Welcome to the Splash Zone: A Night at the Fonda with Barns Courtney
LOS ANGELES, CA- In full disclosure land, I have to admit, Barns Courtney is on a list most photographers keep in the back of their minds. It’s an alert that goes up if he’s in town to just go out for that press pass. His high octane shows are just that and word is getting out. The Instagram photos in your feed will have a “wow” factor that will bring in a bunch of “hearts” and well, he is just very very pretty.
Often times when I’m shooting a show like this, I don’t hear the music while in the pit for the first three songs. I’m lost in a weird trance trying to logically ascertain the lighting, the angles, and (lol) psychically predict the artist’s next move. It’s one man on stage and there is no predicting what’s going to happen next. In fact, the first time I saw him live, he was wheeled out on a gurney with a “nurse” pushing him around the stage because he’d broken his leg at a festival a few weeks before. I did not have my camera then, but even just watching that performance I knew I was going to be in for a treat once the constraints of his cast were removed. Flash forward a year later and yes. I very much was given a great big happy present at The Fonda.
Good Lord can this man deliver. He’s on par with some of the most fun acts I’ve ever seen live. Just as fun as watching Black Pistol Fire, as raw as Reign Wolf, and with the shirtless action and punk fun of Iggy Pop. Barns Courtney is simply a treasure.
His setlist is solid. The hit “Fire” has over 16 million views on youtube for a reason and his newer singles “99” and “You and I” are, in this reviewers opinion, simply better. They are catchy, ironic, tongue and cheeky, and on the right side if honest to make you sit up and take notice, download and hit repeat.
His self-awareness may get lost in the wild ride that is the show but gems that he utters like “failure is a stepping stone” and noticing women at the barricade with ponchos on or as he described, “full sea world attire” to be ready to get in the “splash zone” of sweat that was going to be showered upon on them were “completely right” is the sort of artist that someone is going to get behind. And not only does he sweat, but I also want to make sure I’m drenched in it. Yes, please!
That’s raw, that’s honest, that’s the kind of artist that makes genuine music. What drives me to get no pay while photographing concerts is chasing the high of seeing and capturing an artist’s soul. Barns bares him openly when he performs and what pours out of it is a treasure. Please keep rocking Courtney. I’ll be in the splash zone waiting!