Posts Tagged ‘Cabooze’

Back at the Cabooze: Power metal Tuesday

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Blind Guardian

Last night at the Cabooze was a night for all the epic fantasy lovers out there: in other words, a bunch of power metal bands were in the house. Blind Guardian were the headliners, and within their first four songs there were two songs from Nightfall in Middle-earth, their decade-old concept album based on Tolkien’s novels. They played their material faithfully, but without as much energy onstage as I would have expected; my photos from their set are a bit lacking in oomph. For someone with such an impressive voice, Hansi K├╝rsch is an incredibly unassuming looking dude – probably the only metal frontman I’ve ever seen perform in a polo shirt, looking for all the world like he could be a professor at your local university. Gotta love the lack of pretense, but this is not the band (or the genre) I would have expected that from.

Blind Guardian

Holy Grail, one of the openers, really stole the show in terms of stage presence. In particular, one of their guitarists kept giving me ridiculously awesome portfolio-worthy shots. Let’s just run through a few of them…

Holy Grail

Holy Grail

Holy Grail

Holy Grail

And finally, Seven Kingdoms (named after, of course, George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novels) opened up the night with a set that was shockingly gorgeously lit – maybe the best lighting of the night and the best lighting I’ve ever seen at this venue. Lots of colorful backlight, which the Cabooze always seems to have, but copious amounts of nice white frontlight as well. It was a great way to kick off the evening.

Seven Kingdoms

Seven Kingdoms

Full photoset here.

Two nights at the Cabooze

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Enslaved

This week I shot two consecutive nights of heavy music – Enslaved/Dimmu Borgir and Combichrist – at Minneapolis’ The Cabooze, a strange venue in my neighborhood that feels like a cross between a rock club and a dance club with the best attributes of neither. Nevertheless, the place has a reasonable if hard-to-navigate photo pit, and pretty decent sound, and an impressive lighting rig. But both those shows, being metal and industrial/electronic respectively, utilized a ton of colorful backlight and almost no frontlight, and as such were pretty challenging. Of all the bands I saw in these two days, Enslaved was who I was really excited about, and they delivered. Unfortunately, they delivered under basically no light, and I got very few good shots – the headline shot above is by far the best.

Below are a series of shots from Dimmu Borgir’s set, which illustrate pretty well the lighting situation. It was bright – so bright that I was at ISO 1600 as opposed to 6400 for Enslaved – but it was all colored backlight, and I had to overexpose and rely entirely on the backlight wrapping to get any detail in the performers. Kind of makes for fun, colorful, dramatic photos, but you can only look at so many silhouettes before you get sick of them. Nevertheless, their set was a blast to shoot and damn does this band make some catchy black metal. Not necessarily my thing, but pretty fun.

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Dimmu Borgir

Combichrist the night before was the same situation but even more challenging. At this show the backlights were so bright that I essentially had to use flash to balance it out. There was also a pretty heavy reliance on strobes, which are always a challenge. The first shot below illustrates shooting conditions sans flash: too much backlight and too little contrast, although I do like this shot. The second shot shows what the situation looked like once I added a touch of flash.

Combichrist

Combichrist

One of Combichrist’s openers, iVardensphere, plays a kind of tribal-tinged heavy industrial electronic music which was definitely my favorite of the night. They employed a pair of Taiko drummers who were just awesome to watch and photograph (and I really enjoyed talking to one of them after their set – hi Greg). The other two dudes did what electronic musicians do: twiddle knobs. But they were still fun to shoot thanks to the lighting, which ironically might have been the best lighting I got out of both days.

iVardensphere

iVardensphere

Here are the full photo sets: Enslaved/Dimmu Borgir; and Combichrist/Aesthetic Perfection/iVardensphere.