Years & Years
This past weekend was Gov Ball, a New York City music festival.
I didn't get to go and cover the festival's activities, but I did get to photograph some of their "After Dark" sets, which took place after the events of the festival were over.
Years & Years had already performed earlier in the day on Randall's Island, but they came out to Webster Hall for a late show. I had my hopes up for a well-lit show and they did not disappoint at all. The lights were incredibly bright and easy to work with—a photographer's dream. Walking out into the crowd, you could see beams of light extending out over fans' heads and up into the second level of the venue. Lead singer Olly Alexander, seen above, is incredibly animated and danced almost the entire time he was on stage.
Music Festivals allow you to see a ton of acts in one sitting (or standing, to be more accurate), but what you gain in communal experience, you lose in the audio and visual aspects. It's a trade-off most people are willing to make; these types of things sell out consistently every year. There's something to be said about the standard venue show, however. I guarantee that while the fans at Gov Ball this year were thrilled to see Years & Years play, they didn't see what I saw, and they didn't hear what I heard.
There were a few moments over the course of their set where it felt like the whole crowd was singing together. None were more prevalent than during their encore, when they performed "King". It was such an overwhelming moment, and it really reminded me of why I like photographing shows. The best ones are the ones you can enjoy as a photographer and a listener. Do you want to listen?