Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Royal Concept and American Authors at Brighton Music Hall 11.22.13

This show was a bit of an adventure. My day job had a crazy schedule leading up to Thanksgiving where we combined three days of work into one. I high tailed it up to Boston and still made it in time for the show. I'm always excited when I get to shoot in a different venue and get to think on the fly. There was no photo pit at Brighton and since I arrived about 20 minutes before The Royal Concept took the stage, I couldn't get a spot in the front. I tried to shoot through the crowd about four people back for the first couple of songs, then moved on to different angles. What was great about The Royal Concept is that they move around the stage. Lead singer David Larson moved back to the drum kit several times during the show and I found an interesting view from the side of the stage. Both Larson and bassist Robert Magnus took advantage of the platforms on the front of the stage to the cheers of the crowd. I really enjoyed being able to capture the energy of the auidence in a few of the shots.

The Royal Concept

American Authors

The lights came up a bit more for the headliners, American Authors. I breathed a sigh of relief because I was able to take my camera off my highest ISO setting. Even thought I wasn't a particular fan of the music, I was able to get some sweet shots. Above is my favorite of lead singer Zachary Barnett. I also love the intensity coming from bassist Dave Rublin. There's a trend in music to overuse banjo and mandolin, thanks to the popularity of Mumford and Sons and The Avett Brothers. I'm more of a fan of bands that excel at the use of these instruments, like the Punch Brothers do. Plinking away on a mandolin or banjo just to vary your instrumentation doesn't quite do it for me, but at least guitarist/banjo/mandolinist James Shelley has fun while doing it. For these shots, I found a clear line of sight to the stage about 20 people back with my telephoto lens. While it isn't great for band shots, I got some nice individual portraits.

I'd compare Brighton Music Hall to Arch Street Tavern in Hartford, with slightly better line of sight to the stage. The lighting was decent to work with, not ideal, but I've definitely dealt with worse. I was amused by The Royal Concept; near the end of their set, they complained that the lights were too low and that they couldn't see the audience. Thanks, guys, I just wish you had asked for that earlier!

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