Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009


Through the Eyes of a Preteen: Skinny Puppy at the Crystal Ballroom / Photos and video

By SYDNEY AND MIKE LEWIS // Sydney's photos of Skinny Puppy at the Crystal and a video with Sydney and Mike.

This year has been a little slow in terms of concert photography, at least for Sydney. I’ve tried to get her into a few shows but there have been several issues that have popped up which have prevented this. However, I was a little surprised when I submitted for Skinny Puppy on their final tour and, not having worked with the publicist in the past, I was a little concerned about approvals all around. Surprisingly both of us were quickly approved for the show and in fact ended up being the only photographers present aside from Danger Ehren who some may know for the Jackass series and films.

Sydney has been exposed to quite a few different music genres over the years. Obviously metal and rock tend to be the two main ones, she’s been present at the blues festival, listened to classical, a variety of Japanese artists, and is currently obsessed over K-Pop bands. I don’t think however that she has listened to a lot of industrial but upon her first listen to Skinny Puppy even before being approved, she was already interested in covering the show.
Led Into Gold opened the show although Sydney wasn’t terribly impressed and wanted to leave shortly after they started. It was a bit of a challenge to try and get some decent photos as the stage was already packed with Skinny Puppy’s gear which left the band very little space to move around in. She was more interested in checking out merchandise as well as the crowd that was attending the show.

Having been in the photo pit for Skinny Puppy in the past, I knew a little of what to expect although with each show they have brought something different to the stage and this was no exception. The first song found lead vocalist Nivek Ogre behind a screen with another member of the tour doing a variety of shadows. It was something that could still be photographed although it was easier to get photos of their guitarist although cEvin Key was difficult to get any decent shots of due to the stage set up. I had watched a few videos prior to attending the show and knew that the second song would find Ogre out from the screen but hiding in a large robe before eventually revealing an alien mask, something that wouldn’t come up after we were out of the pit. Sydney tended to follow me through the pit, often mirroring shots that I was taking, but that was fine.

After our three songs she told me that “the guy in the robes” was scary. Apparently though not frightening enough to keep her away from the merch table. She danced down the stairs at the Crystal Ballroom, obviously overcome with Skinny Puppy’s music, and headed right over to pick out a tour shirt. This has kind of become the norm for her unless she can’t find anything that really catches her eye, or simply forgets. This might have been her first industrial show, but she said that it’s a form of music that she’d be willing to cover again. As she continues her photo journey her musical interests seem to be broadening as well, but let’s see if that remains true over the summer as I’m trying to get her in to cover her first country artist as well as her first rap show.

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