Photos: Entendre Promo Shoot @ The Variety Theatre

Sunday, I was hired to shoot Entendre's new band promo at a place, not any 'general' place, but a location with a much historic past that began in 1920s. I'm speak of the 88 year old Variety Theatre located in west Cleveland.


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 Shoot

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 w/ Matt Gisbrecht of PFV

Entendre w/ Matt Gisbrecht of PFV

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

Photos: Red Sun Rising w/ Flight 619 @ The Kent Stage

Photo Credit: Jeff Weaver

Photo Credit: Jeff Weaver

A new city, a new venue. Saturday, Red Sun Rising had their much anticipated CD release show for "Polyester Zeal" at the Kent Stage here in Kent, Ohio where Flight 619 got to officially start the party that evening. Up until the event, there was A LOT of buzz circulating around Facebook, even a few articles printed in the newspaper leading up til tonight, so it wasn't a surprise to show up minutes before showtime (and parking my vehicle 3 blocks away) to find the theater filled up.

It was really great to see everyone there I recognized that have been following my work from past shows. I'm not the one to pride myself in a room, because if anyone knows me, I'm the guy who rather stray the shadows, but it felt great to receive the appreciation.

Jeff Weaver was taking photos of everyone holding up a over-sized signed print of Red Sun Rising's album, so he caught Greg (Flight 619's manager) and I just upon my arrival. Thank you Jeff!

Flight 619

When I asked Greg if everyone was accountable for tonight, he told me yes, but Dakota was feeling the butterflies settle in. Immediately upon stepping inside the theater, I told myself, "this has to be their biggest crowd they've played to date". As soon as they were introduced, it was quite the opposite. Dakota stormed out behind the curtain in her signature pilot cap, sporting some kitty leg stockings and totally OWNED that stage! It was something I've never seen her do with this much confidence. She worked the whole stage, amped up the crowd during key parts of the songs, and even shared the mic together with boyfriend/guitarist, Cody as they both sang key parts together. Even Cody's brother filled in on bass and everything seemed to be operating on all cylinders. Congratulation performance!

Red Sun Rising

With the place as busy, I was crammed in the front, center stage. But thankfully, I was surrounded with familiar faces thanks to Charlie and Christine for making room for my skinny butt up front. RSR opened with "Push" and the crowd, now in full force as everyone had their arms waving in the air. It was nice to see, but not entirely fun to shoot without taking out someone with an elbow. With my bubble being shared with others, the only thing separating me from the stage was this little; I don't know what do call it, cubby size barrier area which required you so pop a squat. I was told I wasn't allowed, but after seeing another person in there and the view obscured from anyone hired to kick me out, I thought I stretch my legs a bit and 'gymnastic' my way over it. Now the only thing I had to worry about was the possibility of beer being spilt over me (thankfully did not occur) or someone petting my head, which I could of careless at the moment (which happened on a few occasions).

Another great performance by everyone in RSR. I got a lot of keepers for my portfolio!