Where to find ‘The Place to Be’ on June 9

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"Lillie Mae, taken at First Ward Park last week. While I’m very proud to have worked with all of the musicians that I have over the last 22 years, it’s the new work that continues to push me to get new, and hopefully better photos." - Daniel Coston

You may recognize Daniel Coston’s photography from his work with musicians and bands such as the Avett Brothers, Johnny Cash, Wilco and local band Time Sawyer, or from his contributions to The Charlotte Observer and SouthPark Magazine since 2000.

Coston, 44, always says that he’s a photographer that lives in Charlotte; a photographer that is based out of Charlotte and has worked at all different points of the world, but his core is the local music scene that’s around him.

According to Coston, his upcoming photo exhibition, “The Place to Be,” is a really good way to talk about what he’s seen and what he’s heard both on a national and local scale while living in Charlotte.

“The Place to Be” will have a soft opening June 9 and an official opening July 7 on the walls at the Knight Gallery at Spirit Square (345 North College St.). It will feature about 90 photographs that Coston has taken since New Year’s Eve, 1995. This amount may change, as the show will last until Nov. 22 and Coston plans to add more photos that he takes throughout the run.

The photos will consist of a collection of what you would see if you had been going to concerts in the Charlotte area, with venues like the Double Door Inn or other venues that have closed down in the past 20+ years, as well as photos of big names, like Ray Charles.

“Obviously this has been a long-running passion for me. Music is really what got me into photography,” Coston said. “There is something about working with musicians, whether that’s live or posed, and candid or on the road settings, that I felt like I could put a visual to.”

Here are five photos that people can expect to see at the exhibition:

“The Avett Brothers the first time I photographed them, Fat City, October 2001. As you walk through the show, you’ll see the evolution of the band via the venues that they have played over the years.” – Daniel Coston
“Amigo, at the Milestone Club, 2015. One of Charlotte’s band bands, in the long-running Charlotte venue.” – Daniel Coston
“Jerry Lee Lewis, downtown Charlotte festival, 1997. The stage was set up on Tryon Street, and was about eight inches high. No one wanted to sit too close to Jerry Lee, in case he might be in a bad mood, so I sat on the ground in front of him for much of the show.” – Daniel Coston
“Loonis McGlohon, private event, 2000. I really miss Loonis, and wish that his story and achievements were better known in Charlotte. It’s an honor to have this show in the building that houses the McGlohon Theater.” – Daniel Coston
“Lillie Mae, taken at First Ward Park last week. While I’m very proud to have worked with all of the musicians that I have over the last 22 years, it’s the new work that continues to push me to get new, and hopefully better photos.” – Daniel Coston

All photos are for sale at the exhibition, so you can (literally) take the Charlotte music scene home with you or have the photographer deliver them to you. Also, like musicians, Coston takes requests. If you would like to request photos, contact Coston at danielcoston@aol.com.

Also this week, Coston will be coming out with the third and final edition of his book, Home Of The Blues: A History Of The Double Door Inn. Now that the venue is closing, Coston has gone back and re-written the book by re-discussing the comprehensive history of the venue with a lot more information and photos.

“The book now feels like the book I think I’ve wanted all along,” he said. “I wish it didn’t have the ending it did.”

Photos: Daniel Coston

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