The Matisyahu Incident and Taking Photos at Concerts – A Commentary

Posted by The G on December 24, 2011 under The G Spot | 2 Comments to Read

Photo by G.



Earlier this week, performer Matisyahu made headlines for a couple of reasons.  The Hasidic Reggae singer first shaved off his trademark beard ahead of his Festival of Lights concerts in New York.  During one of his performances, he allegedly grew tired of a photographer snapping photos in the front row and took matters into his own hands (and feet in this case).  An online blame game has since ensued with the photographer alleging “you’re a performer, you should be used to photographers.”  Matisyahu has apologized for his bad behavior, but added that photographers should be more sensitive to the performer. You can read all of the he said/she said nonsense here.

As someone who sees hundreds of bands a year, here’s my two cents on what photographers and performers should realize on a going forward basis:

– To the perfomer:  We live in a digital age.  Nearly everyone at the concert has some sort of photography device be it a legit camera or a cell phone.  Lame as it might be, it’s 2011.  This is what is really going on. Get over your need to try and control your image because regardless of “the rules,” people are going to take pictures.  It’s a fact of life.

– To the photographers:  A press pass does not entitle you to forget that there are paying customers who are not interested in trying to watch you become the next Cindy Sherman.  Please be conscious of the performers as well as the audience around you.  If you have to contort your body to get your shot, in an age where with most cameras, the most complicated trick is learning how to turn the power on, you might need to stop going to concerts and go to photography class!  It’s not that hard!

– To the iPhone photographers.  ALL of your photos are going to look like shit!  Shit!  It doesn’t matter if you are in the front row or the cheap seats.  PLEASE don’t hold your phone over your head, blocking the people behind you to get crappy pictures.  Get a real camera if you are trying out for the Ansel Adams photography contest.

– To performers and photographers – Use COMMON SENSE!  How many photos of the same scene do you need?  There’s a good chance you are not backstage at the Pink Floyd reunion, so please keep that in mind as you are snapping thousands of photos of the same exact thing.  As a performer, if you find the constant photo taking to be annoying, STOP THE SHOW!  Point out the offending photographer to the audience and I am sure the crowd will take care of the perputrator.

– To blogs/websites that use outsourced concert photography – Shouldn’t the photographer take the time to research the names of the band members before submitting their photos?!  Going to a website and seeing a guy holding a bass guitar with NO NAME on the photo caption does nothing for me!  Seeing a closeup photo of a chandelier that was hanging at a concert also does nothing for me.  Do you think I am going to understand the feeling of the show by looking at a quasi-artsy photo of one object that was present at the concert?  Not happening!

This public service announcement was brought to you by a lot of concert-goers who feel the same way but don’t have a public form to express themselves.  You’re welcome!


Video: “Street Sweep” live by Matisyahu and Friends

Posted by The G on February 13, 2011 under G Videos | Be the First to Comment

HD Video by G.

The other day Matisyahu gathered some friends together to form a super group called “Cloud Runner.”  They performed “Street Sweep” and it looked and sounded just like this…

An Encounter with Matisyahu

Posted by The G on February 1, 2011 under Encounters with G | Be the First to Comment

Photo by G.

Matisyahu and Geoffrey Dicker

Matisyahu and G

Matisyahu rocks!  I finally got the chance to see him perform live and it was an amazing show.  He joined former band mates and friends on stage for a super group he called Cloud Runner and in the course of a 2 hour plus show, they covered nearly every style of music!  It was incredible.  There is no word on whether or not Cloud Runner will set off on a tour or if New York was treated to yet another great reason to live in the city, but my suggestion to you is if they do tour – go see them!  After the show, I met Matisyahu and he was very nice!  We love that! Thanks so much Matis!

In other Matishayu news, his live album “Live at Stubbs Volume II” is out today on DVD and CD at Itunes, Amazon and those few places that still sell CDs.  He’s amazing live, so get this album!

Cloud Runner (featuring Matisyahu) live at Bowery Ballroom

Posted by The G on January 28, 2011 under G Reviews | Be the First to Comment

Photos by G.

Cloud Runner featuring Matisyahu (seated)

Matisyahu, the Hasidic Jewish reggae musician, rounded up some of his friends and former bandmates and formed the super group Cloud Runner.  They performed their second ever show on January 27, 2011 at New York’s Bowery Ballroom.  Though they claimed they were just “messing around,” the band was so tight, you’d think they’ve been around for years!  Aside from techno, country and classical, pretty much every style of music was heard on the stage.  The band played free-form jams that were like mini-rock operas and it was amazing!  Matisyahu sang, rapped, beatboxed and sang reggae during the course of the over 2 hour show.


It is unclear if Cloud Runner will be playing more shows or if it was just a bunch of friends (and extremely talented musicians) just having fun for a few nights.  However, if more shows are announced, I definitely recommend you see Cloud Runner!

See the setlist after the jump.

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