We’re driving back from Maine where we just attended the first anniversary of the Stone Mountain Arts Center Live show. The show was “accompanied” by a rather wicked thunderstorm that raged outside the large windows behind the stage. The lights went out a few times during dinner, but everything had relatively calmed down by show time (I gotta get me one of those lightning triggers for the camera…)
The SMAC Live show bills itself as a cross between A Prairie Home Companion and Mountain Stage. While it is certainly still a top-notch variety show, it is definitely much more professional in tone and presentation than the debut show last August. In a way, this first anniversary show was kind of a “best of” for a number of earlier shows and a preview of the upcoming CD they recorded in July (e.g., Carol reprised the “Barn Song” from the Barn Raising show a few months ago, Duke and the band hit on some of the songs they played at his show (Mansquito!), and the night was sprinkled with classic tunes by the Beatles and Burt Bacharach).
I asked Carol if she wanted photos of the show and she agreed to let me take some shots. We had arrived early enough to get seated in the first row. This is always an opportunity and a curse when it comes to photography as the light levels vary greatly between center stage and the rest of the band in the shadows. That and you are sometimes, as my wife artfully notes, “shooting up people’s noses”. To be honest, I didn’t do all that well with the exposures tonight — I’ve done much better from 20 feet back… Live and learn. I also try to be kind of discreet and only grab a few shots here and there. Well, I’m not a very good photographer and invariably something is wrong with the person’s eyes or where the omnipresent microphones end up, so about half the frames end up in the trash can. Still, while I hope to capture some of the magic that happens in that room – it is really an experience for your ears and soul — less so for your eyes.
We drove back to Maynard from the show, dodging the downed limbs and power lines in nearby Eaton, NH. It turned out to be a really powerful storm just to the west of where we were. It’s 2am. Back home, safe and sound.
For more pictures from the show visit: http://smac.dmg-photography.com/SML-Aug-2007