What do you get when you take everything awesome about a percussive multi-headed drum section, funky horns, smooth guitar and bass licks all paired together with hip hop circus, vaudeville burlesque, one hilarious cowboy MC, and a little bit ‘o something you just can’t explain… you get: MarchFourth Marching Band. Add that fantastic combination of originality and pull together a sellout crowd at The Independent, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a grand ‘ol time. And a grand ‘ol time is what everyone had during M4’s recent visit to San Francisco.
Having been to dozens of shows at The Independent I was in awe that there were about 20 musical performers crammed on the stage. They were joined, as were those of us in the crowd, by elegant dancers and stilt walkers throughout the show. When on the lookout for cool shows to photograph in San Francisco, I always keep my eyes on the The Independent, and when I saw this one, something told me it would be more than cool. And that’s not just the high school marching band dork in me. I had really only watched the promo video on their website, and checked out the few tracks they have up on MySpace, so I had a sense, but really had no idea what I was in for – except that I knew I was walking into a photographer’s paradise of an event that would be both exciting and challenging to capture.
Lighting at the Indy is often a little dimmer than I’d hope, and ISO was at or above 1600 at f/2.8 the whole time, but my strategy with this group was to continually rotate focus as best I could on each performer, and when it was their time to solo or stand out, follow the spot lights and wait for the right combination of expression, gesture and lighting to snap away. It was “one hell of a show,” and one I’ll certainly never forget! Sometimes I just bob my head and shoot, not here. Everyone, including me, was full on rockin’ the house!
Special thanks to Marnee of M4 for having me come out to make images of the group. I’m looking forward to seeing these guys back in SF this year! Seriously dudes, keep an eye out, and when they’re in your neck of the woods, pre-buy your tix and prepare to party your ass off.