of concerts to shoot where I am from in Sarnia, so I find myself travelling to Toronto regularly to photograph a variety of bands in different genres. I did an event at the Mod Club for Red Bull a little over a year ago and it is an awesome venue. The stage and lighting setup is great, it reminds me almost of a mini House of Blues that you can find in pretty much all major cities across the US. The load-in area was behind the building in a tiny alley that was essentially JUST the width of the van, I took some photos of the guys hanging out and loading in.
Alex, Adam, Christian and Jessica playing some water bottle
Jimmy and Adam
Alex, Ben and Adam
Adam’s awesome new Greiner&Kilmer snare drum
Alex and Ben
From inside the empty trailer
The rigs parked in the alley
After shooting outside for a bit, I went inside the venue to take a look around and see if anything had changed. The venue looked nearly the exact same and I am glad they didn’t remove or change any of the lights. I took a few images of inside the Mod Club from the balcony area on the opposite end of the stage and a few from in front.
I hung out on stage to take a few photos of the guys along with Structures setting up their stuff on stage.
Andrew of Structures
Once Ben and Adam had finished setting their gear up, they headed out into downtown to get some grub and invited me to tag along.
Adam and Ben
I met one of the owners of a clothing company called “The Hundreds” while at
SXSW this year and I saw a sticker of their logo on the way back to the venue
When we got back, there was already a lineup outside and it was only about 5:30pm. Doors were at 7, so this was a good sign that the show would have a decent turn out.
Lineup out front of the Mod Club
Sean was over at the van grabbing some merch for the table so I headed over to help him out. Also, tonight was game night for his favourite team, the Pittsburg Penguins, so he felt the need to change his attire up a bit.
Texas In July and Intervals rigs
Sean and his beloved Pens shirt
Sean ready to rock n’ roll
When Sean and I got back into the venue, Structures was just about to begin their soundcheck.
Sean at merch
Structures during their soundcheck
Jimmy checking some sounds at front of house
Some of the guys were lounging in the green room area so I hung out for a bit before going to grab some Smoke’s Poutine.
After going out for some poutine, it was time for Intervals to begin their set. I talked to all of the bands before the show and asked them if I could shoot them and they all said absolutely. With tonight probably being the best lighting that I would see during my time on tour, I thought it would be cool to try and get some photos of all four bands live. For Intervals set, I took shots from the crowd with my 35mm lens.
Up next was Northlane. For their set, I hung out on the balcony at the far end of the venue and shot with my 80-200mm lens. I knew that kids would be going hard for their set, so I felt like it wasn’t the best idea to hang out in the crowd directly in the front of the stage with no barricade.
I headed back towards the stage once Northlane was finishing up to photograph Texas In July from on stage using my 24-70mm lens. I hung out behind Adam’s kit at the beginning of the set for a song and then took some from side stage and also the balcony.
Texas In July
Up next after Texas In July was Structures. With them all being from the Toronto area, I knew kids would be going hard for their set. I hung out and took photos for the first few songs with my 24-70mm lens.
And that is a wrap for the sold out show in Toronto! After everyone loaded everything out, a bunch of us walked down to Sneaky Dee’s and had a few drinks as a group. The next day was an off day, so we got a hotel and relaxed. The next blog post will feature images from Hamilton, St. Catherines and also Sudbury so keep checking back!