I was scheduled to shoot Andy Grammer and Bootsy Collins on the Yamaha Grand Stage at the NAMM Show. It was early and I’d have been in and out by 8, in time to meet up with Alan Sosa and his Argentine cohorts for dinner before the Last In Line show. Alan is the gear tech for the band. It had been a long day and I truly thought, just getting sleep on the last night of the event would be terrific. I could wake early, visit my vendors early for Sunday and be back in the valley just after noon time.
I made my way over to the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus early to find out about check in. I was told 4:30 for wrist bands, 5:30 for access entry. Easy Peasy! So my last question was, “Where is the gate for front of stage access?” I get this in response.
“Oh, nobody is allowed to shoot the performance, we have a VIP area set up (about 80 yards from the stage) and you can take pictures of the people in the VIP area.”
I didn’t argue. I did ask, however, “If I was brought in to shoot Andy Grammer, why would I choose to take pictures of people who paid $500 for a VIP seat to a free show?”
The dipshit girl responded, “I don’t know. I just work here.”
So, taking a lesson from dealing with millennials, don’t waste your time doing jobs at the NAMM show. It’s a waste of effort. This did, however, get me a free evening to meet up with friends for dinner. That in turn led me to an invite to enjoy, and even take some pictures of Last In Line at the M3 Live venue, ironically, just about across the street from the hotel I was in. I’ve had the pleasure of shooting all the members in other acts, but this was my first chance seeing them together as Last In Line. Fairly intimate, as it was NAMM week and people were everywhere else, so the crowd wasn’t overwhelming – it was just truly the die-hard fans, so the crowd knew every song, every word, every riff. Couldn’t have been better.
So, to answer the first question – Who is and Why is Last In Line?
In short, it’s the guys who recorded and performed with Ronnie James Dio. It’s the real dudes, not the cover band that Wendy Dio uses to make money off of Ronnie‘s name.
From the band’s website: What started as a casual reunion jam in a Los Angeles rehearsal room in 2011 has grown into a fully-fledged project that has taken on a life of its own. Last In Line, the band, takes its name from the second Dio album released in 1984. Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain and Vivian Campbell were Ronnie Dio’s co-conspirators and co-writers on the “Holy Diver”, “Last In Line” and “Sacred Heart” albums – these records have gone on to become part of rock history.
During that first jam it was apparent that the chemistry of the original band was very much intact – even after a 27 year hiatus. The excitement generated by that rediscovery led to a second session, where this time they called in acclaimed vocalist Andrew Freeman. Hearing Andrew’s interpretations of the original Dio songs was a revelation and the inspiration to move forward as a band.
Sadly, Jimmy Bain passed, but Phil Soussan has filled the role, and keyboardist Erik Norlander has become part of the band. They have released a smashing CD recorded with the original line-up titled “Heavy Crown,” and it’s a keeper. The show features a blend of the Dio classics with the new original works, and it’s absolutely fantastic. Imagine the metal you know in your teens, as it was, still here today. You transport yourself to the time when you discovered yourself, and the music meant everything. Really. Welcome back – you’ve been missed.
This was my night with Last In Line.
After the openers played, the band was gathering for some photos with their personal photographers.
Then Last In Line hit the stage. The set list ran like this:
Now, the front of stage area filled up after the first couple of songs so I was really limited on the time I had to get “pit shots.” So, to swing it the other way, I’ll be giving you some views from on the stage, behind the stage and from the side of the stage to make up for it. First, however, here’s a video from stage.
Now, the pictures you were asking for. Nothing super tremendous, but it sure was nice to see them all together having a great time. Enjoy.
Oh yeah, they had some great t-shirts and autographed CD’s, drum heads and other cool things. Absolutely collectible!
And of course, you want to get your grubby mitts on some of this cool schwag-a-doodle, hear the tunes and catch a show yourself, right?!? So here’s the place to do it, just visit the band’s official website and do that thing you do.