Sit Down And Shut The Fuck Up! is Revolver’s monthly acoustic night, where the venue’s second floor transforms into a cozy, intimate place to sit down and listen to talented musicians jam the old fashioned way. Usually taking place on the first Thursday of every month, due to various factors it was delayed until the second week of April (Note: In May it will also take place on the second Thursday: May 10th). As I stated in last month’s post, I’m not a big fan of open mic nights in Taiwan, but acoustic nights at Revolver are definitely the exceptions.
Last month I only got to stick around for a few artists, but this time around I made an exception and went past my normal self-imposed curfew (meant to keep me out of trouble). I won’t be reviewing as much and just kinda chilling, giving a recap and then unleashing a ton of photos. Originally I hadn’t even planned on going, but a last minute on-site photo shoot for none other than Mike Mudd meant that I was there, with a lot of gear, and pretty motivated.
For this installment of Sit Down And Shut The Fuck Up!, there was a pretty long line-up, featuring performers both old and new to grace Revolver’s stage for acoustic night. Veterans to the event included Mike Mudd, Early, Nathan Javens and Brodie Talbot. There were also some new faces on stage (I didn’t catch everyone’s names so I’m just not going to embarrass myself with my poorly written notes in the dark — I swear I’ll just ask management next time), some of whom brought with them interesting instruments (a cello and a cajón) to the normal mix of acoustic guitars. Hell, there was even a surprise visit by none other than the police — as in Taipei’s finest, not the legendary band of days past. That in and of itself was a pretty entertaining few minutes, and I’m kinda miffed I didn’t get carded. Really, people?
If you’re free the first Thursday of any given month and you want to give your ears a rest from all the noisy, amp driven music we’re all constantly exposed to, Sit Down And Shut The Fuck Up! is just what the doctor ordered. When a night of good music, affordable drinks and very interesting company are in store, what else could one want?
This was a very atypical shoot for me, since I was actually carrying all my gear. I mean everything, including my tripod and a light stand. While the former didn’t perform any function other than weigh me down (I carry it to paid shoots just in case), I actually did put the light stand to use. While I’m not exactly a purist in the whole never-use-flash-in-concert-photography thing, I tend to reserve strobes for ridiculously challenging lighting situations where I want to have at least a few frames where I know everything at least got exposed and I know the venue allows it.
From my last time at Sit Down And Shut The Fuck Up!, I knew that the light would be great for the most part, but there would be some pretty deep shadows from certain angles. Instead of trying to juggle blown-out highlights or completely blacked-out shadows, I simply asked if I could set up a light stand with a strobe on it. Approved! It was like a minor dream come true, since I’ve always just wanted a wee little bit of fill light at Revolver. On my stand the SB-700 went, coupled with my Yongnuo YN-04II about a meter from the stage along the left wall. Flash settings were manually set at 1/128 power, zoomed to 35mm (FX). Again, the idea here was to add fill to an angle I knew would be dark, and it paid off wonderfully.
Camera settings varied, dependent mostly on the angle I was shooting from and what lens I was using at the moment. Since the YN-04II doesn’t allow for TTL signals, I had my strobe set to a middle of the range setting in the sense that I started with ISO1600 for my calculations, but I knew I could vary the effect by changing both ISO rating and aperture. This way, if things were too dark I could either open up the aperture or dial in more sensitivity on my camera, meaning I didn’t have to walk back to my flash to change settings at all. As such, for some shots I went all the way down to ISO100 because I was shooting at f/1.4, while others I stayed at ISO1600 and closed down to f/4. The end result was a night of all useable frames, nicely balanced and without an obvious I used a strobe on this effect. Almost makes me wish I could always pull that off.
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)
Nikon SB-700 (Amazon)
Yongnuo YN-04II (Amazon)