This is bouncy sing-along US pop-punk types The Get Up Kids playing in The Village back in June. I shot a few gigs in The Village back at the beginning of this project but was never happy with the results. It wasn’t possible to get the crowd into the shot, and instead the composition would be dominated by the two giant speaker stacks on either side of the stage and the large empty space above the performer’s heads. This time though I brought along a different lens, one with a longer focal length. This meant I could get in tight on the band and exclude more or less everything else, and it made the world of difference.
Another thing that I had discovered previously was that The Village is an f45 kind of venue. Despite the fact that it’s relatively small, there’s a powerful lighting rig in there, and this means the stage is always pretty bright. So, you have to stop down a bit more than normal to avoid overexposing the shot. The great thing about it though is that, in contrast to the pretty static and minimal lighting setup in Whelans, there is always interesting stuff going on with the lights – different parts of the stage being lit up for different songs, swirling lights, twirling lights, and so on. A long exposure shot becomes as much about the lights as the performers – it records not just the movements of the band, but the movements and trajectories of the lights as well. For example, the flower-like patterns on the floor in the shot above were created by circular rotating lights on the ground. Each of the other shots I have from the night look completely different because of the different lighting being employed for each song.
The band’s music didn’t really do much for me though. With the exception of Weezer’s Pinkerton album, I don’t have much time for the whole emo genre. However I was clearly in the minority on that. The front row was packed with super-fans singing along to every word. One guy in particular seemed overcome with excitement at several points during the show. After the second song he clambered up on stage and proceeding to shout requests into the singers ear. Later on he pulled out a mobile phone and insisted that the singer take it and say hello to his girlfriend for him. Anyway, if you want to judge for yourself, due to the wonders of SoundCloud, you can now do so by clicking below.