This is the brilliant Baltimore band Beach House playing an absolutely mesmerizing gig in Vicar Street last year. I hadn’t paid much attention to them before going along to photograph them but I came away a fan. There’s nothing particularly ground-breaking about what they do – there are obvious antecedents to their music stretching from Mazzy Star all the back to the Velvet Underground – but they do it incredibly well and they write fantastic songs.
A really beautiful visual set up and light show really helped my enjoyment of the night. The stage was simply lit, and the audience left in darkness much of the time. Now and again though a curtain of lights behind the band would come on and that’s what I wanted to get in the shot. I misjudged the overall level of light in the venue though and I should have opened up the aperture more than normal to compensate for the dim lighting. I didn’t like the results much when I processed the negatives. Everything was black except for the stage – no crowd visible other than isolated lights from mobile phones now and again.
It was only when looking at this one again a few days ago though that I realised that even though it wasn’t what I intended, it did capture the night fairly well. I think the darkness reflects the reverential atmosphere. It was like being in church – but in a good way. As usual this is an exposure that was the length of the song – in this case about 5 minutes. Here’s a song from their super 2010 album, Teen Dream.