Archive for Rock The Bells

Classic Reunions…Rage Against The Machine

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Rage Against The Machine
Rock The Bells
Hyundai Pavillion: Devore, CA
July 11, 2007

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Part five of a five-part series I am doing this week on Classic Reunions. Each day I will add a new photo of a featured artist and that band’s classic reunion.
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I was completely blown away the first time I saw and heard Rage Against The Machine. They sounded like no other band and they had the explosive energy of a Saturn 5 Rocket. Zack de la Rocha’s departure in 2000 from the band was and wasn’t surprising. Tensions had been rising within the band for the last few years and the decision making and creative process was rotting away.

Once the band was officially over, there were countless offers – huge offers – for a reunion…the demand was always there. But the band shrugged off every offer. Zach attempted to form a few urban-rock super-groups but quickly dismissed those to record an album with Trent Reznor. The world is still waiting to hear that one. The three remaining members of Rage joined forces with Chris Cornell to form critically acclaimed Audioslave. Still, the offers for a reunion poured in. And still, all four members passed on them all. Until…

The 2007 Coachella Festival in the California desert. Perhaps it was the fact that Audioslave had just fallen apart, perhaps Zach couldn’t find the right band for him, perhaps they had a new political message to voice. Who knows? Whatever the reason, all four members agreed to do it. The reunited Rage Against The Machine made no promises about the future of the band. A new album? A new tour? We are still waiting to see. The success of the Coachella reunion sprang them onto the 2007 Rock The Bells Tour, headlining over Public Enemy, The Wu Tang Clan, and many more.

Is Rage here to stay? I’m not sure. But they picked up right where they left off, the magic and the fury is still there.

Photographed in a political rage with a Canon 5D and a Canon 24mm-70mm lens

On Stage With…Cypress Hill

Posted in music with tags , , , on May 14, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Cypress Hill
Rock The Bells
Hyundai Pavillion: Devore, CA
July 11, 2007

(click photo to enlarge)

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Part three of a five-part series I’m doing this week, featuring shots that I took while being on the stage with bands. Each day I will add a new band and a new photo.

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This was a very different show for me to shoot. I am really a rock guy, and to shoot a huge rap festival seemed like a stretch for me. However, when you have the return of Rage Against The Machine as well as Cypress Hill on the bill, it made a whole lotta sense for me to be there. I was shooting this show for a handful of mags including Rolling Stone. 10 minutes before Cypress Hill was to go on, I was told that management had given me approval to join Cypress on stage and shoot as much of their set from the stage as well as in the pit.

Normally, getting on stage means virtually no obstructions, but this time I had a big one, and it was one that I never faced before. I am not a smoker, so I must have a low tolerance, and I got one of the strongest contact highs in human history. I could not believe the amount and the quality of bud that was being smoked on that stage. I am not talking about a hit here and there. I am talking about huge Cheech and Chong sized joints – song after song after song. I was blown away that B-Real, Sen Dog and the rest of the boys could roll through a set with such expertise, and with such command of the crowd, while smoking that much dope.

The air was so thick and green that I could hardly remember how to work my camera. I must have gone on autopilot, like when you drive twenty minutes down the highway, get home and can’t remember how you got there. Take a look at the size of that joint B-Real is holding – I think this shot pretty much says it all.

Photographed on stage in the opium den with a Canon 5D and a Canon 70-200mm lens.