If you follow me here on my blog, or on Facebook you probably think I’m obsessed with the live hip-hop band GOLDTOOTH… I’d say it’s a pretty accurate statement. These guys have been killing it for about a year and a half now (possibly longer.) Having only missed a small handful of their shows, I can say with certainty, they are the best hip-hop band EVER. ((I do not have to say this. My Mister maybe be the drummer, but you can ask him… I am incapable of pretending to be into something when I’m not. ESPECIALLY music!))
When you put together a band who have collectively paid their dues for decades you really can’t get anything less than a stellar performance. Every show is a little different. Some nights the guys from the Iron Bar Collective join them. Sometimes the dudes from the Sgt. Dunbar Band get up and rock with them. Animal Cracker, Dephyant, Shyste, Mirk, mic lanny, Deejay Tone, Triuneand, and Trumaster have also been known to join them on the stage.
Every show I’ve gone to, I’ve photographed. I have hundreds of pictures of these guys. HUNDREDS, and if I count all the crowd bumping shaky pictures… there are thousands.
That’s right. I have taken thousands of pictures at these shows. Occasionally, I’ll even “film” (press the video button on my iPhone) part of a set. AND sometimes I will do both simultaneously, with a beer carefully balanced in the side pocket of my bag.
At this particular show in Valentine’s (Albany NY’s best music/beer joint) the area in front of the “stage” was so dark. I avoid camera flashes as much as I can, and I’ve never ever brought one to a show. Photographing live music is hard. You have to be patient and wait. If you don’t wait… you’re wasting frames. I know on a digital camera it doesn’t matter, but when you are just “clicking” you aren’t aware, you are not paying attention. You can’t feel the music, really notice that moment when the light falls just right above a base player, or be able to anticipate when someone is going to put their whole body into it.
You’re just hoping to “get lucky”. I did that in the past. When I first met my husband, I would just throw my arm up and click. I’d never photographed live music before, and I couldn’t understand why everything sucked. I would take 400-500 pictures and get MAYBE 15 pictures I was OK with.
I don’t remember the moment when everything clicked. When I stopped hoping and practiced patience, I just know that it happened.
I do get really lucky at GOLDTOOTH shows, and a lot of that luck comes from a guitar/keyboard player who brings his own lighting to the shows. I’ve learned to work with these lights. I know the way they move/change/flash. I can anticipate what they will do during certain beats of the drums. I don’t know if they are somehow synced to the music, or if it’s just in my head, but I know them. I know them better than I know some people.
As amazing as these lights are, the front of the stage is still dark, and if the guys who are joining the band don’t get on the stage, I can’t photograph them. There’s no light to pull from.
At this particular show, there was someone in the crowd using a flash. I was recording this video and watching the light travel over their faces. With my camera in my right hand, my iPhone in my left, a beer in my pocket, and someone else in the crowd taking a photograph… I was able to get this shot:
Here is the video,
GOLDTOOTH – “Old Man” (live) with Shyste and DePhyant
At somewhere between 2:44 and 2:46 you can see the blast of light I was provided in order to get the above shot. Shyste almost looks like he was added later to the picture, but he wasn’t. This is pretty much what it looked like right off the back of my camera.
Multitasking is fun.
You shouldn’t just jump to 2:44, you should dig it, and if you dig it, your local, and you’re free Friday night, you should come out. GOLDTOOTH is going to be kickin’ it with Masai at the Albany Public Library!
I’ll also be there doing what I do. We can bump elbows. It’ll be fun.
Check it. Masai’s awesome and he even tossed in a LOST reference. Dude scores points for that one. *hi-five*
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Sarah Beck Photo | Amsterdam, NY | firstname.lastname@example.org
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