Monday, March 8, 2010

Flying Blanket Compilation CD release party @ Martini Ranch

Beloved local record producer Bob Hoag hosted a CD release show Friday night for a compilation of band's he and his studio, Flying Blanket Recording, worked with over the last year. On the bill for the show were, presumably, his favorites: Dear and the Headlights, The Love Me Nots, Black Carl, Sister Cities, Kinch, and Gospel Claws.

I showed up just as Sister Cities were finishing their set. And by the sound of it, the crowd was loving it... chanting for one more song. I basically ran in snapped a few photos and they were off the stage. It was so quick, I really can't even comment as to their sound or performance.

Black Carl was up next, and I was again, distracted from the band's performance... having to run out of the venue after I got a few pics... I needed to grab another lens. As the night went on, the venue became more and more packed, and the need for two lenses became apparent. I needed a zoom and a wide angle.

By the time The Love Me Nots took the stage, I had elbowed my way (asked politely) up to the front of the stage and got myself into position. I had shot them before and knew they put on a great show. I started their set with my 17-40mm (which I didn't have with me the first time I shot them) to get some incredible wide shots, and the band did not disappoint.

Whether they were amping it up for the camera or the crowd, their set was very high energy and their presence really outshined the rest of the acts on the bill. Love Me Nots lead singer Nicole Laurenne turns animalistic when the music starts, throwing herself wildly around the stage, clawing at her fellow band mate Michael Johnny Walker on guitar, and nearly thrusting her signature Farfisa organ into bassist Kyle Rose Stokes... while host Bob Hoag smashes the skins as the bands drummer.

Last time I reviewed the band I was perhaps a little critical, but I thoroughly enjoyed their set this time. Sandwiched between bands, they really stand out on their own.

Dear And The Headlights ended the show. They are probably the better known band of the evening, and in fact, one of the better known Phoenix bands period. They definitely drew in the crowd... their acoustic based, semi-laid back indie sound was easy to swallow.

Bob Hoag was once again on stage, this time with a suitcase full of percussive instruments. On his website he calls himself a "wicked tambourine player", and he brought the fire to the stage... flinging his glasses to the ground playing two tambs at once, he brought some life to the otherwise fairly tame band.

It was a good night of shooting. The light was decent... but the 5D always just makes things that much easier... being able to shoot at ISO 5000 really helps in these smaller sized clubs.

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