Here in Fort Collins, we just wrapped up FoCoMX, which is basically Christmas for the local music scene. Over the course of two nights, there were nearly 400 bands that played across 2 dozen venues in Fort Collins. Amy and the Peace Pipes were lucky enough to be selected, but in addition to playing I also had the chance to go out and do some shooting for the FoCoMA.
I ended up covering a lot of ground over the course of the night but still didn’t get to see many of the bands as I hoped. Rather than park myself at a single venue, I roamed throughout downtown and captured bands in venues of all sizes and lighting. Some made for some interesting challenges, but I’m overall pretty happy with how the images turned out.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve been out to shoot some bands, but I recently had the opportunity to catch some talented high school bands at the Downtown Artery in Fort Collins.
Cosmic Hot Sauce opened for My Dog Ate Chad, both which put on an awesome show for a packed crowd. It was a bit of the challenge to work on the extreme amount of red light that was being cast on faces, but I captured some pretty fun shots.
I need to confess something. I really hadn’t used my DSLR since Christmas before taking these pictures. This has been in large part of being busy, but also in part that my iPhone has been pretty good lately capturing snapshots of my family, combined with the fact that many activities have been out in the winter weather and didn’t want to risk the elements damaging my equipment – not the best solution, I know. My band also spent most of the winter hunkered down and recording, not playing many shows and thus not many opportunities to shoot bands.
Undercover Bear asked us to play their CD release show in late March, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to play with the Whisk(e)y’s lighting. Undercover Bear did an awesome job in creating some really memorable moments in their shows, with their choice of instruments, solos, changing off singers and even a wardrobe/accessory change. They had a packed room and awesome crowd, which made for a fun shoot.
Last night I had the opportunity to photograph Qbala, one of Fort Collins’ best rappers, and someone I’ve known since middle school. On Thursday she played her “farewell” show, as she’s gearing up for a move to Portland. In my involvement in the Northern Colorado music scene, few people work as hard towards their craft as Qbala does. It was definitely an honor to shoot such a great show that was packed to the gills.
This was also my first time shooting at Hodi’s Half Note, where the lighting proved to be a challenge. I went home last night afraid that most of my shots didn’t turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised that I had an abundance to choose from. The other challenge with this show was navigating the packed audience. While I was able to move around quite a bit during the opening acts, I found myself firmly entrenched on the front of stage left. The left side of the stage enabled me to get close-up shots (as Qbala’s face wasn’t blocked by her mic) but prevented me from getting the full body shots due to all of the DJ equipment blocking my angle. Halfway through her set, I moved further back to get some crowd shots and finally managed to get to stage right. There I finally got my full-body perspective shots.
My only regret was not being able to capture close-up shots in the middle of the stage to capture some of the emotional interactions – but with as crowded as everything was, it just wasn’t an option. I’ve posted a few of my favorites below, but you can see the whole gallery on Flickr.
Congrats on an awesome show, Qbala! Wishing you all the best in your next adventure.