Blue Kid, Part 1

I have too many pictures from this set, so I’m betting it’ll go two parts.

Blue Kid is a group formed in Brooklyn by their lead singer, Lydia Benecke. I had never heard of them before this show. I looked up their website and videos on YouTube before the show so I would have some idea of what I was getting into. I wasn’t sold by those videos, though. But their live show had me hook, line, and sinker from the start. Blue Kid is a great and entertaining live band, led by an energetic and quirky Bernecke, who’s comfortable on the stage and delivers the set with emotion and conviction.

Blue Kid at Mexicali Live in Teaneck. NJ December 1 2012

85mm, f/2.5, ISO 2500, 1/250s

The set started with an a capella bit, with Bernecke standing alone in front providing her own percussion by smacking her chest and legs/hips to keep the beat. It worked. (You can see the opening number on YouTube from a different venue. I haven’t seen any iPhone videos from the Mexicali Live show on YouTube yet…)

85mm, f/2.5, ISO 2000, 1/160s

And as a photographer, you’re immediately drawn the animated one in front of the band who isn’t hiding in a shell. This is the fun stuff.

More pics of the rest of the band after the break!

85mm, f/2.0, ISO 2500, 1/320s

The rest of the band was a little better lit than the previous group, but the drummer, Damian Vancamp, still had little chance of being photographed. Too small a stage, too many people and objects between him and myself. I call this one “Drummer in Repose with Rembrandt Lighting”:

Blue Kid drummer at Mexicali Live, December 1, 2012

85mm, f/2.0, ISO 2500, 1/160s

This may be the only concert photograph ever taken of a drummer where you can’t see the drumsticks. I’m a rebel!

The guitarist, Matty Brogan, fared better:

Blue Kid at Mexicali Live on December 1, 2012

85mm, f/1.8, ISO 3200, 1/160s

You can see from the settings that he’s only as bright as he is because I ramped up the ISO and slowed down the shutter a hair. Otherwise, he was better shadowed.

The bassist, Nick West, was standing behind the piano, out of sight and in deep shadows. Here’s my best shot at him:

Blue Kid at Mexicali Live, December 1, 2012

85mm, f/2.0, ISO 4000, 1/160s

I had no chance at him cleanly. The mic on the piano was always in the way. It’s as good there as it’s going to get.

And, finally, the man tickling the keyboard, Matt Skrzynski:

Blue Kid at Mexicali Live on December 1, 2012

85mm, f/2.0, ISO 3200, 1/160s

I had a tough time finding a shot with him where his face looked “right” in a still shot. Sometimes. that happens with people. They look natural and comfortable in a live performance, and every shot you bring home has a contorted face. That’s what high speed burst mode is supposed to help with.

I have a lot more pictures, though they’re mostly of Benecke. Like I said, she was a dynamic lead for the band and the camera is drawn to her. Lots of different looks, lots of opportunities. We’ll do a Part Two just for those pics soon.

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