Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers The Magnolia - 10/10/2019 - El Cajon

Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers are out on tour in support of their new album; Absolute Zero. The tour brought them to the newly remodeled The Magnolia in El Cajon and I was lucky enough to attend the show (and I got to take a few photos). I have been a fan of Bruce, his music, and his various bands over the years. I first saw Bruce Hornsby and the Range when they (along with Ry Cooder) opened for the Grateful Dead at the Laguna Seca Recreational Area on May 9-10, 1987. These were very memorable shows mostly for what happened after the performance when the venue was reopened and the band filmed the music video of Touch of Grey. I have been a Bruce Hornsby fan ever since, and have seen him in concert as often as possible over the years.

I have always enjoyed the amazing interaction between Bruce and the members of his band. They have this intensity on stage as they play off each other with an almost competitive edge that takes the music in different directions each time. No two shows are ever the same. These shows are all about the music, no flashy stage sets, no pyrotechnics , and no crazy lighting effects, just simply great music.

There are a few challenges when to comes to photographing a guy who spends the first three songs sitting behind a piano. The first is that its nearly impossible to get his hands on the keys and his face in the same shot. But that's not the toughest things about shooting the show. The real issue is that I won't stand in front of any of the fans who are there to enjoy the show, not see the back of my head. So I used the side aisles and tried to get a variety of angles of basically the same scene.

There was one other thing that was pretty unique last night, especially in this day and age. There were signs up that asked people to not take photo or video, even with their smart phones... not unusual. But at the show last night, I didn't see one person holding a phone in the air at all, no-one. It was really quite refreshing to be at a show where people actually put their devices away and enjoyed the music that was happening live, right in front of them. Honestly, I would have loved to grab a shot of Bruce playing the dulcimer and the accordion, but that feeling passed in seconds and I got back to enjoying the show.

A huge thank you to Bruce and Band, especially JT for allowing me to photograph the first three of the show. Really enjoyed the show and looking forward to the next time.


All photos © Alan Hess 2019