Tuesday, October 22, 2013
California X & Potty Mouth at Bar 10.02.13
My first show at Bar; what a disaster. I'm not talking performance wise, although that had its ups and downs as well. You should know by now that most times I'm referring to the lighting and my struggles at the majority of Connecticut venues. Bar takes the cake by far. The lighting "effects" cycle through horrific combinations, a star pattern and polka dots of various colors. While it gave me a couple of striking images, for the most part, it was visual overload. That was frustrating enough for me to deal with, then throw in the crowd for added consternation.
There was an opening band for the night, and I went back and forth whether or not to mention them at all in this write up. There are no pictures of Blessed State and that's because of their lead singer. He paced around in front of the stage, shouting in my face and throwing his elbow at my camera. After two seconds of that, my camera was packed up and put away. If you're going to be an idiot and flail your body at my camera, you're not getting pictures taken. End of story. Also, take a shower kid, because your BO was some of the worst I've ever had the misfortune of being forced to smell. I would also like to point out, that the same lead singer for Blessed State decided to jump in front of me during the second band's set. I got maybe 10 shots off before he very purposefully stood in front of me and blocked my view. So again, the camera went away. There was no room for me to move around because the other side of the stage decided to mosh and I'm not going to put myself in the middle of that.
I covered Potty Mouth at the Andrew WK show at Arch Street Tavern earlier in the year and I really enjoyed their set. The all female punk band from Massachusetts are young and have a great energy once they get going. Lead singer Abbey is a lot of fun to photograph with her silly faces, hair whips and smiles. There was a bit of drama over on Surviving the Golden Age's review about the malfunctioning equipment. I will say this: stopping your set is jarring and it really does disrupt the flow of the performance. I've seen it happen with other bands; Eytan and the Embassy's bass player had a bad sound set up at CMJ last year, and she let it dampen the mood of their entire set. Listen, we've all had things go wrong. I've been at shoots where my flashes have crapped out on me. Just this past weekend at a wedding, the main photographer I work with tripped and fell and broke a camera. Did she stop what she was doing, fiddle with her equipment and make a big deal out of it by letting the bride and groom know her camera was broken? No, she grabbed her back up camera and had me double shoot it. No one besides me knew the camera broke. Potty Mouth is a young band and they don't have the experience of handling missteps yet. Stopping the set was unsettling and the break did feel a bit long from my point of view. The main thing is that Abbey did bounce back with plenty of energy once the problem was fixed.
Eventually, even the light decided to cooperate with me and I managed to get a few decent shots. I'm in no hurry to return to Bar, free show or not.