Some huge life changes happened at the tail end of 2017. I quit my job at the end of September. And then I granted myself a month off, mostly for relaxation – and honestly I’m glad I did because I wouldn’t have been a good employee jumping immediately from the job I had to a new job. My mind doesn’t stay inactive very long though, so I also job hunted during that period. By mid-November I started up only a few blocks away from my old gig, and by December I was working two jobs – one for Bon Appetit at Google, and as an intern at a local Seattle concert venue, Neumos.
I had to seriously convince myself to apply for the intern position. Like I waffled for a few weeks, but the requirements were pretty easy, and I seriously had nothing to lose so I sent them a few examples and a short blurb and away I went. A week or two after I started my new gig, an email popped up telling me I had gotten the internship and like a month had gone by so I had pushed that far from my mind!
Long story short, every two weeks or so I go to a show at Neumos (or their lounge Barboza) and shoot for them, and in return I get into shows for free. So December I shot my first show – Jarv Dee with Tay Sean, Bruce Leroy, and Stas Thee Boss (DJ set). I ended up not staying for the whole show, my new job starts at 630am Monday through Friday.
Anyway, looking back on my shots, they weren’t the best. Barboza is tricky to shoot, lighting can be dim sometimes and since it’s a long thin room it gets crowded quickly.
Every December, Greenlake puts lanterns around the lake, and this year the weather held up so my mom and I walked the lake before I went to see and work the Kuinka with Sundog and Vaudeville Etiquette show. I had seen Kuinka before, when they were called Rabbit Wilde, a few years previous at Summer Meltdown, but hadn’t ever seen the others and they were really good! At this point, I was more comfortable with shooting in low light, and Neumos is the more spacious venue so I had more room to work with.
I followed Kuinka up with Collie Buddz playing with Two Story Zori and Jesse Royal. I really liked the two openers Two Story Zori and Jesse Royal. It should be mentioned now, if you’re into reggae music, the group da808music puts together regular amazing reggae shows throughout Seattle featuring local and popular islander bands.
To close out the year, I shot Grace Love with The Get Ahead and Carlene Crawford & The City Lights, and then Manatee Commune with Bayonne and Otieno Terry the day after. If you get the chance to see The Get Ahead (this was their first show in Seattle, they’re from PDX), do it! They’re high energy, and so much fun. Grace, is as always, so much fun, and I love her every time I see her. Otieno Terry was one of my most favorite 2017 musical discoveries, and Manatee Commune was another Summer Meltdown discovery (he played the same year Kuinka played) from the town I went to college in, and I haven’t missed a show of his since he won the distinction of most interesting band title that year at Summer Meltdown (a habit of mine when seeing festival lineups). Those two shows were the best way to end 2017.
Take-aways from this internship so far:
- Manatee Commune was by far the hardest to shoot – his visuals were amazing, but it was low light and he’s a very energetic performer
- Kuinka, Grace Love, and Manatee Commune were the only bands I was familiar with (and requested purposefully)
- Barboza is better in terms of intimacy, but shooting wise it’s more of a challenge
- The Manatee Commune show was the only show I went to at Neumos where the balcony was open – which I liked because I’m short and not very aggressive about pushing myself to the front, but Otieno Terry was the only artist I shot from up there – and I’m glad I did. His photos are probably my favorite set – and the easiest to edit