Friday, May 13, 2016
Jon Brion at Warsaw 05.06.16
Five years ago, I attended my first Jon Brion concert, after an eventful day at a Renaissance Fair with my older brother Nick at my side. Back then, I was still trying to get into concert photography and it's pretty hard for me to look back at those pictures. There are a couple I like, but eeeesch, good thing I got better. These days, I usually ask for a photo pass and cover shows for Surviving the Golden Age. For this concert, I was there as a fan, along with some new friends, but it's so hard for me to not bring anything to a show. I took along my mirror less EOS M with the kit lens and an 85mm.
I am not a fan of that kit lens at all and really struggled to get it to perform, but as you can see from the photos, I was a little too close for the 85mm with a cropped sensor. I ended up taking a lot of detail shots that I thought were interesting. That beat up old amp really spoke to me. I picked the right side of the stage because honestly, trying to get interesting shots of a person at a piano is rough. Of course, the stage crew set up a music stand right in front of me, so I had a fun time working around that. All in all, they aren't my best work, but there are more than a couple I'm happy with this time around. I went with more of a grainy processing style because I felt like that fit this performance.
Oh hey, and maybe I should tell you a little about the show too. I'm a little rusty at this. It was a much better set than the first time I saw him. Besides all of the equipment working, yey!, there was a long set at the end of the night where the audience was singing along, to the point where Brion wasn't even using his microphones. There's something so special about that type of audience participation; it's what I've always loved most about Ben Folds. When a crowd breaks into perfect harmony during Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, you get goosebumps.
Many thanks to my friends Shellye and Dean who made sure I was able to meet and talk to Jon at the end of the night. I don't always like talking to musicians I'm in awe of, sometimes I turn into Stan from South Park when he talks to Wendy, but Dean very innocently reminded me, "This isn't someone famous, it's Jon." As it turns out, Jon thinks Polaroids are pretty cool and was gracious enough to let me snap a quick portrait.
Quite a different experience from five years ago, wouldn't you say? If you're reading this post in a timely fashion, Jon Brion is performing tonight at City Winery. It's a late show, starting at 11, but if you can make it, you should definitely check it out. With audience members shouting requests and one musician bouncing around between instruments, I promise it will be unlike anything you've seen.