So… this President’s Day weekend was spent in the most fun way I could think of. Last minute plane tickets and plans to see PINHEAD GUNPOWDER play GILMAN STREET. To someone who loves the Bay Area sound so much, this was an exciting trip!

Initially I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to bring my camera in, but after waiting in line and seeing a few other SLR’s, I thought eff it, and grabbed my rig from the car. 🙂 At least I’d planned ahead and brought it with me. Tee hee. I win a preparedness badge.

Five bands were on the bill to help raise money for Anandi, a bay area local girl fighting breast cancer. I really hope the venue collected a good amount of money for her. The turnout was incredible, and all of the bands on the bill were great. Well, almost. I didn’t dig the band that played just before Pinhead so much. They were kind of an energy sapper just before the punk rock ensued. But, being smashed against the wall for what seemed like years was all worth it once Pinhead took the stage.

Sometimes when packing a camera bag for a show like this I battle internally over which gear to bring. (WARNING: NERD ALERT…)

Most often I shoot with my 5D, because of the superior image quality and 3-dimensional look. However, it’s also big, heavy, and a little slow on the autofocus at concerts. I knew after having shot Green Day before that Billie Joe is anything but static on stage, and this was no exception. I knew the 5D would have a much larger “crap” margin, and I wanted to take as many images as possible. You tend to get a lot of throwaways when being thrown around at a show.

It’s also my main wedding camera, and is kind of expensive. I knew I would be squashed, suspended above the ground and pressed between people with my hands over my head the whole time and so I thought it would be better to bring a smaller, lighter rig that my pasty white self could hold over my head for extended periods of time. So, the 50D won out. It focuses SUPER quick, even in crap lighting. I was squashed behind one girl for most of their set and I must have accidentally bashed her in the head with it 10 times or so. I’m really sorry about that. Though, she smiled and really didn’t seem to mind. I also “caught” a crowdsurfer with the 50D. Literally. And it still works. Boom!!

The show was really a blast. They played just about everything I wanted to hear. I was a happy, happy camper.

The drawbacks:

  • The bouncer who thought it was funny to stand in front of my lens on purpose. It was funny the first time. Not the 20th. Har har, you’ve made your point, now move. Kthxbi.
  • The douchebag who rushed the stage with a knife. Aforementioned bouncer squashed that crap fast, but it was scary nonetheless. Guess I shouldn’t bitch that he was there… he helped keep us and the band safe.

Overall, I had a fantastic time. After the show I managed to get a moment of Jason White’s time and he let me snap a photo of us together. Thank you Jason! I was hoping to get time to grab a shot of the whole group together, but they were all headed their separate ways after the show and it just didn’t happen. Maybe another time.

Enough blab. Here’s a gallery of my favorites for ya aaaahbawlls.

UPDATE: Many of you have emailed asking about ordering prints. Since there was such an overwhelming request for them, I’ve worked it out with Anandi (the girl whose benefit the show was for) that proceeds collected from the sale of prints would be donated back to her to help with her ongoing treatment. Prescription drugs are costly, and every little bit helps.

If you’d like to order prints of any of these images, please visit this link. You can pay with a credit card and prints will be mailed directly to you.

12 Responses to “PINHEAD GUNPOWDER SECRET SHOW 2-12-10”

  1. J'net Newton says:

    Wow! These are simply awesome. I can see lots of my friends, and now and then the top of my head and sometimes even my aaaahbawlls! I’m surprised we didn’t meet as I see you are obviously friends with some of my friends. I cherish the dog tags I was given by that awesome fan, and I love the fact that I can visit this site and see these photos. I never take a camera into shows because 1) all my photos will be horribly blurry, and 2) I’m not coordinated enough to keep hold of it while being thrown around in the pit.

    Thanks so much for sharing these – that night was legendary – one I’ll never forget.

  2. Michelle says:

    Thanks for your kind words! Glad you like the pics!

  3. Abbey says:

    Hi Michelle! Great great photos. There are a few of your shots I would love a copy of. Are you selling them? Regards, Abbey

  4. caroline says:

    Awwe, he’s a pretty pretty princess.

  5. LOCANE says:

    Michelle, thanks for sending me the link…. (I am so envious I think I might hate you a little)… We need to talk about getting me some prints….

  6. […] past November and to see Billie Joe jam with his side project, Pinhead Gunpowder, in February (see Michelle Lawlor’s awesome photos of that here), was invited to the awards with his roommate, who was blogging about the event. Needless to say, I […]

  7. […] Day Community editorial regarding the show, written by J’net, can be found here. Michelle Lawlor’s blog post and pictures can be found here. Photographs from Lawlor may be purchased and all proceeds go to help Anandi Wonder with her cancer […]

  8. […] was there to help manage the Mystic Knights of the Cobra tour that was starting the next day and Michelle is the spectacular photographer who took photographs of the Pinhead Gunpowder show back in …. She’s also the girlfriend of the bassist (Jim Graz) of Honah Lee, the accompanying band with […]

  9. Steve says:

    Awwe, he’s a pretty pretty princess.

  10. Emily says:

    Michelle, thanks for sending me the link…. (I am so envious I think I might hate you a little)… We need to talk about getting me some prints….

  11. Amy says:

    Hi Michelle! Great great photos. There are a few of your shots I would love a copy of. Are you selling them? Regards, Abbey

  12. […] to me, has a tremendous clarity of eye that always captures the right moment. She captured it at Pinhead Gunpowder back in February, that’s for sure, and Billie Joe’s dress from that night will always be vividly […]