Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Erin McKeown at Littlefield 12.05.13

My last concert of the year was eventful on several levels. There are times when your concert companions are just as special as the musician you are seeing. For me, I was able to reconnect with a friend from the former Milford Camera Shop, Dave. The first concert we ever saw together was Erin McKeown at the Iron Horse in North Hampton, Massachusetts back in 2001. A few weeks later, we went back to the same venue and saw Three Song Circus, which was Erin along with Jian Ghomeshi from Moxy Fruvuous and Andy Stochansky. The three musicians hopped around between instruments and traded lead vocals on songs. To this day, it is one of my favorite concerts of all time. To be able to see Erin again, more than a decade later, was enough to get me to trek into the city, to be able to photograph it was a bonus and to be able to take part in the second set? What an unforgettable experience.

Erin came out for the first set alone on stage and played songs from her entire catalog. The audience sat crossed leg on the cement floor, cheering and clapping along to each song. Erin was an absolute riot on stage. She introduced songs and gave us a back story to them. She teased her fans when the clapping died down by starting a song and then stopping abruptly; explaining that's how it felt to her when the clapping stopped. She can hold down a stage all by herself and is an amazing guitarist. Throughout her set, she was all smiles. I was able to move around the stage without intruding which is always nice.

After about 40 minutes, there was a short break. The Grumpy Chorus gathered by the stage, ready to take part in the second half of the show: The Anti Holiday Spectacular. Ten fans, myself and Dave included, were instructed to don our ugly Christmas sweaters and look generally annoyed and unimpressed as we sang back up to Erin. Ten people who had never met before let alone practiced, were given hymnals and silly hats and took the stage. There are few things that will cause me to put down my camera, but the opportunity to share a stage with an artist I adore along with one of my oldest friends was one of them. Let me just tell you, those stage lights are hot on their own, now imagine yourself in an ugly Christmas sweater on top of it! I did happen to come across a picture of the Grump Chorus, just to prove that I really was on stage.


Thankfully, there is also a video of one of our songs as well. I look beyond grumpy on stage, but I assure you, I was absolutely thrilled to be there. I had to force myself not to grin like an idiot as I looked across the stage at Erin playing. It was beyond a fun night and I couldn't have asked for a better end to the year of shooting concerts.

I was able to snap a few pictures of Grumpy Chorus members with Erin at the end of the show.

Notice that L.E.D strand of lights? You probably think, big deal, red, white and green lights. Well, let me show you something absolutely incredible. I set my camera on the stage and took a long exposure. Those lights are actually fluctuating in a pattern that spells out the name of Erin's Christmas album. My mind still can't wrap itself around the result.

And of course, a picture of Dave, Erin and myself. Thanks to Dave for letting me know about the show and to Erin for being gracious enough to let me snap a few pictures and take part in the show. It's something I'll never forget. Dave and I are still going to push for a Three Song Circus reunion in 2014!

Lastly, I leave you with, well, you know the drill...

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