Tuesday Viewsday V

On Sunday night, the fiancé, her parents, and I headed over to Bloomington, Illinois to catch Thompson Square, Darius Rucker, and the always-awesome Lady Antebellum. Simply put, not many bands who are still active today rock as hard as they do. Caitlin and I have seen Lady A perform three times; it would have been four, but it was rained out (first show Lady A ever had to cancel too!).

If you couldn’t tell already, I’m obsessed with music and Lady A ranks right at the top of everything I feel is good and right with music. They give me hope that rock and country will one day live in harmony together and that the future of country music is not losing sight of its roots.

Lady Antebellum also holds a very special place in my heart. See below for the story.

All We’d Ever Need

All We'd Ever Need

All We'd Ever Need

As you may or may not know, both Caitlin and I are musicians; we actually met at a band rehearsal. When we decided to start singing together, we worked up “Lookin’ for a Good Time.” After we started dating, we quickly found out that we were both obsessed with the band. I found out that Lady A was playing at the Sangamon County Fair near my hometown so I knew I had to take her. I love surprising Caitlin and I was able to keep the entire thing a secret right up until we walked into the fairgrounds and she saw one of the concert posters; the look on her face and total excitement are still vivid in my memory.

Aptly titled after one of my favorite Lady Antebellum songs and the one they were performing at the time, I shot this image during that show. Combining my passion for photography and music, I had started shooting live concerts and musicians/bands only a year before. Most music photographers will tell you that a great venue is half the battle when it comes to good images and I knew that Sangamon County Fair was pretty wide open in terms of setup. The stage was big and so was the grassy field where we were standing.

I snapped this shot with my 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6. That lens didn’t have auto-focus or vibration reduction as I couldn’t afford it at the time, but I still wanted to shoot concerts. I’m happy to say I’ve upgraded to the AF/VR version of this great Nikkor lens in 2011; I’m still pretty proud to say I “cut my teeth” on that lens. Living without auto-focus and vibration reduction in a low-light situation definitely made for steadier hands and a quick shutter finger.

Even after many more concerts, this remains one of my favorite live music photos. The connection between Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley can easily be felt. Anyone who has been to a Lady A show can tell you that those two have a very deep, electric connection when they sing together (and no, they aren’t romantically involved… at least, not with each other). The look in Hillary’s eyes is amazing and the stage lights only add to that electricity.

The Proposal

Like I said, Lady Antebellum holds a very special place in my heart. Not only did Caitlin and I sing a Lady A song as our first duet (and many more after) and see them as our first concert together, but this past August at the Illinois State Fair during Lady A’s opening song, “Our Kind of Love,” I asked Caitlin to marry me. She was upset that she couldn’t concentrate for the first half of the band’s set, but she said yes.

We haven’t missed a Lady Antebellum concert in central Illinois since we’ve been together and we probably never will. They have been, and always will be, “our” band.

 

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