NTSIB is very pleased to introduce a new series to the blog. Our good friend and rock ‘n’ roll photographer Jennifer will highlight some of her favorite photos from her various rock ‘n’ roll escapades and talk about the photos, the musicians and related minutiae. Please enjoy the first installment.
My name is Jennifer, and I’ll be one of April’s partners-in-shenanigans in Mississippi this summer. I live in New York. I go to a lot of shows. I take a lot of pictures. This past week the Foxy Shazam/The Young Veins/Bad Rabbits tour stopped at Webster Hall in the East Village in Manhattan and also at the (new) Knitting Factory, in Brooklyn. The tour continues through April, and all of you should see them if they pass through your neighborhood.
These are some of my favorite pictures from those shows:
These gentlemen from Boston really bring the funk. (Their MySpace sound really does not do them justice at all. Let me put it this way: I walked in having never heard them before, I walked out willing to pay money to see them at their own show.) Most of the pictures I took of them at Webster Hall were not that great; I was much more successful at the Knitting Factory. I’ve picked two to share today.
One of their bits of stage business is boy-band style synchronized dancing, which I tried to capture here:
And as for the second one, mainly I just like the wash of blue light:
True confessions: This was the band I went to these shows to see. Their sound is closer to classic rock than to funk and they’re so new they only have two songs on their MySpace. Their record comes out in June, but, based on what I’ve heard so far live, my favorite songs are “Capetown” and “Young Veins (Die Tonight)” mainly because they remind me of the wry pleasures of being young, running around in ridiculous clothes and falling in love with inappropriate people. (She says, like she doesn’t do that anymore. Well, all right, but perhaps not on quite the same scale.)
The first couple of pictures are from Webster Hall, specifically, the basement space, known as The Studio. The light down there is kind of awful but I got several pictures I liked:
Ryan Ross as a point of stillness amid a flurry of on-stage activity. The stillness is actually what I like; they were setting up and soundchecking at the time, so there were people all over the stage fiddling with wires and whatnot; that’s Jon Walker behind him.
Ryan Ross with Andy Soukal in the background; I like this one because I managed to capture the spotlight hitting them just right.
Ryan Ross again, this time playing the tambourine. I should delete it – I have other, better ones, and it’s all blown out — but I love it. Possibly I love it because it’s all blown out. Or because I have a soft spot for Ryan Ross playing the tambourine. That could be it, too.
Foiled by bad lighting at the first show, for the second night, at the Knitting Factory, I was on a mission: get a decent picture of Jon Walker. These are some of the results:
Here he is singing a song. This one is one of the better attempts at the same picture, but I’m still not 100% happy with it. They’ll be back in June, and if I can get to their show, I’ll try again.
In the classic “tuning my guitar” pose. I’m fond of this one because I had finally managed to get the right combination of light and activity.
Other highlights from the evening:
Nick Murray at his drums during set-up and sound-check.
Nick White, with Jon Walker’s arm in the middle there. This is probably one of the better ones, in terms of crispness and clarity.
If you have never attended a Foxy Shazam show: you owe it to yourself to remedy that situation, because they are amazing. Eric Nally is a tiny tornado on stage, bunny-hopping onto the shoulders of his guitarist, eating cigarettes, doing headstands and rolling somersaults, and jumping into the audience. At the end of the Webster Hall show he was literally shirtless and swinging from the rafters. Here are some of the highlights of the shows:
Eric Nally does a headstand (mid-song!) at Webster Hall.
Eric Nally addresses the crowd at Webster Hall, in one of the very few moments in which he was standing still.
Alex Nauth comes up to the front to play the horn, at Webster Hall. I love both the lights on him and his dramatic pose.
Eric Nally, facing Daisy, who is balancing his guitar on his fingers. Sky White is playing the keyboards to the right. The Knitting Factory used a bunch of different colored lights, which is always fun. I think “green” was a great decision for this bit of stage business.
 Two members, Ryan Ross and Jon Walker, are formerly of Panic! At the Disco, one of my favorite bands. They left Panic last summer, and this is their new project.
Apr 7 2010 7:00P The Basement Columbus, Ohio
Apr 8 2010 7:00P The Eagle Theatre Pontiac, Michigan
Apr 9 2010 8:00P The Mad Hatter Covington, Kentucky
Apr 10 2010 7:30P Beat Kitchen SOLD OUT Chicago, Illinois
Apr 11 2010 5:30P The Vault Buffalo, Minnesota
Apr 13 2010 8:00P Marquis Theatre Denver, Colorado
Apr 15 2010 8:00P El Corazon Seattle, Washington
Apr 16 2010 7:30P Venue Vancouver, British Columbia
Apr 17 2010 8:00P Satyricon Portland, Oregon
Apr 18 2010 9:00P Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, California
Apr 19 2010 7:30P The Boardwalk Orangevale, California
Apr 21 2010 8:00P Troubadour West Hollywood, California
Apr 23 2010 7:15P Martini Ranch Scottsdale, Arizona