CoMusic Review: Photos from Circa Survive at The Blue Note

Photographers notes: This show was both extremely difficult and interesting to shoot. The band brought their own lighting rig, which isn’t all that common for The Blue Note. So all the performers were awash with light nearly the entire show. I usually use my 50 mm f/1.8 prime lens since the lighting is usually so poor and my camera is useless above 800 ISO. But last night I could have used just about any reasonably fast lens. I found myself closing the aperture all the way to 5.0 to keep as much of the stage in focus as possible. Lead singer Anthony Green was very animated and interacted with the crowd more than anyone I’ve seen recently. Much of that was in the form of hand holding, which was kind of weird, but made for some good pictures since the crowd kept their hands up throughout the show.

On the other hand, the show was also very difficult to shoot. Though the Blue Note was not at capacity, the fans were very intent on being close to the front. Even though it’s rare at The Blue Note, I expected a barricade for a popular band that might inspire some moshing and dancing. But no such luck. No barricade, so I had to shoot from within the crowd. Getting a clear shot was difficult with everyone’s hands in the air. Furthermore, the crowd seemed to have a life of its own, ebbing and flowing. So an opening between heads and arms never lasted very long.

Overall, a fun show to watch (confetti canons!) and an equally fun show to photograph.
Additional photos available on flickr.

All photos by Benjamin Gross.

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