All Photos and Text by Bobby Cochran
Joined up with everyone at the UC Theatre in Berkeley late in the morning, just in time to join a few of the Amenra guys to watch the Belgium/France World Cup game in a pizzeria a couple blocks from the venue. We got there pretty early, which was great considering the place was filled to overflowing capacity within 30 minutes. The entire place was filled with France fans, including two tables of preppy-looking college age kids right in front of us, all speaking French. Seemed as though our table of nine or so were the only Belgium fans in the place. It was OK though, because at our table were the biggest and meanest looking group of dudes, and when the French kids in front of us started yelling insults at the Belgian players on the TV they were quickly silenced by the snarling, mocking response of our Belgians.
Hurry-up-and-wait commenced back at the venue, and I took the opportunity to do some video interviews of a few band members in addition to editing photos and taking care of other business. There was also a lot of waiting.
Another thunderous, epic show on the part of Amenra tonight, and again I got to shoot/film from the stage and the photo pit both. They sounded unbelievably good tonight. I have to admit, when I first came across videos of Amenra playing live, I was a little put off by the fact that Colin doesn’t face the audience while he performs. I later learned it’s his way of communicating that his truth doesn’t have to be your truth, and his performance isn’t as much a performance as it is his own process of experiencing the music. Getting a vantage point that the rest of the audience doesn’t get allowed me to see how much this is true, that he’s not interacting with the audience at all, but submerging himself in the expression of the music and becoming one with it.
7/11/18 Wednesday – SF
I met up with everyone at a coffee shop in the upper Haight district of San Francisco late this morning, and we spent a couple hours wandering the area, doing some shopping and enjoying the unbelievably gorgeous weather. At one point as we stood outside a shop waiting for Amenra guitarist Mathieu Vandekerckhove to finish buying an amazing Hawaiian shirt, Colin commented that it “doesn’t get much better than this… spending time with friends, enjoying beautiful weather in a beautiful city in a foreign country, without a care in the world”. I appreciate a person who can appreciate a moment like that.
Sadly, there was no photo pit for tonight’s show, and now that I’m apparently spoiled enough to not want to stand amongst the riff-raff I opted to shoot primarily video from the side of the stage tonight as well as getting some shots from the back of the ornate and picturesque venue.
It was another epic set by a magnificent group of performers, and I was, again, moved to watch them play. It was a little bittersweet to know this was my last night to enjoy this show from this particular vantage point, but that’s how it goes.
Since today was my last show with the tour, it gave me an opportunity to reflect and appreciate the experience I’d had. I’d been anticipating this day for the last week, expecting some sadness and FOMO knowing I was going to head back home to resume “normal” life again. Surprisingly, by the end of the night I found I was ready to do just that. It had been a busy, enriching and fulfilling experience, and sometimes those experiences just aren’t meant to last.
I made my rounds giving hugs and saying goodbye to all the wonderful people who’d brought me into their world and made me feel so welcome, then hoisted my bags onto my shoulder and walked alone out into the cold San Francisco night.