Another Big Adventure

Images and Stories From A Mile High by Denver Based Freelance Photojournalist Seth McConnell

Itchy-O New Years Trifecta

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Itchy-O performs in Denver

When I quit my job a little over a year ago, I made a pledge to myself that I wanted to change things up. I wanted to take the time to work on things that excited me and to work with people with vision, who are excited about the work they do and the things they create.

I also wanted to start shooting local bands and small shows again. I was looking to find a way to ground myself again, get back to my roots. Denver has an amazing music scene with a lot of local talent that has gone well beyond the city limits and the state lines of Colorado, and I honestly felt like I had missed out on a lot of it. I was more worried about getting the paper clicks and getting likes on Instagram than I was about feeding my soul and doing the thing I’ve always been good at, showing people a side of the world they didn’t know existed.

Itchy-O performs in Denver

10 days after I left my job, I shot my first local show. It was a band that I knew about and long admired from afar, Itchy-O. They put on these crazy live shows that are incredibly visual and in depth. They use the entire venue, blurring the line between performer and crowd. That first show, their annual Halloween show, left my jaw on the floor. I left the venue with one thought, I need to be apart of this in some way. I want to photograph all of their shows.

Over the last 14 months I have been able to catch a handful of performances, each being better than the last. The band was digging what I was doing and asking me to come out and document the insanity. After many years of feeling neglected and looked over, it is nice to have someone who really appreciates what I bring to the table.

Itchy-O performs in Denver

I was thrilled when I got the call for the three night New Years Trifecta run. I was a little nervous, the shows are crazy and fun and super visual BUT could I do all three nights and not feel like I was shooting the same photo over and over again? Of course Itchy-O came thru with changes to the set every night. The performers killed it, keeping me on my toes and pushing me well beyond my comfort zone.

For the first time in quite a while, I’m beyond stoked about a body of work I’ve created. For the first time in a long time, I’m actually excited about being a photographer again. I feel like I did when I first picked up a camera. It’s an amazing feeling and I hope that I can push the feeling deep into 2019.

Thanks for looking.

SM

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Written by anotherbigadventure

January 7, 2019 at 9:00 am

Every Time I Die at Streets of London, Denver, Colorado.

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DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

Back in early November, I quietly marked 20 years of going to shows. I’ve spent the last 20 years going to shows in basements, parking lots, coffee shops, hotels, hotel basements, VFW Halls, labor temples, dive bars, parks, park shelters, garages and a cave in Tennessee… I’ve also been to a lot of standard venues, theaters/arenas/etc. The places that make pretty generic memories. The venues you forget pretty quickly but you remember the bands.

In the six and a half years since I moved to Denver I feel that I’ve lost a connection to the things that I loved about music. I miss having a connection to the bands, to the fans. I miss getting tossed around as I try to work and the inevitable big guy who I befriend who makes sure I don’t get flattened. I miss sweating through my clothes and leaving a show exhausted but excited.

I’ve photographed hundreds of shows in Denver, in all of those venues that feel stale and lack intimacy. I always felt the need to go bigger. That there was some relevance in shooting the biggest names and the biggest venues. That who I was shooting was just as important as what I was shooting. Those big shows are always such a lie… first three/no flash. Every movement is controlled and choreographed. You can look up photos/videos of those big performances and know what to expect in the first three. It’s cheap, robotic and disposable. It lacks what makes life exciting, spontaneity and a real human connection.

In the last year, I’ve started scaling things back. Getting back to the dive bars, the basements and garages. The small clubs with their bad lighting and sticky surfaces. Where the fans rarely take out their phones. When you don’t know what’s going to happen next but you know that it’s going to be a lot of very sweaty fun and you are probably going to wake up kinda sore the next morning but with a headful of great memories.

Every Time I Die on Tuesday night at Streets of London was all of those things. It was a much-needed kick in the ass and a reminder of why I love all of this. It was sweaty and wild and two days on I’m still very sore. I’m excited to reopen this chapter of my life and get back to making photos of shows and bands that I actually care about. Thanks to Streets of London for booking these wild underplays.

Thanks for looking.

-SM

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

DENVER, CO – MARCH 27: Every Time I Die performs at Streets of London on March 27, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Seth McConnell)

Bridal Fashion Show: Denver Fashion Week Spring 2018

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Bridal Fashion Showcase during night one of Denver Fashion Week Spring 2018 at Wings Over the Rockies in Denver, Colorado. Photos by Seth McConnell for 303 Magazine.

Denver Fashion Weekend Fall 2017

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Denver Fashion Weekend Fall 2017 at the EXDO Center in Denver, Colorado. Photographed for 303 Magazine.

Written by anotherbigadventure

March 21, 2018 at 2:38 pm

Photos: Denver Anti-Trump Rally

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Anti-Trump Rally in Denver

DENVER, CO – JULY 1: Pro-Trump supporter Greg, no last name given, uses a sign to block out a protestors megaphone during an Anti-Trump rally at the corner of 14th and California in Denver, Colorado on July 1, 2016. (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post)

Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump made a stop in Denver on Friday. As has been the case across the country, his presence drew a large crowd of protestors both for and against the New York business man. Thanks for looking.

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Written by anotherbigadventure

July 5, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Photos: Rockies vs Diamondbacks

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DENVER, CO - JUNE 24: Nolan Arenado (28) of the Colorado Rockies fouls a ball off a pitch by Archie Bradley (25) of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on June 24, 2016. (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post)

DENVER, CO – JUNE 24: Nolan Arenado (28) of the Colorado Rockies fouls a ball off a pitch by Archie Bradley (25) of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado on June 24, 2016. (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post)

Eight years ago, I came down to Coors Field to see the Rockies play live for the first time. I grew up loving baseball and played the game until I was 14, when the pressure to play (win) overtook the fun of playing the game. I was a Twins fan growing up and made many pilgrimages to the Metrodome to see the Twins and Mr. Kirby Puckett play. At a certain point my love of punk rock music usurped my love of America’s Past Time and I quit watching sports all together, it wasn’t until a friend got really excited about the Rockies that I came back to baseball. I remember sitting at that game, watching the photographers, thinking someday I want to be here, doing that.

When I got back to South Dakota and back to my job, one of the first assignments I shot an American Legion baseball game. It was an afternoon game and it was ungodly hot. The rusty old folding chairs with flecks of red paint peeling off that they placed in the “photo pit” (the only area with chain link low enough that one could shoot over) were almost too hot to sit on, the fabric on the mandatory khaki pants I had to wear to every assignment was the only thing preventing second degree burns on my hamstrings. It was miserable, to say the least, when a slight breeze broke the dry heat and it mentally brought me back to the previous weekend, to Denver. To Coors Field and hanging out with my friends.

I sent a text to my friend that just said “I wish I was at Coors Field.” What I didn’t send was the goal that I set, that one day I would be shooting baseball at Coors Field.  The goal I set based on the feeling that one day I would be here, doing this. I accomplished that goal on Friday night. I’ve always set goals of things that I want to shoot and things that I want to do. It’s never about winning awards. It’s about experiences and shooting something enough to get really good at it. I could have shot a game a lot sooner, but I was lacking the confidence that I could do it. I felt very overlooked and looked down upon for the first three years I was here. It’s amazing what one person believing in you can do. Plus if I would have forced it, I couldn’t say that the first professional baseball game that I shot was the longest nine inning game in Rockies history, clocking in at a grueling four and a half hours. I love baseball but even this was pushing it.

It’s amazing how much faster the game moves at this level. I’m excited to find my rhythm at this pace and up my reaction time. Hopefully this was the first of many, many games. Thanks for looking.

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Shred it: US National Air Guitar Qualifier

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US Air Guitar Regional Qualifier in Denver

DENVER, CO – MAY 27: Pork Sword celebrates after winning the US Air Guitar Regional Qualifier at Lion’s Lair in Denver, Colorado on May 27, 2016. The top two scoring contestants Friday night won a chance to compete at regionals in Kansas City. (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post)

It’s no secret that I love to shoot weird stuff. The more bizarre the better. Having spent a good portion of my formative years watching strange punk bands play in basements, starting strange punk bands that played in VFW Halls and working in a bizarre art gallery weird just suites me. I get weird, its easy for me to embrace. So when the chance to photograph the US National Air Guitar qualifier popped up last week I jumped on it. It didn’t go quite as planned from the photo stand point (it was dark, like pitch black dark) but it was a lot of fun watching people do just that, have fun. While it was a competition it was also designed to be fun. Stage names, costumes and loud rock music from 1986. The thought process behind the competition is if you’re holding an air guitar you can’t hold a gun. It’s a message of peace… and tight pants. I can’t get behind that message.

Thanks for looking.

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