Kicking off the nighttime half of the show (ironically considering their name) and sixth to take the stage were New Sunglasses (新墨鏡). I’d never even heard of them before this, and in the introductory material it was mentioned that they recently got signed. Power to them — I ain’t no hater (mostly.)
For the most part, their music wasn’t bad. It was solid is basically the best way I can describe it. Actually, on second thought, ordinary would be a better word to use; there just wasn’t much that stood out. The sole exception to that statement was some very solid percussion. Ironically, the drummer was the one guy that didn’t really fit in with the general aesthetic of the group, lacking both the hipster look and the shiny sunglasses the band seemed to have named themselves after. I will say, though, that in general the sound was for the most part, tight. There was nothing that stood out as wrong in the sound and for the most part sounded very well practiced.
Performance-wise New Sunglasses suffers from the same widespread illness almost all other Taiwanese bands suffer from: lack of showmanship. In a perfect world, having great music alone would be enough to get people to go to live performances. But, this isn’t a perfect world, and that would be boring as hell. If you take a step back and look at what helps a lot of bands really take off, it’s that they have really great shows. I’m not talking about fireworks and dancers, but at the very least movement on stage and an attempt to interact with the public at some kind of personal level. While the crowd at New Wave wasn’t exactly that active, there was no active effort from the band to rile them up; something later acts did quite successfully.
All in all, New Sunglasses wasn’t the big hit I was expecting after perusing the festival material. Not that I bought into the propaganda, but rather that maybe that bar was set a little too high and then they couldn’t make good on it. I can see them opening for bigger acts, but if they ever want to be a headliner they’re going to have to work on the show end of things a lot more.
By the time New Sunglasses took to the stage, things had gotten completely dark. Here, again, I was thankful for the very well done lighting arrangement thrown on the stage. At this point I was settled in for a good light, nighttime concert shoot. Basically, 1/250 wide open at ISO800. At that ISO level, I still managed to get decent exposure with a limited amount of noise. Since this shoot, though, I’ve changed that baseline to ISO1600 after gaining a better understanding of how to deal with high ISO noise; so long as the frame is properly exposed in camera.
Other than that, there weren’t any huge challenges to shooting this show. The lighting was very nice throughout, except for a small spot on stage where the guy with the laptop was. And of course, like all good musicians, he had to be wearing black. Fortunately, the light design meant that even though he was darker than the rest, he had enough lights hitting him from different angles to give nice texture and a solid outline.
Nikon D7000 (Amazon)
Nikon AF 24mm f/2.8D (Amazon)
Nikon AF 50mm f/1.4D (Amazon)
Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8D (Amazon)