The Irenic | San Diego, CA | 3.13.15
A couple weeks ago Kevin Devine, Dads, & Field Mouse played in San Diego at a venue in North Park called The Irenic. I've listened to Kevin for years and was contemplating going to the show since it was announced. I've been really low on money for the last couple of months - but in the end, I decided to fork over the $16 to watch the show. None of my friends here in San Diego listen to Kevin Devine - so of course I had to go alone.
I got to the show about 15 minutes before the first band, Field Mouse went on - so I bought a beer and got a good spot to take pictures. The Irenic is a pretty cool venue because you don't need to get a photo pass to bring in a SLR camera - so if you're trying to build your portfolio this is a great place because you don't need to be working for a publication (and the shows are decently priced). They have somewhat decent lights for a small venue - even though the light engineer wasn't so great that night. The acoustics in this venue are great because it couples as a church - but the sound overall could use some improving.
Anyway... let's get down to the pictures!
I had never heard of this band before the show. They put on a good set and helped set the mood for the rest of the night. They seem like really humble, good people. A self-confidence boost would definitely help them out - they seemed a little shy and apologetic for their performance even though they weren't bad. I think raising the vocals and fixing some of the mixing on the soundboard could have really helped make their set better.
I was also unfamiliar with this band. The vocalist was also the drummer - so it was pretty interesting to watch. The drum set was unconventionally located downstage center - and I've always loved watching drummers to it was really cool to watch from a different perspective. However - being in the very front with the drums right next to me made it hard to hear the rest of the instrumentals and vocals. Still was a fun set.
These guys made some pretty awful jokes on stage and kept talking even when it didn't make any sense anymore - but it happens.
The lighting during this band was pretty awful though - seriously for the entire set it was dark blue with a hint of magenta. Helped set the mood - but didn't really help us photographers.
Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band
Kevin always puts on a really good set. One of my favorite things about his shows is how genuine he is when talking to the audience. Throughout his set there is always an open dialogue between him and the fans. He's always really grateful that people came out and he really tries to play songs when they're requested. It's something that I don't see often anymore. When I was younger and I went to shows, almost all the bands I would see were like this - and it is what made me fall in love with concerts. However, as time went on, things changed for a lot of the other bands - everything became planned and now feels extremely staged. So it's really refreshing to go see Kevin Devine play. Oh and he always does some really good covers - A++.
As for pictures - the lighting for Kevin's set was okay. Since the band only has three people they split the stage evenly Kevin was stage right, the bassist stage left, and the drummer was upstage center. Unfortunately at this venue the lighting pretty much only illuminates front center. My camera is old and crop-sensor so I can't boost my ISO as high as someone with a full-frame camera. So it sucks when shit like this happens because then I always think my pictures are too noisy to post. Excuses, excuses... am I right?!
[This is a horrible picture - but I can't help but post it because I think it really captures the Kevin Devine experience...]