Howie Day, lessons learned…

If I was to ask 100 random people on the street who is Howie Day, I would hazard an educated guess that 7 would know he’s a musician, singer-songwriter hailing from Bangor Maine. If was to ask the same random people, do you know the song “Collide”, and play it for them, on my handy dandy electronic pocket-sized device, 87 people out of 100 would be familiar with the song. Fantastic track, one of my favourites. In the style of John Mayer or Jason Mraz, famously labeled WGWG, white guy with guitar.

IRocktography, music photojournalism by Stephen Lavoie

As I began my research preparing for the show, the dominate stories were of his previous arrest, after an altercation at a concert in Wisconsin. I’ve never been arrested but I can relate, when you’ve had a bit to much to drink, and the stupid meter goes off the chart. You just hate to see the performer being wheeled away, he’s supposed to be the one onstage, you’d expect it from an unruly member of the crowd. But that’s the thing, when you’re a shining star, people have a tendency to keep an eye on you, all actions are magnified, a challenging lifestyle for even the most seasoned performers.

IRocktography, music photojournalism by Stephen Lavoie

“I was a kid from Maine who went from zero to 380 in about two seconds, so it was kind of overwhelming. But that’s no excuse,” said Day. “I drank a bit too much. A lot of kids run wild, but it’s a big difference when people know who you are,” the trappings of fame.

IRocktography, music photojournalism by Stephen Lavoie

Day, back in 2000s, first released his EP, “Australia,” which caught the attention of many, with a “one-man band” sound that included samplers and effects pedals in addition to guitar accompanied by truly heartfelt lyrics. I also was blown away by this man’s wicked skills with looping machines, you really have to experience the performance, to a actually believe that so much sound is coming from one guy, amazing performance!

IRocktography, music photojournalism by Stephen Lavoie

During an impromptu meet and greet, before the show, I got the chance to chat with him for a little while. It was nice hanging out with a fellow “Mainiac”! This is what the residents of Maine call themselves, and only in Maine do you find people that are proud to call themselves maniacs. I love it there, so much beauty in raw nature, but that’s another story. He was easy to talk to, friendly with all the fans, polite and courteous. Far from the stereotypical images you’d expect from a rock star, refreshing to see! I think he’s learned his lessons.

IRocktography, music photojournalism by Stephen Lavoie

The song called “Treetops,” is nice and he’s working on his next album, which he hopes to release next year. Going back to the beginning, he’s taking a more simple approach. Seeking to capture a similar spirit and creativeness from his youth, but temper everything with his life experiences. A solid plan for many folks, not just famous musical artists. Don’t overthink it.

IRocktography, music photojournalism by Stephen Lavoie

It’s always the best compliment when the artist shares and appreciates your work. I’ll also send him an email to say thanks, especially for including the by-line. I also found it interesting, quite modest in fact, that he choose the only image of the set, that didn’t show his face clearly. He’s “good folks”, as we say in Maine. A super special performance and great to have met him, that’s one for the books.

howie day instagram

This one was organised at the last minute but well worth the labour of love from the gang at Pinoy Tuner, lots of love, solid work, as usual…

IRocktography, music photojournalism by Stephen Lavoie

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