Friday, November 5, 2010

A Perfect Circle @ The Marquee Theatre

I heard about this show through an A Perfect Circle super-fan. The band booked three consecutive nights at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe to welcome the fans back to the music, and to try and spark a new flame between the members themselves. Did it work?

I don't know. I wasn't able to watch the entire show, you tell me pal. Plus, sometimes it's hard to tell if band mates like each other on stage when they are performing. Especially when one of those band mates is Maynard James Keenan. Maynard has some sort of (Caution: wild outsider accusation about to fly) front-man-egomania-slash-I'm-just-a-normal-person-don't-put-a-spotlight-on-me-I-need-to-keep-my-anonymity thing going on. To be very honest, and brutal, I just don't get it. I could try to understand it if Maynard was a bigger celebrity... I don’t want to say "more relevant"... but not as obscure as he is now. Tool has a huge following, and you could no doubt argue that most people with at least a respectable working knowledge of the music world have heard of Tool. But would they know Maynard from Mike Patton? Probably not. The only image I had of Maynard for the longest time was him laying naked on top of a great big fat lady on the CD sleeve of a Tool album.

Weird band/ego/politics aside... let's talk about the gig! I was contacted by Spin Magazine to cover the show. Every time I hear from them, I'm always humbled. The first time I shot for them I was really nervous. "Can't mess this opportunity up!" But now I try to just accept things as the come. I think there is an AA mantra in there somewhere. "Lord, give me the Grace Under Fire box-set to help accept the shoddy American TV schedule that I can't change."

I was a bit confused why they chose the Marquee as the starting point for this short "reunion tour starter". But, that is really just my own personal bias. Shooting at the Marquee is never easy. The lighting is always such a struggle there. Couple that with Maynard's "stand-at-the-back-of-the-stage-with-no-light-on-me" modus operandi and you've got a pretty serious shit sandwich... then to add mustard to the mix, the front of stage is lit with red and pink lights. I don't want to wax camera operation too much, but camera's don't like the reds. Especially not BRIGHT red. You loose definition, color is blown out, and photos turn out bad. This was a tough shoot, no doubt about it. There was a lot of work done in post to make some of these photos passable. "No, Luke, we think they look great! You're being over critical." Well, thanks. That's nice, just don't look too hard.

Seeing as this ended up being one of the harder shoots I've done in a long time, and the fact that the photos only turned out "ok" by my standards, I'm curious to see if I hear from Spin again.

Here is the link to my photos on the Spin page. Words by fellow New Times-ite, and Gundam warrior, Jonathan McNamara!

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