Friday, October 10, 2008

What are you wearing? A selection of black.

Just a few days after the blue jean fashion show at the Swedish Embassy, Maria and I rented a car, slipped on our biggest, blackest boots and drove out to the not quite anywhere, not quite somewhere of northern Virginia, a.k.a. the burbs, for a heavy metal music review at Jaxx Night Club.

First, let me say that I think everyone needs to fear (and at least be very suspicious of) the suburbs. This goes double when the reason for being there is named the Slave to the Metal Tour. So let's just say that our first impression of the place did little to alleviate this fear, or help us forget the hour we just traveled through rain and rush hour.

Situated between a Lebanese restaurant and a Korean-neon convenience store in one of those totally foreign, oddly similar strip malls, Jaxx, an icon of metal music to those "in the know", was .. well .. smelly (I totally forget what smoke in a bar is like.), a bit torn up, a bit torn down and very well worn. The most solid thing about the club being the pipe metal railing separating the stage from the sunken mosh pit (no glass bottles please), realm of sweat and teens with hawks (and intrepid photographers of which we were several). Not that it was a problem when no one patted me down at the door after I set off the metal detector, but somewhere in the back of my mind I did recall that possession of a fire arm is legal in VA bars ..

Fortunately, it didn't take long to forget the trek. Our initial suspicion, slammed and shaken when the music kicked on (with many thank you's from the bands to the sound technician - always the first sign of a good venue). Really and truly I miss this sort of music. Plus, I was allowed to get up on stage for some close up action shots!

Really, I love shooting in these conditions, when the light ranges from total darkness to blaring spots. I know it throws a lot of people into fits - but with music raging I find it hard to care. I shot all of these in RAW but did little to edit them beyond - what else - bumping up the black intensity level. You can see some of my favorites below - not all the best perhaps - but I'm trying to create a sense of the music and the venue with the set. You can view the rest (500+ images including Maria mugging at the Chinese food restaurant next door) here. My strategy was to move around a lot, try different angles, wait for some interesting light, frame the subject, but also compose the shot with the background in mind. Enjoy - I did.

A very special thanks to Tom and the entire band, DieManic , our host for the evening, who invited us out, and provided us a pair of free passes.

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