A couple of times in the past I've mentioned a few venues where I don't like to shoot, just because it's a big pain in the arse, and essentially these venues has one or even all these problems:
- No pit
- Awful lights (or the lack of lights)
- No room to move if it's sold out or very crowded
And a week ago I've been asked to photograph a band, Corner Boy, in one of the venues that has all these three point: Whelan's. Last time I shoot a gig in that venue was in 2011, almost 3 years ago, and if I didn't shoot in that place for a long time there's a reason.
I don't want to sound like someone that completely hates that venue, which is not, as if you are just a punter, someone who just want to see a good gig, that's a great place, you can see great bands and at the same time have that sense of intimacy that sometimes bigger venues don't have. But I'm a photographer, and for me the (lack of) the points mentioned above are crucial.
Now lets talk about the band: Corner Boy.
I didn't know them at all, and while I can appreciate their music genre, I think that type of music is a bit oversaturated at the moment, and when they (not the band but who paid me for the gig) asked me to stay for the whole gig, something that I don't do very often, which is an euphemism for "practically never", adding the fact I was shooting on a venue I don't like to shoot, I wasn't exactly thrilled about it. But while it was terrible to shoot, I have to say that these guys are great, I really enjoyed their show from start to end, and they made me hope they'll become the next big thing, because otherwise would be a big waste in music, as these guys has tons of talent to sell.
But how was to shoot them? Well, not easy. Essentially whelan's has this light setup: two LEDs lights for each side, some spotlights on the back of the stage (which they never used for this gig) and four spot lights pointing at the same point on the stage, and the fact that the lead singer was in that place and at the same time he was wearing a white shirt, it was like when you shoot at the sky at night, and you have the full moon that kills all the stars around it.
I could only choose to expose for the other members or the lead singer, and then hoping to recover what I could with Lightroom.
So I did enjoy shooting back at Whelan's? No at all.
I did enjoy to see this good band in Whelan's? Definitely yes.
Down here you can find some of the photos I took that night, and as usual the full set on my flickr account.