Chicago trio The Eternals opened for Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, providing a nice contrast between for the indie punk/rock set to follow. The Eternal's sound was thick and swampy, driven by Tim Mulvenna's tight percussion and Wayne Montana's slithering bass lines. Visually, however, frontman Damon Locks dominated the stage with his explosive dancing and spastic stylings on vox and keyboard.
Lighting for the Eternals was generally abysmal, consisting mostly of red or green mono-color washes with a little yellow light for accent. Still, this was perfectly expected going into the show, and I enjoy shooting at the Gargoyle not only for the great acts the book, but for the variation the experience provides in contrast to venues like the Pageant. With worst-case-scenario lighting assured, I'm free to get a little more dirty with technique than I do for other, more technically sophisticated lighting setups. And, with no shooting limit for the shows, the pressure is always lower, too.
The wide angle of the Nikon 17-55mm was invaluable for the Eternal's set, but with only an f/2.8 aperture, I let the shutter speeds slide to squeeze a little more light out of the zoom. I'm curious as to how the Nikon D3 will change my shooting habits for shows like this, and how the new camera may handle the challenging conditions compared to the D2x.
More than anything, timing was critical for this performance, given the dim lighting and seemingly impulsive movements of Locks and Montana. The frontman in particular was difficult to track, but was prone to holding his exaggerated positions for a second before springing off to the keyboard or his next pose.