One of my favourite bands is Placebo, and when it was announced in 2013 that they would be doing the Soundwave tour again for their new album Loud Like Love, I knew I had to follow them on tour and photograph it.
My friend Dave and I decided to fly to Sydney for their Soundwave sideshow, and I would try to photograph Soundwave in Sydney purely just as another chance to see them. So I flew up on a Saturday night, crashed at a friend’s house, and headed out to shoot a ridiculous amount of bands, just waiting for 3:00pm to arrive so I could see Placebo for the first time in four years.
It’s a strange thing shooting one of your favourite bands, as many of my photographer friends would say. Usually it’s all a blur to me and I’m so focused on getting the best shots that I hardly notice the first three songs – this was different though.
Most photographers were off shooting bands at other stages, so it was just myself and about 6 others, a wide open photo pit, and Placebo. I was standing in the one position closer than front row that I fan could get.
I didn’t go crazy taking hundreds of photos, just a few and so I could soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the show instead. Here’s some of my favourite shots from their set.
After Soundwave was over (and I have shot another 15 or so bands), I headed back into the city to meet Dave and head to our hotel.
The next morning we got up early (I was feeling a bit dead), and made our way to the Enmore Theatre for Placebo’s first sideshow of the tour. I chose not to shoot this one because I wanted to be front row with Dave, but here’s a few phone snaps.
We got back to our hotel at midnight, in bed by 1am and had to get up at 4:30am to head to the airport and fly back to Melbourne and go straight to work (I have no idea how either of us made it through that Tuesday). I spent the next two nights editing my Soundwave photos, and then it was time for Placebo’s Melbourne sideshow at the Palais Theatre.
By Friday I was pretty exhausted, it was the end of a week of crazy late nights and hard work, but there was one more Soundwave to shoot – Melbourne. A few Red Bulls later and it was suddenly 3:00pm and time for Placebo’s set. Here’s some of my favourite images – this set felt like something special, but perhaps it’s because I knew the best week I’d had all year was about to end.
After I shot the first three songs, I left the photo pit and watched from the side with a few tears in my eyes, because it was all over for me. Thanks to anyone who took the time to read this blog, and to all the great fans who I met along the way – see you guys on the next tour.