29
Sep
09

MAE at the Canal Club.

I don’t get to shoot many concerts (or “shows” as the cool kids call them these days) but I did the other day get a chance to see a band I’d heard of in the last year and really liked. What made it especially fun for me was that I got to take pictures.
MAE - Canal Club 9-27-09-3089.jpg
(Dave)

I’d been under the impression that there would be a strict photography ban. My understanding of concert photography is that most artists let the photogs in for the first few songs – 3 maybe – and then the photographers have to disappear. Moreover, those photographers aren’t allowed to use flashes and the people in the audience are usually searched and told not to bring their cameras. That’s how it was when my wife took me to see the Police in Atlanta two years back.
MAE - Canal Club 9-27-09-3085.jpg
(Zach)

The MAE show was different, though. Not only was the venue, the Canal Club here in Richmond, a small enough place for the fans to be right at the edge of the stage, but there were flashes going off the whole time. I watched as folks recorded the whole show on their phones. Even more interesting was the range in the demographics of the audience. I expected to be surrounded by a bunch of twenty-somethings but was pleased to see several thirty and forty-ish looking people. But none of this was what truly amazed me.

What was absolutely amazing about this concert was the devotion of the fans. I stood next to one fellow who’d seen the band six times. “My first show was back in ’03,” he said, matter-of-factly. He didn’t look a day over 23. There were girls singing the lyrics, matching Dave Elkins note for note. Their eyes were closed, their heads thrown back and occasionally, a fist was thrust in the air for emphasis. They knew the all the words to the songs from the EP the band released last Tuesday. For these people, this music was more than just music. It was life. I loved every minute of it and captured as much as I could.

Once the main performance was over, they moved upstairs for a small acoustic benefit show. They’re donating the proceeds from their online sales (I think) to different charities, one in every state. How many bands are that forward thinking? You can see more about that endeavor on their website.

MAE - Canal Club 9-27-09-3163.jpg

As for me, I scored a tshirt before I left and I can tell you with certainty that I plan to make it back to see them when they come to town again and back to the Canal Club for a show from time to time.

Oh, and be sure to follow these people on twitter, if you’re into the twitterverse:
MAE
The Canal Club

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