Alright, it’s not so much an ode as it an offering. These iPhone cameras aren’t so bad. When they first came out, I’ll admit I bashed how easy they made it for anyone to take a picture, but it turns out you still need to have a good eye for making a photograph, so I guess the pro photographers dodged a bullet.
About two weeks ago, I spontaneously wound up at three wondrous concerts in seven days, beer in hand and two times out of three wearing a Halloween costume. I wasn’t working these shows, but I took a few photos with my phone and walked away with decent results.
City and Colour AKA Dallas Green
Oct. 27, 2013 at The Pageant, St. Louis
This seasoned musician was the front man — vocals and guitar — for the hardcore group Alexis on Fire for over a decade, which he left in 2012 so he could devote his attention to City and Colour.
His band name is really just a play on his actual name. Look at it again.
The acoustic folksinger swerves toward rock and blues more than most folksy types and, for me, it’s the saving grace that keeps him at arms length from whiny. That dirty edge of rock and blues really surfaced when I saw him live at The Pageant in St. Louis.
Green is also a thoughtful lyricist with lines that pull you in. My old friend and nearly Ph.D-brandishing political genius, who got suckered into holding my beer every time I saw a photo-op, said it was just one song, with lines that resonated so strongly in him that he became a real fan of City and Colour.
His most recent album, out six months ago, is ”The Hurry and the Harm.”
Oct. 31, 2013 at the Times Union Center, Albany
My roommate won tickets from 102.7 WEQX on Twitter. She really spends way too much time on her iPhone, but it was all worth it for this moment, brought to you by social media.
Derek Vincent Smith has been around for at least five years, but has really gained momentum recently. His show at the Times Union Center in Albany on Halloween was sold out, and here’s the best part: he had a full band in Sesame Street costumes playing with him.
The Times Union Center wouldn’t let me bring the hand-crafted bow and arrow portion of my Artemis costume inside the venue, but they very politely offered to coat check it for me.
Nov. 2, 2013 The Nutshell, Lake Huntington
This band caught me off guard. I felt damn fortunate to wind up in the always-lovely shack of a bar, The Nutshell, on Lake Huntington to find this electronic, jam fusion band going bananas.
First off, they were all in chimp costumes, except for one guy who insisted on wearing this cute, white scooter helmet that was still quite endearing. They will tell you, I’m sure, that monkey suits are not easy on the sweat glands.
But I got to dance to a fiddle-playing chimp, which was very special, so they did not sweat in vain.
Perhaps more importantly, they were actually really flippin’ good. Like finger licking, getting down on the get down, good.
Maybe I’m just late to the game because a few days after I heard them, they opened for Lotus.
As a side note, the redeeming quality that makes up for The Nutshell’s notoriously slow ability to actually sell its patrons beer is the fact that no one made me put my bow and arrow down — not even when I started pointing it at other people and demanding things.
Here’s some iPhone concert pointers –
- Make your body a tripod. Shows are nearly always low-light situations, so you’re going to need to stay still. If you can’t do it on your own, ask a wall or a friend to keep your drunk behind steady.
- Tapping on the image to focus it can also change the light settings; making your photo lighter or darker. Play around with that.
- Look for the light. Always look for the light, with any camera.
- Don’t be shy.
- Don’t watch the whole show through your iPhone, because that’s just depressing.