Before I start rambling, I want to mention that we are lucky to have an additional review by Emily Moser in this post. It follows my very informative and delightful piece about camera settings. However, if for some unknowable reason you may want to skip my disorienting banter and just scroll down and start with hers, wise decision. But If you do like being disoriented after all, go ahead and start at the beginning. You have my permission.
I have to say, I’m really warming up to photographing music at the North Carolina Museum of Art. (the site is officially called the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr. Theater in the Museum Park). The place attracts a fine crowd. Very comfortable. A place where you actually DO want to spread a blanket and lay back, perhaps after an hour or so walking the galleries and the latest exhibitions a few feet away at the ‘ole museum. Procure a bottle of vino offered on site, maybe some dinner too, a few T-shirts to remember the wonderful evening by, and finish things off with homemade ice cream….AND A CONCERT!
This was another sold out show at the museum. I asked a friend of mine that was there if she would like to write something about the evening, so I’ll stop wasting your time and just cover my camera settings for those of you that have interest in this kind of thing, and then Emily can share her experiences with you. But first, my awesome camera settings!
I used my two old Canon 5D Mark II camera bodies, with the Canon 24-70mm 2.8 and 70-200mm 2.8 lenses affixed. We had plenty of daylight for the first set with Jenny Lewis, so my settings ended up at a shutter speed of 200 at F2.8 with an ISO of 800. As usual all concert photographers were given the first 3 songs, with no flash, and Father John Misty’s first song was in almost total darkness. Sure it sets the mood for the ticket holders, but not the photographers. We just sat there crying into our lenses. Then the lights went on for tunes 3 & 4 and we scrambled. I’ll tell you what, next time (is there ever a next time?), I’m gonna wear my skater knee pads at this venue! Photographers can’t stand in the pit. We have to sit or crawl as the pit is just two feet below the stage and you can’t stand up in front of the audience. This concrete is super rough stuff…just tears everything up, and with an old creaky body like mine crawling around, trying to keep the two cameras from dragging across the concrete and shooting the show at the same time with just the two songs left, and quick fast tunes at that… lets just say it was very enlightening ($#%&#!!!). I ended up with a shutter speed of 125 at F2.8 with an ISO of 1600.
Father John Misty and Jenny Lewis at North Carolina Museum of Art. “Father John Misty World Tour 2018”
By: Emily Moser
Wednesday night was the perfect evening for a concert at the North Carolina Museum of Art. With ideal weather and the fabulous Jenny Lewis as an opening act, Father John Misty said it was “one of the best live music moments I have had in a long time.”
Jenny Lewis, the indie rock singer/songwriter from Las Vegas, started off with a slower number. Enthusiasm quickly grew with each song until it turned into an absolutely rocking show. Lewis went back and forth from playing guitar and keyboard while dancing with band members and holding up peace signs. Her style gave off a 70s-vibe making her music feel relatable and groovy. She performed an amazing show while setting a great mood for Father John Misty to follow. (review continued with FJM photos below)
Fog machines flipped on and Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, took the stage.
He started with “Nancy From Now On”, a hit off his 2012 album Fear Fun and a personal favorite. As a fan, the set list was exactly what I was hoping for- an equal representation of songs from all four of his albums. It featured upbeat songs like “I’m Writing a Novel” from Fear Fun, eerie love songs like “Please Don’t Die” from his newest album God’s Favorite Customer”, and more perplexing philosophical tones like “Ballad of a Dying Man” from Pure Comedy.
Tillman seemed to open up the more he performed. From a few rhythmic steps to swinging mic stands, spontaneous dance moves, and full audience engagement. In part, this is due to the nature of the songs in the later part of the set. Further, “Hangout at the Gallows,” “Bored in the USA,” and “Pure Comedy” are slightly unnerving tones with sarcastic lyrics meant to make listeners question society and their place within it. He sang with full conviction while enjoying his lyrics; he seemed to act them out as he sang, emphasizing particular lines, making hand gestures, and connection completely with the music. Jenny Lewis came back on stage to join Tillman in an incredible performance of “God’s Favorite Customer.” A huge presence and personality on stage, FJM felt confident, captivating, charismatic, and iconic; the audience, including me, soaked up every moment.
After the main set, Tillman and the fans were not done yet, as he returned moments later for an encore performance. Candidly, he admitted to having “a bit too much fun in Durham” the night before. Performing “Real Love Baby,” and “I Love You, Honeybear,” Tillman finished with fan favorites. He mentioned the perfect weather and the loud hum of the crickets, re-emphasizing that the night was “one of the best live music moments” he has had in a while.