Archive for April, 2012

Red on Red: Turisas and Paganfest America III

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Turisas

On Friday, April 6 (I submitted my photos a while ago but am just now getting to writing about them), the third Paganfest America tour stopped in at Station 4. This was Turisas‘ first headlining tour in the States; they’re fun to shoot, but the lighting at Station 4 was awful. Adding red light to red facepaint makes dynamic photos pretty tough, and my best shots of Turisas all look like the above: dark and monochromatic red. The lighting was almost as bad for Alestorm and Arkona, better for Huntress, and weirdly, was actually kind of excellent (by Station 4 standards) for local openers Minos.

The full photoset is here, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more.

On to the highlights. Here are a couple more of Turisas:

Turisas

Turisas

Most of my best photos are of Huntress, largely because the lighting was better and I had pit access for their full set; I also got to do a super-quick portrait with them beforehand:

Huntress

Huntress

Huntress

Huntress

Huntress

Arkona:

Arkona

Alestorm:

Alestorm

Minos:

Minos

Minos

Obligatory fan shot:

Paganfest fans

Birthday bash with I:Scintilla

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

I:Scintilla

Chicago’s I:Scintilla, who mix melodic electronic music with tinges of metal, made their first appearance in Minneapolis since 2008 on Friday night, thanks to a friend of theirs who decided to put on a great show for her 30th birthday celebration. (Thanks, Renee.) They were missing two of their members, unfortunately, but that certainly didn’t make itself evident in the music, as their set sounded great. Visually, vocalist Brittany Bindrim and guitarist Jim Cookas both have great stage presence with tons of energy, and combined with Ground Zero’s gorgeous lighting, I got some shots I’m quite happy with. Drummer Vince Grech, unfortunately, was placed extremely far back on the stage with no lights on him, so I have zero drummer shots from this show.

Beforehand, I did a backstage portrait shoot with the three band members who were present (my thanks to all three of them for the shoot). Ground Zero’s backstage area is tiny, and I tried doing some shadowy, creative lighting at first, but after a few shots it became clear that it just wasn’t working. So I slapped a softbox onto my main light, got rid of my other lights, and resorted to an incredibly basic failsafe scheme, lighting the trio nearly straight on with nice, diffuse white light.

I:Scintilla

Here’s an alternate take – both shots have elements that I like. Following are some more favorites I got from the live show. Ground Zero uses colorful LED cans for backlight and two big incandescent cans to provide nice white frontlight. Combined with judicious use of a fog machine, it’s a recipe for beautiful lighting.

If you like these, be sure to check out the full photoset at Flickr, and follow me on Facebook for more of my work.

I:Scintilla

I:Scintilla

I:Scintilla

I:Scintilla

I:Scintilla

I:Scintilla

Local opener Thought Thieves, on the other hand, played in the dark for almost their entire set. They filled the venue with fog and then barely used any lights at all – not even any backlights, so I couldn’t get any silhouette shots. Eventually the fog cleared and the backlights came on, and I was able to get a couple shots towards the end of the set. My favorite is this one:

Thought Thieves

And finally, openers Cwn Annwn had the more typical gorgeous Ground Zero lighting treatment, and I definitely got some great shots of them. They play a kind of melodic metal that was a bit incongruous to the rest of the show (they closed out with a cover of Rush‘s “Subdivisions,” which was unexpected and wouldn’t have been my first choice for a Rush cover, but they did it well). Regardless, the unusual combination worked, and seemed to go over well with the crowd.

Cwn Annwn

Lots more photos over at Flickr.