Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears at Off Broadway, 2.15.2012
"Shit. I’m late. Shit.”
The evening is already mostly over, and thanks to some bad online information, I approached Off Broadway and hear the telltale sounds of a live show.
I head in the front of the venue, and pay my cover. Rather, I try to pay my cover - the ATM is out of service. Instead, I grab a beer and tell the barkeep to add the price of a ticket.
The venue, already small, is packed — the floor covered in happy, sweat-drenched dancers. They perfectly mirror the band on-stage.
Arriving late to a small club show means one thing to a concert photographer: you aren’t getting the best shooting angles. I hold my beer close in my left hand, my D700 in my right. From where I am, my 50mm won’t do much good. I’ve got to get closer.
"Excuse me… thank you, I really appreciate it."
In a packed pit, kindness is the best way forward. I thank those willing to let me in to sneak a shot, and see some friends front and center. All the while, Black Joe Lewis and his backing band play like it’s the last show of their life — soul, funk, and rock combine into a powerful groove. Lewis takes off his jacket - it was too hot for it anyway - and grabs an old mic that’d been hidden on-stage. Cuts from Scandalous fill the room, and Lewis fills the songs.
The band takes it up another level, and I reach my friends. They let me shoot from their spot (thanks, guys), and I can’t help but get sucked into the band’s energy. I’m firing shots as fast as I can.
Two songs later, they leave the stage. I’m left with the impression that everyone in the room was thinking the same thing:
I wish I’d seen the whole thing.