Fronted by Al Barr, the Boston-bred group stormed the stage complete with their piper in tow and had a sea of fists in the air from the opening beats.
Mixing punk, hardcore, Irish folk, and working-class aesthetics, the Murphys have carved out a rabidly strong following through their constant touring and explosive live shows. The band is currently touring in support of their 2007 major-label release, The Meanest of Times.
Photographer's Notes:Oi! The Murphys go on stage a few ticks after 10:00 PM; three songs, 89 frames, and seven minutes later, the fourth song is starting and I'm exiting the pit.
For the first three songs, weak blue backlighting set the mood, contrasting high white light from high in the rafters that lit Al Barr and his crew at the front of the stage.
In addition to the blue wash from the back, there were accents of green and orange that came into play briefly.
Lense & Gear:
I stuck with the Nikon D3 and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 for this set. This range was generally fine for this set, though I would have liked to see how the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 would have done for long shots of frontman Barr given the high contrast lighting on his face.
The toughest aspect for this shoot was the fact that there was no fill for the first three songs, so lighting was reduced to a very contasty treatment on stage.
Range aside, there wasn't a whole lot of time to change lenses, but the midrange did do a fine job.
Exposure & Metering:
By quantity, there was plenty of light for this set, though the intensity did vary enough to bounce between ISO 2500 and ISO 6400 between the front and back of the stage, respectively.
I shot wide open at f/2.8 and a range of shutter speeds between 1/200 and 1/320. I could have kept the ISO even lower, but I wanted to keep shutter high enough to stop the constant motion on stage.
Between the high, thin lighting and punk rock action on stage, this was a rough shoot, and I couldn't help but think of how this show would have played at a venue half or even a quarter of the size.