Opening in support of VHS or Beta and Moving Units, Brooklyn-based Soft brought a mix of Britpop-inspired tunes that drew heavily from their 2007 release, Gone Faded. Flirting with shoegaze aesthetics in layers of swirling guitars, singer Johnny Reineck's codeine vocals made a smooth start to the night, loosening up the audience for the dance party to come.
With no pit at the Blender Theatre, I staked out a spot just house right of the mic stand and center monitors, which put me in prime position for photographing singer Johnny Reineck and bassist Dino Siampos.
While Reineck was a relatively static subject, with both hands fixed on the mic throughout the set, Siampos was a much more frenetic target in his space on stage, wheeling his instrument around and seeming to enjoy playing in one of the city's finer venues.
Compared to the later sets by Moving Units and VHS or Beta, the house lighting for Soft was relatively simple, with warm frontlighting on Reineck throughout the set, and a fair amount of hot white backlighting mixed with blue and red washes from the back of the stage.
If anything, the abundant backlighting provided a challenge for flare and metering, especially in the instances of the bright white light blaring from the back of the stage.
Due to the relatively abundant light, I shot with the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 at maximum aperture for Soft's entire set, and the range of the zoom left very little to be desired.
The f/2.8 aperture of the zoom was perfectly adequate for the light and I shot at shutter speeds between 1/80 and 1/160 at ISO 1600.