Opening up for The Walkmen, Canadian duo Japandroids laid into a thrashing banger of a set at Off Broadway, the venue where I shot my first show. Just like that first gig, I came armed with a 50mm f/1.4 – but brought along the new Nikon 85mm f/1.4 and Niko 24mm f/1.4 for a full kit of blazing fast glass.
And in a small club like Off Broadway, you're going to need it.
Shooting in smaller clubs like with this show is a love/hate affair. With smaller clubs like this where there's really no possible chance of a photo pit, you simply have to line up early and try and grab your spot. I was on assignment to shoot The Walkmen, so I chose my position for the headliner's Hamilton Leithauser accordingly at the front of the stage. This executive decision paid off beautifully for The Walkmen.
So, what about Japandroids?
Though I'd chosen the spot for the Walkmen, my vantage point worked out pretty well for the openers, too – allowing for a nice capture of the duo with a little wide-angle. During the Japandroids set, the crowd was filling in fast, but there was technically enough room that I could have moved around while friends saved my chosen spot. Still, I find moving around in a small club while there are fans stagefront annoying. For fans and for myself.
Funnily enough, I didn't pull out the 50mm at all for the Japandroids. I found that the Nikon 24mm f/1.4 did a beautiful job for shots of Brian King on guitar and for group shots of the duo. For drummer David Prowse, I rocked the
Nikon 85mm f/1.4, which provided the perfect field of view. Moreover, the fast f/1.4 aperture of these lenses was a huge boon. I shot at wide open at f/1.4 at ISO 3200 on the Nikon D3 with a shutter speed hovering around 1/160.
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