Modern Sands, The Marwills, When Earth Sleeps @ Horseshoe Tavern – March 4, 2014

Nu Music Night at the Horseshoe – free show. A trio of bands took to the stage: Modern Sands, The Marwills, and When Earth Sleeps.

MODERN SANDS (The GTA, Ontario) Basement Ruckus, Indie, Noise Pop, Shoegaze, Punk

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They pulled the old switcheroo – the bassist is now the guitarist, and the guitarist is now the bassist!
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THE MARWILLS (Toronto, Ontario) Rock

This was no doubt the liveliest and most energetic band of the night. It’s bands like this that make shooting shows a lot more fun and interesting.
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A sax player joined them in the latter part of their set.
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Some fun-loving people jumped up on stage and were dancing around the band at one point (no decent shots, sadly). There was also a photographer (friend of the band, no doubt) who got right on stage during the show and was taking pics and video of everyone from every angle. I should have jumped up there and started snapping away as well. That would have been hilarious and not at all distracting. 🙂 The sparse, but lively, crowd yelled for an encore and they got it. Fun set.

WHEN EARTH SLEEPS (Toronto, Ontario) “Guitar driven rock with melodic vocals and clever lyrics”

ISO 1600 (auto) | 2.8 | 1/160

ISO 1250 (auto) | f2.8 | 1/160

ISO 1600 | f2.8 | 1/160

ISO 1600 | f2.8 | 1/160

Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Canon 50mm 1.8 II

NOTES:
-There’s something very familiar and comforting about being at The Horseshoe Tavern. Probably because that’s where I’ve shot the majority of my concert photos since I got serious about learning band photography last summer. It’s a welcoming atmosphere, where you’ll quickly be made to feel at ease. I only wish I wasn’t constantly being frustrated at my inability to consistently get sharp pictures when I shoot there. I’m either doing something wrong and not realizing what it is, or maybe this is just the way it goes when you shoot at a bar venue with hit-and-miss lighting? A ton of blurry, fuzzy shots, with a handful of good ones, if you’re lucky. Auto-focus, manual focus, it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s been an uphill battle to get those tack sharp photos I see all the other photographers getting. Is it my camera? My lens? Is it because I wear glasses? Beats me. I’m relatively new to concert photography, but not to photography in general. I know about shutter speeds, f-stops, and all that good stuff. So, can someone please tell me, where am I going wrong?

Wish, Michael Rault, Fresh Snow, and Army Girls @ The Garrison – February 25, 2014

After six months of sticking to the same three venues (The Horseshoe, Sneaky Dee’s, Bovine Sex Club), an opportunity came up to shoot a concert at The Garrison, a place I’d never been to before. The people behind NXNE, the annual music festival that takes place in June, set up a FREE concert that featured four bands and a bunch of DJ’s (I didn’t stick around for the DJ’s). On the bill were Wish, Michael Rault, Fresh Snow, and Army Girls. I signed up online to get on the guest list, and there didn’t seem to be any special permission required to take pictures. In other words, nobody tackled me when I pulled out my camera. A fairly spacious place, which can accommodate between 270 and 350 people, depending on which source you choose to believe.

The first band was set to go on at 8:30. I showed up about 15 minutes early and got a spot near the front of the stage, though I was able to move around a fair bit throughout the night. I’d say there were probably at least six other photographers there – all with huge lenses. Me, I had my little 50mm lens, as usual. I wasn’t crazy about the lighting – purplish, blueish and somewhat dim – but it was far from the worst I’ve seen. Here’s a shot I took of the stage before the show started.

WISH (Toronto, Ontario)

A four-piece band, but the bass player and the drummer were the only ones with some decent light on them, so I just concentrated on them.
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Loving the motion effect of the drumsticks!
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Foot pedals!
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MICHAEL RAULT (Toronto, Ontario) Garage, Pop, Blues, R&B

Setting up…

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The man himself, Michael Rault.

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FRESH SNOW (Toronto, Ontario)

The members of Fresh Snow play instrumental rock. They hammered out their entire set from behind a giant white sheet, which had various abstract images projected onto it. I suppose I could have peeked behind the sheet and gotten some shots of the band members, but I instead just moved back and shot the sheet. Very exciting, I know.
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ARMY GIRLS (Toronto, Ontario) Garage Pop

A duo consisting of Carmen Elle on guitar/vocals and Andy Smith on drums. Below, a lonely guitar…
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…is lonely no more. Pre-set shot.

These next four pics are basically the same, but it’s rare I get this many fairly sharp shots in quick succession, so here they are. Probably my favourite shots of the night.
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I love how the light is reflecting off the drummer’s glasses. Don’t know why, I just do. Also, notice the photographer lurking in the back? Hmm, how do I score a spot like that…
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She just plopped down in font of me and started wailing away on the guitar. It was a gift from heaven and I nearly fumbled it. Not as sharp as I’d have liked, but still got some decent ones.
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One of the few full-body shots I got. The rest were all blurry.

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Snapped this just as the drummer gave a dramatic smack to the cymbal. I’d like to capture more of these moments of “peak” action.
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Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Canon 50mm 1.8 II

M̩nage @ Horseshoe Tavern РJanuary 28, 2014

Ménage at the Horseshoe Tavern on Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

MÉNAGE (Los Angeles / Toronto) Alternative

This band is made up of three siblings – Bela Ferreira, Basilio Fernando Ferreira, and Gabriel Ferreira.

ISO 3200 | f2.8 | 1/160

ISO 2500 | f2.8 | 1/160 * ISO 3200 | f2.5 | 1/160

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Website: www.menagetheband.com

Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Canon 50mm 1.8 II

Sun K @ Horseshoe Tavern – January 28, 2014

Sun K at the Horseshoe Tavern on Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

SUN K (Toronto, Ontario) “Folk ‘n’ Roll”

ISO 3200 | f2.5 | 1/160

ISO 1600 | f2.5 | 1/160

ISO 1600 | f2.5 | 1/160 * ISO 1600 | f2.8 | 1/125

ISO 1600 | f2.5 | 1/160

ISO 1600 | f2.8 | 1/125

ISO 1600 | f3.2 | 1/125

Website: www.sunkofficial.com

Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Canon 50mm 1.8 II