Venue: Universal Bar & Grill
City: Hollywood, CA
Set length: About an hour
Tap This 9:00 PM
Yidhra 10:00 PM
Melodi and I headed down to the Hollywood area to support and photograph Yidhra at a bar we had not been to yet. My gear for the night was:
- Camera: Canon 7D
- Flash: None, other than the peanut flash that it comes with, but I didn’t use it at all.
- Lenses: All Canon. 70-200mm f/2.8, 15mm fisheye f/2.8, 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5
So this was the first time I had the 7D in a really low-light scenario and I wanted to see how this camera’s ISO (basically an exposure control of light) would handle a poorly lit stage. Well, not only was it poorly lit but the only lights that seemed to reach the bands was pinkish-red in hue. Think of the lighting in there as food heatlamps in a diner. I wanted to see how the AWB (auto White Balance) of the 7D camera handled this environment. So, I decided to use a really high ISO, which ranged between 6400 and 12800, and kept the White Balance at Auto. The results? Everything pinkish in color and extremely grainy. I had to white balance to my liking in Post. Good test but I should have white-balanced! Nuff said, here are the reviews…
We got there early and found a parking spot right in front so we didn’t have to search for parking miles away. This bar is okay; small, kinda divey, everyday people, not bad service, inexpensive… Pretty much everything you would normally get from a regular bar. Now, if you’re the Ed Hardy wearing and smellin’ type then you won’t like this place, nor will they like you. Sure, I saw a couple of douche-nozzles there but not the pretentious or Jersey Shore type – and by “Jersey Shore” I mean the TV show. Most of the people were regular, everyday people having a good time. Two Dive-Bar thumbs up!
Check em out on Yelp (link below), although you really do have to read between the lines on the reviews to get an accurate rating. When someone complains that a band was supposed to go on at 9:30 and were bumped to 10:30 then it’s probably not a legitimate reason for giving a 1-star. You’ll figure it out but I would say to definitely check out this bar as long as you don’t have pampering expectations. If you like the Double Down or Dino’s in Vegas then you’ll get along fine but if you like to sip champagne (with strawberries in your drink) at the Wynn Lounge then skip this place.
Universal Bar & Grill on Yelp
Their official website:
Reviews, comments, and possible putdowns for Tap This…
An all-girl tribute to Spinal Tap – very nice! I approached the drummer of the band as we were going in and asked if it was cool to shoot Tap This and she was very sweet and said “sure.” Thanks Paloma! The group definitely had the songs down, and aside for a few flubs (like The Tap didn’t have any flubs, right?) I thought they sounded good. The only part I think would make them even better is if they were to stay in character throughout the set. That film has SO many great lines that could be used it seems to be a shame to take a tribute so far and miss out on the comedy aspect that made that film so brilliant. My initial thoughts were: The opening line to every show should be “Hello Cleveland…” Also, I would love to see David and Nigel get into an argument mid-set causing Nigel to quit the band on the spot and they rip into Jazz Odyssey – of course Nigel would re-join right after that song to finish the set. And where was Derek’s foil-wrapped cucumber? I could go on and on about the different scenarios and banter they could perform, but who am I to tell a band what they should and shouldn’t do, right? The band went to the lengths of having a 18″ (to size) Stonehenge appear, wore the robes, had the mannerisms, and even dressed a little like Spinal Tap so why not take it that one more step and make it into a Comedy/Rock set as well?!? I saw Spinal Tap live MANY years ago and their songs would just not have worked on stage without the banter and comedy peppered in between them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bagging on Tap This at all as I thought they were a lot of fun and played the songs well but a full tribute could catapult them to a new level and get them a lot of new fans. I will definitely go see them again and hopefully get the chance to photograph the band in a venue with better lighting.
My rating of the band? Despite missing out on the banter I still give them the full Maloik (id est: Devil Horns, Leviathan Horns, etc.) Go support them next time they are in your area – thanks again, Paloma!