Zombie Pub Crawl 2015

It's not every day I get the chance to go out and shoot an event completely for myself anymore.

In fact, it's been almost a full calendar year since I've been fortunate enough to be in a media pit to catch some live music. This year has been filled with an ample supply of gigs and I've gotten to work on some unbelievable projects, but at the cost of not being able to focus on the medium that got me into photographing in the first place.

2014's Badge of Honor still holding strong

2014's Badge of Honor still holding strong

So when I saw the line up announced for this years annual Zombie Pub Crawl, in its new location immediately downtown Minneapolis for the second year, I was so determined to be apart of the organized chaos that is this drunken, fake blood and real vomit filled block party that consumes a dozen venues for a whole night. After a quick email from my best friend to the event's brain child and organizer Mark, who tragically passed away the day after the event, I was in for another round of what honestly feels like a survivor trying to escape tens of thousands of walkers to get to all of the action.

Photog friend Austin Fassino performing some pre zombie magic at Pizza Luce

Photog friend Austin Fassino performing some pre zombie magic at Pizza Luce

Armed with two cameras and a whole year worth of new skills under my belt and plenty of reflect on what I felt I could've done differently from the year before, I was off and running. This also marked the first time I've been able to go all out and stack my camera bag with all the goodies I ever dreamed of owning. Rocking a Canon 5D3 with the 70-200mm f/2.8 in one hand and a 5D2 with the 16-35mm f/2.8 in the other, and the option of my otherwise go-to lens 50mm f/1.2, I was hanging with the big boys finally. I would never say that the gear you have makes you a good photographer, but having the right tools for the job certainly made life a million times easier that night.

The line up itself was something out of my wildest dreams as well, something that Mark really had a true talent for putting together year after year. This year in particular featured an eclectic mix that covered well over a decade of musical flavor that everyone, including myself, seemed fired up to see. Girl Talk, Sum 41, Aaron Carter, Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, Seven Lions, Lil Dicky, Mini Kiss, Tickle Torture, and tons more gave way to endless possibilities of music diversity throughout the night. Another decade long bucket list item was crossed off my list that night, when myself and another photographer slipped into the group of people that swarm the stage shortly after every Girl Talk starts, a moment that I long hoped to be apart of every since my first GT show in 2011.

Gregg Gillis, wondering why the hell I'm taking his picture while Soulja Boy is going hard

Gregg Gillis, wondering why the hell I'm taking his picture while Soulja Boy is going hard

Instead of going on and on, which I could easily do, I'll just get to the point. This was easily one of the most significant nights in recent memory for me. It's a really powerful feeling to step away from something you loved so much and come back to it and find out that not only did you miss it just as much as you thought, but you come out of it more inspired and driven to be creative. Having another shot at the night like this is a culmination of everything I've learned thus far and a true test of my own abilities.  Don't get me wrong either, I love every shoot I am able to do and I love the work I am doing. There is just something so satisfying about exploring unlimited new avenues on a passion project like this was. It reinforces my love for the music industry, it reinforces my love for photography, and it definitely assures me of where I want to see my work go. Anyway, here's Wonderwall...