Fun with Filabusta at the Cliff Castle Casino

Richard Charpentier Arizona, Notes from Rich, Photographing Arizona, Photography, RLC Design 2 Comments

Recently Mike K got in touch with me regarding a shoot for Filabusta.  Seems they had the privilege of opening for Styx at the Cliff Castle Casino.  Pretty neat!  Given the fact that yesterday was to be the official Rapture I figured, what the heck?  Shoot a concert why not?  If we all vaporize so be it.  🙂

Mike chillin moments before going on stage


Kenny getting updates on whether or not the Rapture would interrupt the show.....

I arrived way too early at the venue (4:00 p.m.).  So I figured I’d take a walk around the casino.  Never been in before.  And I’ve only been to one other casino in my life.  Not much of a gambler.

The casino was like what I remembered of the last one I went into.  Lots of lights, buzzers, noises, etc.  A good number of folks hanging out playing slots and some type of video slots.  Man, I really don’t get out much, do I?  Additionally there was a super cool bowling alley inside the casino.  Who knew?

Finally I got my butt over to meet the guys at 5:00.  They weren’t on until 6:45 but wanted to check out the venue, see what lighting was like, and get whatever passes or permissions I needed.  Mike met me in the parking lot and walked me past two cool Prevost buses (for Styx).  No buses for Filabusta, of course we all live right around the corner, don’t we?

Mike adjusting his hat while still keeping the beat


Looking around the backstage area was pretty cool.  Tech junkie here, and there was a ton of tech.  I love seeing massive power cable runs to lighting, amps, and many slick computer boards.  Made me homesick for some heavy technology!

Kenny working the wind blown look!


About 30 minutes before the guys went on stage security gave me a tap that a manager wanted to see me and the other photographer on location.  Now keep in mind, I was there to shoot Filabusta only.  After all, they’re my clients, not Styx.  🙂  Sure enough, it was the band manager.  First he got to interrogating the other photographer who had tons of credentials.  He was there on behalf of a magazine.  The band manager was not happy with his credentials and let the security guys know it.  None of his pass information was okay by the manager.

Ugh, am I gonna get booted?

Lorin working that bass!

Fortunately the photographer was pleasant and accommodating and was finally told he’d be okay for the first 3 songs Styx played.  Now the manager’s attention turned to me. I was very simple.  I’m here for Filabusta only……. Once the guys were done I had to go.

That was all fine and good with me.  It’s been a long week, and rest is necessary.  Besides, like I said above, Filabusta were my clients for the night not Styx.  🙂  Hey, I don’t work for free you know.

Sunset lighting on Mike and Lorin


Once the band manager thing was done I relaxed a little more.  Something always comes up with locations that have this permission or that permission.  No matter how well worked out things are according to your contacts something always comes up.  Like when I did that shoot for AAA the other month.  The art director and marketing manager swore we had permission at one location.  45 minutes of setup and starting into shooting……here comes a corporate manager talking about a corporate lawyer.  Yup, something always comes up.

I don't know.... I think Mike enjoys playing. What do you think?


The guys took the stage a few minutes after 6:45.  It was a pretty packed house already, with most of the seating full.  Apparently the outdoor location can hold 3400 or 3500 people.  It was something like that according to the security guy who I was standing near.  Very cool, Filabusta had a nice crowd.  And they worked the crowd well.  Applause at the end of every set, the audience getting into Kenny whooping them up.  All cool!  Hope they enjoyed it!

Lorin is always so animated! I think some photographer could make a career just photographing this guy!


Filabusta played for 30 minutes.  They made use of every minute too.  It all went by quickly.  I kept roaming back and forth.  The sunset lighting was a little annoying combined with clouds in and out.  The stage lighting bought me nothing until the last song.  I’d mentally prepared for one thing, and changed every setting upon arrival.  Yeah, I was running manual folks.  Shoot, check, reshoot, finally like a setting for 6-7 minutes before changing again.  Hooray for rapidly changing light…..?

I know Kenny digs the black and white. So this one's for you Kenny!


Still, even with the changing light I came away with 50+ shots that I know the guys will dig.  I flagged even more than that.  Shot a touch over 300 frames (just rechecked Lightroom).  And I still haven’t really gotten to actual editing.  Few ideas for a few images.  Soon we’ll be doing an in studio set again.  Remember last year’s “Filabusta Rocks” set?  Yeah, that was fun.  Have to see what they have in mind this year.  Whatever it is, I’ll make it happen no trouble.

There’s the wrap folks.  A fun early evening of rock n roll, photography, and working a sunset in such a different way.  I did spend half my ride home trying to figure out when my hearing would come back (no ear plugs and close to the speakers).  Fortunately today finds me with my hearing fully restored……..

Alright, off to ponder the next post.  You see, this post is number 999.  The next one with be post One Thousand here at The Airstream Chronicles Continued!  Do not fear, post 1K will not bring about the rapture to my knowledge.







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