Torgeir Waldemar in Vera

In the past few weeks I’ve been looking for some interesting concerts to end the year with. I ran into an announcement of a gig in Vera, listened to a soundclip and thought that this could be an interesting option. Turned out Torgeir Waldemar was one of the highlights of the year!

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Ane Brun in De Oosterpoort

About 10 years ago I saw Ane Brun on a little stage at the Take Root festival that was then still held in my hometown. In a little hall, between plastic cactus in a corduroy suit Ane played and it was simply fantastic. I haven’t seen her since and so ten years on it was about time and the gig in the Oosterpoort was the perfect opportunity.

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Motorpsycho in Vera

The Vera venue in Groningen is having an incredible stream of fantastic acts this year. Very alternative and very very good. In this endless stream of great gigs the also mentioned that shortly after the Norwegian Shining gig, fellow psychedelic rockers Motorpsycho were stopping by. Motorpsycho! Wow, now there was an act I just had to see. Permission was arranged via kind permission of the venue. The show was sold out (or at least nearly as a few extra tickets came available a bit before the show) and I was at the venue well in time to see the street having been blocked from cars and busses driving in. Now I know that at a sold out gig there can be quite a queue, but a blocked street? It turned out that they were also celebrating the basketball club Donar’s championship in Groningen.

Anyway, I headed back to the venue and was still well in time to find a nice spot center stage. Tonight would be quite exciting as it was also the real test for the new 5DmkII camera. It would turn out to be a huge test as the light was very challenging and atmospheric (it was and it sounds a lot better than saying it was crap for photography ;)), so I got to test nearly every setting of the camera.

The gig was awesome, absolutely incredible. It rocked, jammed and set up a huge wall of sound. No opening act and including two sets of encores it lasted well over three hours and I loved every exhausting minute of it. Stage setup was a bit different as the drums were on the lest front side and there were loads of attributes on the stage. Would have made some great photos, but unfortunately the light wasn’t very good for that. But thanks to the high ISO settings of the camera I was able to get most of the gig at least

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Editing the photos after the gig took some time, the images of the new camera are really huge. At 21 mega-pixels per image the 4gig cards fill up very fast and the eventual set takes up a huge amount of space. I’ll have to learn to be a bit more selective me thinks. But the camera is a big thumbs up. Will make a fabulous combination with the 1DmkIII

Shining in Vera

A couple of years ago, during Eurosonic, I was en route with Storm, the lead man of Running from venue to cafĂ© to bars. Anywhere they held gigs. One of the gigs Storm wanted to see was by Shining. I hadn’t a clue as to what it was, but tagged along, shooting photos of any band we saw. And so we ended up in the upper floor of Shadrak in Groningen where Shining was playing. I didn’t really have much tome to take in the music. The light was terrible and the only thing I remembered afterward was that is was stupendously loud and fast with the lead man switching between guitar and saxophone almost as much as I switch lenses on my camera during a gig.

But I really wanted to see them at a gig where I really had the time to take in the music and so I was very happy to see the announcement at Vera that the Norwegian (there’s also a Swedish version and that’s quite different) Shining was coming to Groningen. Yesterday I got to see them in action and it was brutal. Loud, powerful metal with fast saxophone played jazz pieces. It took a few songs to get my head around it, but it turned out I really enjoyed myself. Great fun

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