Through a donation by the management of the band, we were giving free roam of this gorgeous Spanish-gothic style theater that not only housed a great cinema selection and vaudeville back in its heyday, but also staged some of the biggest names in music. We are talking about bands such as Slayer, Metallica, the Dead Kennedys, R.E.M, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Motörhead. Patrick Colvin of the Friends of the Historic Variety Theatre, told us Motörhead literally brought the house town that evening as the plaster of the ceiling began to fall onto the crowd. It was the beginning of the end for being a concert hall as the noise pollution was too much for surrounding residents and at this point, the place was showing its age.
With so much history attached to the Variety Theatre, it does leave behind a reminiscence of permanent residents roaming the venue. Yes. I'm talking about ghosts. Alongside a great history lesson by Patrick, he disclosed about spirits that still reside in the building. A woman in a white dress with piercing red eyes, playful children, and voices that echo the amphitheater were just a few he recalled on with interesting stories and occurrences he had encountered.
The future of the beautiful venue is currently in the hands of donations, grants, and money collected from residents living above the theater to restore it in its glorious form. If you have a chance to check this out, please do. They do offer tours and walk-a-rounds through donations and it's totally worth it. To donate to the nonprofit Friends of the Historic Variety Theatre and for updates, follow them on Facebook.
The first thing that made this come together (besides the killer location) was having the band show up with a matching style of threads. I can't tell you how much this helps for a shoot to bring "unity" to a band.
I placed the guys on the stage for this shot for a couple of reasons. One, it's a friggin' old stage with great rock history. And two. The aged look of the mechanics of the theater conceptualized the look of a rock-n-roll band. Very simple. A total of 4 lights were used for this shot you see above. Two flash strobes angled 45 degrees, camera left and right. Two halogen work lights placed behind the band for a shadow to dramatize the overall image.
Entendre are in the studio now and one of their tracks include hip hop artist, Matt Gisbrecht of PFV. I will be honest. I am not a rap/hip hop fan by all means, but I listened to some of his tracks and the beats and lyrics are very real and hit all your emotions. Matt is such a down-to-earth guy and was honored to work with him that day!
I changed my setup when Matt got into this shot. Used a SB-910 flash camera right to light the guys of Entendre where my second flash attached with a snoot to direct the light towards Matt, without filling in light from the guys behind.
Thank you Entendre, RC (band's manager), PFV, and Patrick for letting everything come together with positive vibes and a great working atmosphere! I would also like to thank the spirits of the Variety Theatre for not draining my batteries or photo bombing my images. Even though it would of been really neat if a couple orbs or eyes peered in my shots. :P