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Reviews, Comments & Other Putdowns for this event (by Ray)

Off to the Viper Room in Hollywood to shoot Tap This (an all-girl tribute to Spinal Tap). My gear for the night was:

    • Camera: Canon 7D.
    • Flash: None.
    • Lenses: Canon’s 70-200mm f/2.8 and the 15mm Fisheye f/2.8. Sigma’s 24-70mm f/2.8.

Okay, here we go…

  • Venue Review: THE VIPER ROOM:
    I got there early enough to get a parking spot behind the venue, which was nice. Usually I have to park in the lot behind The Whiskey and walk down, which is not far at all but it’s always nice to be close. The place was not very packed at all so there was room to move around a bit during the bands but I really hate being the guy blocking the stage while taking photos so I was trying hard to stay low. From a spectator standpoint I’ve always thought it to be distracting when a photographer is constantly moving around and shooting the bands right up front so I was really making an attempt to stay clear while still getting the shots. The Viper Room is a GREAT place to see bands when the crowd-count is low but if it is packed it can be hell to even get to the bathroom; tonight was just right! Kinda sucks for the bands though… Fun place to photograph bands!

  • First Band: WILLEM & DAKOTA:
    Originally from Louisiana and now a part of the Los Angeles scene, Willem & Dakota play sort of a folky-rock brand of music that is very homegrown. I briefly spoke to Willem before the show and asked if it was cool to photograph the band and he gave me the okay – seemed like a nice guy. The link below will lead to a few different videos, a few of which are from this gig. Check ‘em out…

    See Willem & Dakota on YouTube

  • Second Band: TAP THIS:
    This was my second time shooting the band and was glad I made the trek to Hollywood to see them again. They opened with Big Bottom and tore through another 30 minutes of great Spinal Tap tunes that included Stonehenge, Hell Hole and Tonight We’re Gonna Rock You. They sounded great and left the audience wanting more. I know bands get bummed when they can only do a half hour set but I’ve always thought that bands that play in clubs should never do more than a 40 minute set. Shorter sets force the band to tear through as many songs as they can in a small window and hopefully get off on a high note, which leaves the crowd hungry. They are a fun band to see live so go support some great rock n roll!

  • Third Band: SKIP DIXON:
    This band was a little refreshing as they were not the typical band one would expect to see in a lineup with nothing but rock-based bands. They were a six piece group that had deep roots in soul with a slight splash of classic Herbie Hancock piano every so often. I like my music gigs to contain a wide mix of performances and this is what I got this night thanks to this band. If you like mellow soul music then go check them out if they are in your area.

    I couldn’t find anything on the web on Skip Dixon so if anyone knows how to get in touch with them please let me know. Thanks…

  • Fourth Band: THE VIOLET LIGHTS:
    This was my first time seeing the band and I got the impression that this group means business as they are a no-frills, straight-ahead rock band. They are not the typical rock band that I usually go for like The Murder City Devils, Clutch or Zeke, rather they are more in the alternative realm with some hooky phrasing that will probably get them some radio play. My initial thought when I was watching them is that they would be a good addition to a Killers gig or even Rilo Kiley, although a little heavier than both of those bands. You can sample some of their music on their site, linked below.

  • Fifth Band: LUZ DE LUNA:
    Straight ahead rock-n-roll. I believe that they do all their tunes in spanish… I stuck around for the first four songs but had to take off and make the haul back home but I got the idea of what they were about; classic rock en español! They have a good sampling of their music on their MySpace so give ‘em a listen.

    Nuff said…

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