Loop live: the Soundheads

one of the curses of following a certain type of British, and European, bands is that they never make it to the USA for tours. and, some of them just come over sporadically — looking at you Tindersticks.

I am still holding out hope for the reunited Slowdive to make it to the USA, but I never thought that the reunited Loop would come to San Francisco. despite a bout with the cold/flu/crap-feel, it was a concert to attend. that it was three bands (+ Carlton Melton and White Fence), and it would start at 9pm was the worst to expect when sick, but hey...

Rob Hampson (Loop) at the Great American Music Hall (San Francisco)

Rob Hampson (Loop) at the Great American Music Hall (San Francisco)

an unusual situation was that there were no other people with cameras up front. there were more headbanging people, and that was great. so I was the only one with a non-phone camera up front, and another person with access taking some photos here and there from the side of the stage.

the concert was grand, and lived to all the desired experiences of seeing live music that was some 23 years since it was first heard, when I stumbled upon the release of Fade Out. then came Arc-Lite, which is actually the album I play the most, and the band disbanded soon after.

photographically, this was the first time that I would have brought out the Canon with all the fast lenses for the proper capturing of a favorite band live. however, I opted to use the since-the-last-time expanded suite of lenses that go with the Fuji X-Pro. also, while I have a 24mm lens with the Canon, for the Fuji I have a 12mm (18mm equivalent) Zeiss lens — I am not too wild about wide-angle lenses. the drawback, compared to the Canon system, is a ƒ2.8 vs ƒ1.4, but the ISO performance of the Fuji could make up for it, and I hoped that Loop was not a we-run-on-stage band. so the Fuji arsenal is a nice range: (Zeiss) 12mm ƒ2.8, 23mm ƒ1.4, 35mm ƒ1.4, 53mm ƒ1.2, and (Zeiss M-mount) 85mm ƒ4. this was the first time trying out the 53mm (x1.5 crop factor), and it is excellent.

I was also glad that I am dwindling down on the number of photos I take. certainly just getting a couple of shots that, because of the fast lenses being at full aperture, it is to get the microphone in focus and see what happens. this is a peculiar way to approach the composition and focus, which was forced as a solution to very poorly lit concerts, but now I do it regardless of the lighting condition.

this was the second time I caught Carlton Melton, and I have to see them more often, and get some of their music. rare is the opening act that makes me take notice — and I wish it was quite different to that common outcome.  they had opened for Wood Shijps in late January, and I forgot the name or to do something about it. this time, it will be more proactive... and a great opening band for Loop.

• liminal eye on concerts and my photography [ link ]
• Loop [ link ]
• Carlton Melton [ link ]
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