By: Aurianna Brien
On April 12, 2014, Hedley performed in Abbotsford, BC at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. Abbotsford is about 45 minutes away from Vancouver and because of this, I couldn’t just take the city transit to the venue like I usually do for a show. I had to get a ride from my parents. When they first released the tour dates and I heard about where the venue was, I didn’t even bother to ask my parents for a ride there. I mean why would they drive me all the way to Abbotsford, hang around for a couple hours then pick me up at 11:00pm? So I didn’t buy a ticket to the show hoping to catch them at their next Vancouver show or even at We Day again but then I received an amazing opportunity. I received credentials to do photography for Hedley and as a young aspiring photographer this was amazing news!
Because my parents know that this will help me with my future career and build my experience/portfolio, they were more than happy to drive me to Abby and wait for about half an hour while I took my pictures.
I had never been to the venue before and it was an all new experience for me as I was backstage the entire time too. I was led to the venue’s boardroom to wait with the other photographers as Classified finished his set and Hedley prepared to go on stage. There were about five others and all were experienced photographers working for a local newspaper or radio station. They knew I was fairly new to this as they had only seen me do photography two or three times before and they told me stories of past photography experiences. One of them told of how he took pictures of Jacob Hoggard back when he was 16 and had done something that got him an article in the local newspaper. They also talked about how Hedley had the potential to be “Canada’s Band” and joked that they were just behind Rush.
About fifteen minutes after Classified’s set, a guard called us out of the boardroom and set us up around the stage. I was on the left side of the middle stage in front of the barricade. I had never been at the barricade for an arena show before and being so close to the front, right in the middle and hearing the cheer of the crowd as they waited anxiously for Hedley to come on was surreal. I wasn’t attending the show as a fan but the feeling I got from the crowd was like I was and the camera was just an object in my hand. I was so tempted to run into the crowd and stay for the entire show but I had a job to do.
The minute the curtain came down revealing the stage, cameras were up and the only sound I could hear was the sound of my camera clicking away. The music was just background noise. The other photographers actually gave me a funny look once and a while because I was singing along with the songs as Hedley performed.
Three songs we were allowed to shoot and they were Anything, One Life, and I’ll Be With You. I will honestly say as a photographer, it was difficult to shoot Jacob because he is constantly moving around but as a fan seeing him run around and get to every point in the stage to connect with every part of the arena was amazing. At one point in One Life, Jacob was on the left side of the stage and he wanted to get to the middle part. I was standing right in the corner between the two parts and Jacob smiled right at me then jumped over my head. The fangirl inside me was dying but the photographer in me tried to capture every second of the moment.
Once the three songs were over and I was called back out to the boardroom I was so sad. They almost let us go back in for one more song because the other photographers thought they only performed two songs because after Anything, they went right into One Life. So while they were talking about that with some of the security, I was quietly singing and dancing in the corner to Don’t Talk To Strangers. Sadly we couldn’t go back in to shoot another song. I was okay with that because as I was waiting outside the venue for my ride, I found a spot where I could hear the concert perfectly. A security guard outside saw me singing and joked about sneaking me in so I could watch the rest of the concert.
I am sad that I got just a small taste of what I know was an amazing show but I’m glad it was a sold out show and that so many people got to witness the magic that is Hedley.
To see Aurianna’s photos, please visit her Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/103408972@N04/sets/72157643914325403/