Southern Darkness

All Words & Photos By Morgan Laurie-Day

Photographing a band on the road has been a goal of mine for several years now. I took a small step towards it at the end of August this year. Vaporizer, a well known Burlington metal band was going on tour in the beginning of August. Heading down the east coast, hitting a small festival in Tampa, Florida and then completing the tour circuit back up north. The Tampa gathering is called Southern Darkness Festival and this year was it's first year featuring head liners Black Tusk from Savannah, GA and Pelican from Chicago, IL. Vaporizer was nice enough to invite me to come along.


Florida in August is an inferno. Hot doesn't even begin to describe it and being a thick blooded Northerner doesn't help at all. Luckily on the day of the show it rained for a while before giving way to sunshine as the metal heads took to the streets. The festival was akin to a metal pub crawl. It was set up between three venues in Tampa's Ybor City neighborhood The Ritz, Crowbar and The Orpheum. Ybor City seemed quiet in the early afternoon but as the sun set and the music got loud the strip came alive with people and music seemed to be on every street corner.


Vaporizer laid down a solid set with plenty of support from crowd at The Ritz. I also made time to check out Primate, Atlanta, Georgia's punk rock super group featuring Mastodon's Bill Kelliher on guitar as well as Brutal Truth's Kevin Sharp.

Primate and Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher

Black Tusk closed out the night at The Ritz leaving just enough time to catch Pelican a couple blocks down the street at The Orpheum. Being on the road and shooting a band out of their home element was a great experience and I can't wait till my next trip. Until next time check out more photos from the show the in the gallery.

Black Tusk

Concert PhotosBig Heavy World