Walter Trout’s Special Night Experienced Through A Lens

walter trout

WALTER TROUT played The Coach House Jul 10 photo: James Christopher

This was Walter Trout’s return to live performance after he cheated death and made what appears to be a full and miraculous recovery from liver failure. And as he mentioned at the beginning of his set, because of his long history in Huntington Beach, the gig had to be at an Orange County venue.

So tonight saw him almost literally rise from the dead to amaze and stun a sold out crowd with an energetic and brilliant performance. The Coach House is like an old school roadhouse, there is no photo pit, patrons sit communally at long tables and on an evening like this one the air was heavy with the smells of sweat and beer. In other words it was prime time for a rock-n-roll blues revival.

My job tonight was to find a way to somehow capture the emotion of Walter’s performance in a venue that was packed well beyond capacity. In other words I needed to capture images without standing in front of any paying guests and try not to piss them or the venue management off.

There were ZERO empty seats in the venue and I was feeling even more pressure because it was a special night, you could feel it in the air, in the crowd’s expectation and most importantly in Walter Trout’s amazing performance. This was a man who had been given a second chance to continue doing what he loves, maybe even what he was born to do. And I was having a hell of a time trying to find a spot to capture it.

I ended up shooting most of the photos from the sound desk located upstairs (there were even paying customers up there) about 100 feet from the stage. I chose a 70-200mm lens with shutter speeds of between 400-650 and usually with the F-stop wide open to 2.8. It may not have been ideal but then again it usually isn’t ever ideal when shooting a concert. And in the end I think I was able to capture some of the excitement of this once in a lifetime event.