The Unpossible Stand-up Challenge

I went down to the Stand-up Challenge hosted by UnpossibleNL at the LSPU Hall last night.

Starting at 8, I was invited to go backstage to meet and capture these brave individuals that were going to attempt stand-up comedy, most of them, for the first time. 

Unpossible Newfoundland & Labrador is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving people of all ages and all skill levels more non-competitive, meaningful, and fun opportunities to be creative.”

Backstage, saying hello to many familiar faces, Swervy, Brad, Elling, etc. I’ve seen these guys perform before, though, there were also many new faces that I didn’t recognize. 

I could sense a bit of nervousness.. Maybe it was because of me that came in with the camera. I tried my best to be a fly on the wall, but I couldn’t help interact with these funny personalities, that opened it up. I offered a few headshots for the comics, and then it was showtime.

As things clued up, everyone was cheering. Elling approaches me and passes me a beer as a thanks. Everyone was amazing! I laughed hard at times and almost embarrassed myself in being too loud over other the other people laughing. That’s how self conscious I can be at times. 

My head was hurting. Head muscles never before used, they were aching because they were working for the first time. Just like learning how to speak french for the first time. The teacher told me I had to you use muscles in my lips that I have used before while in order to pronounce certain words. 

I spent a longer time in my editing, re-cropping  and levelling the orientation of my shots, not to mention blurry shots. I blame those on the laughs and stitches that these comics put me in! Thanks guys! 


Sheavy

I went to see Sheavy at Distortion last night. I haven’t seen them in almost five years. Last time I really had a chance to talk to Steve Hennessey, he was taking off to Minnesota to do a course, and he was loaning me a boom mic for my video productions. 

Heavy as F***, as usual! Not to mention tight. Steve’s voice was going in my ears just like the albums. I saw him pumping himself up right before the guys went underway as Evan was tuning his guitar. Celestial Hi-Fi was the first song I think? I played this song with them back in 2000 when the guys got back together at the Cornerstone. I still remembered the riff. 

As I walked up the stairs, around 11:30 to Distortion, the place was already filled with a crowd - a good sign for whole night. It was refreshing to see familiar faces. and the Sheavy crowd such as Steve Power, and Paul Gruchy, who was the first bass player in Green Machine, who after became, Sheavy. A few ex-members showing their presence! Though, sadly, I missed Seadogs! I walked in as they were just cluing up packing in their pedals. 

Last Soul Down were next and I’ve been meaning to take pictures of these friends of mine. I keep missing them because they’re usually closing or have started before I got to the venue.



It’s good to see John Fisher up playing. An old rocker from the past and still rocking. Seeing him on stage, I see him in his happy place, ie. with a guitar, with an amp, with friends. I could see a crack in his smile. 

Richard, singer, dressed in drag. I loved his wig. It fits well. Matches his outfit and makeup perfectly. Truly has a sense of fashion, this guy! He fist bumped and acknowledged the crew up in front of the stage, He sang greatly. I didn’t get too close to Corey Fagan, he was sporting the Dimebag guitar, and it was ready to stab me if I got too close. Sadly the other guys were too far to shoot, I shoot with a wide lens to be near the subjects and I didn’t want to step on any toes, nor pedals trying to get up to catch Ray and Paul on drums. Happy playing guys! you played great last night.



The crowd was great. I stepped out and took a few candid shots of who were there to support. Great night, I left at 2:45 to make my 30 minute drive home to Portugal Cove. 



Bowering Park Amphitheatre


Last minute shot over to Bowering Park, St. John’s on a nice cool evening. Finished up a meeting with a wedding couple client, before heading home to lie in bed and edit photos, I decided to stay out after realizing a notification on an event I agreed to go. It was just about to start. 

A free all ages show event that popped up on my facebook feed, I darted it over there. Three bands that I haven’t seen in a while: Monsterbator, Hard Ticket and The Swell Heads. 

For a long long time, being in bands, I have dreamed of playing at this venue. It’s such a cool place tucked away in a little pocket of Bowering Park. The acoustics sound nice, you could sit anywhere and have the best seat in the house. Most of times there with my children, I’ve never seen anything happen here. Maybe once or twice, I’ve seen a shakespeare play. The playground was just next door, and we would sometimes drop in and play on stage pretending to be rockstars or dancers. 

Kudos to the organizer that was able to get the permit for this venue to have alternative bands play - not your usual jazz or light rock band play. Not that there was anything wrong with that. It’s just good to see more diverse acts opening up to the public, rather than a hidden hole in the wall dingey nightclub. It was amazing! It was contrast to the venue but it was great! Kind of like, ‘Look what could happen if someone does it?’. The stigma of punk rock being played at family venues is washing away. Kudos to these guys. 

First, it was The Swell Heads. They were surfy, rotten, but tastey! Tight and good gangey vocals? Shit, I don’t want to be giving reviews here, but I’m just trying to describe how I feel when listening. I was slapping my knee through the whole set. I was a Hives fan. It was the closest I can compare it to. Clean janggling guitars, I see a Fender Twin on bust - the way those amps should be. 

Next, Hard Ticket. Garagey - it made me young again hearing their style. Kept me close to the early 90s, and maybe the 80s? shit! Not sure? But they were beatin’ it up!

Finally, before having to leave, I managed to catch their whole set except for the second last song, Monsterbator. I love the groove (I didn’t know Vic was playing bass in this band!), the tight, the loud traynor and fender twin paired up sitting next to each other. It was sharp and eerie, it made me deaf in one ear for about 3 hours last night. I was hearing ringings in bed and needed a bit of white noise to suppress it. Thanks Christian! I am a big Albini, Shellac, Jesus Lizard fan and all that came with it in the Post 90’s era, or whatever you call it. Am I just making this up? Who cares!? It’s just music, and I’m digging it. Not to mentioned the cute little kid popping up on stage with a little guitar joining her dad on stage. 

The crowd was great! it was respectful, we were all there rootin’ for the music and our friends. Monsterbator singer handing out watermelon - best part of the day! Off again to take more pictures…. NEXT

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