Wow. Last night kicked my ass.
Before I run down the list of lunacies, take a look at the top of this page. You’ll see above that yesterday’s Project365 photo captured an animated, wildly gesturing percussionist in the midst of flailing away at his instrument. That’s Stanton Moore, folks. And he is one funky, funky man.
That’s a good thing.
Shoot #1: Stanton Moore
Stanton is best known for playing drums for the fantastic funk/jazz group Galactic and is also a wildly popular drum clinician. His books and instructional DVDs dissect his playing style and trace his various musical influences and his clinics give aspiring drummers a chance to see him in action, learn a few things and chat with one of their drumming heroes.
I had the good fortune of photographing Stanton’s clinic last night for the fine folks at Drum Headquarters, sponsors of the event. Being a drummer myself and a massive fan of Stanton’s playing, this was an opportunity I didn’t even have to think twice about. His clinic took place in a beautiful old Art Deco-inspired ballroom with massively resonant acoustics that not only sounded great, but gave me plenty of room to move around and shoot Stanton. I only had about an hour to shoot him before heading to my next gig (see below), but here are some of my faves.
Shoot #2: The Monads @ Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room
I love this band. I hate shooting in this venue, though. It’s a great, historic room in the basement of a legendary St. Louis landmark but the lighting, in a word, sucks. No matter. I cranked up the ISO and fired away–grain be damned. I figured that if nothing else I could convert the images to B&W, suitable considering the band’s brand of psychotic bluegrass music (I call it ‘stompgrass’) and somewhat steampunk persona.
And that’s exactly what I did. If you ever have the chance to see this group live, GO. They always put on a wicked show and are a blast to shoot. Check them out on MySpace.
Shoot #3: Galactic @ The Pageant
Thankfully, all of these events took place along the Delmar Loop district so I was able to park early and hoof it to all the shows. The Pageant is a fabulous venue and Galactic sounded great, but photographically this show was one hell of a challenge. For some reason, the band requested a closed barricade so I was shooting from the crowd–not a huge problem but it did handicap my ability to shoot from different points along the stage front. They also performed under a constantly changing light show that illuminated them primarily from below and behind. While this makes for a great light show and forces the audience to focus more on the music than the performers, it made photography difficult. I’ve shot shows where the lights change a lot, but these were literally changing color every second for large portions of the show. Oh well, I can’t blame them for not tailoring their show to my specific photographic needs. It was one hell of show. My review should be up on www.playbackstl.com very soon.
Shoot #4: Didn’t Happen
I was hoping to snap some shots of another great NOLA band in action at the Broadway Oyster Bar: Bonerama. Unfortunately my last SD card broke (the locking latch came off somehow) so I was unable to capture any of their performance. Sorry folks. Three shows in one night will just have to do.
Hope you dig the pics.