For the past five years, local photographer Gary Calicott has been capturing the candid and expressive emotions at local music shows. He has collected hundreds of images of favorite bands like Larry & His Flask and, on Friday, many of those photos will be displayed at The Tower Theatre—and (silently) auctioned off; all, appropriately, to the soundtrack of live music from some of his favorite subjects—Strive Roots, The Rum and the Sea, and Voodoo Highway.
"I always enjoyed perusing images from all sorts of photographers from Ansel Adams to Annie Leibovitz to Walter Iooss," he explains. At 16, a family friend gave him a camera. "Back in those days not everyone had a camera, so I was quickly hired as the official photographer for my high school paper."
In his mid-40s now, Calicott explains that he started becoming more engaged with the local music scene several years ago.
"I decided that I would like to document what these talented musicians are bringing to the table," he says. "These folks do it for the enjoyment of making music, I started shooting their shows for the enjoyment of making images."
That shared enthusiasm is apparent in photos that capture the explosive and celebratory moments of live music.
"I first started to shoot the band members, then quickly realized that the band wanted images of the crowd as well," he says. "I try to point my camera in a direction that shows emotion."
He points to classic images of rock music as inspiration—the seductive early pictures of Jim Morrison, concert photos that capture Bob Marley's kinetic energy, and, especially, the album cover for The Beatles' Abbey Road.
Calicott tries to catch those candid, fleeting moments himself. He recounts one evening when he was downtown for the First Friday Art Walk.
"As we walked down Wall Street," he says, "we heard a big commotion coming from the area of the breezeway to the commons. When we got there we were treated to a very energetic street performance by Larry & His Flask. I had never witnessed something so powerful and fun. It was a great time and it inspired me to shoot local music even more."
6 pm. Friday, August 7.
Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St.
$5 suggested donation.