Event: A Set For Vets

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Back in December, my buddy Zack Sandler, got in touch with me with a request. He told me about a show he was putting on, with proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project.

The show would feature five local Jersey Shore bands/musicians. Some of them are up-and-comers, and a some of them are rising stars amid the local music scene.

I’ve known Zack and his sax for a few years now, and of course I said Sure, I’d love to help you out. This was also a great way for me to help build up my music portfolio, and area in my photography I’d like to build up and a gap I’d like to fill.

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Julia Whary

So, last Friday evening (January 20th), a chilly, rainy night, I headed down to Asbury Park and the Asbury Park Music Foundation to help Zack with his show.

While I was all up to do it, I was also  a bit nervous. I see a lot of good concert photography, especially from the likes of Brad Moore and Fleming Bo Jensen. And I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. Like I said, this is a gap for me.

I’m a generalist as a photographer, but I know where my strengths are. Seeing what other people may miss, documentary, portraiture (well, getting there, at least.) Singers and bands in action under challenging/changing light conditions…definitely a gap.

Anyway, I got down to the venue early to see what I should expect. I’d be shooting with my Canon 70D and FujiX100T (set mostly to monochrome).

Honestly, the area and the stage was smaller, more intimate, than I expected (even though I really didn’t know what to expect.) Still, as I looked around, I saw a lot of exposed brick and some interesting areas a lighting, as well as a neat looking chair I thought I could maybe incorporate into some portraits.

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The Chair

Now, the previous week, Asbury Park was jumping with all of the Light of Day activities. On a Friday night entombed in the middle of winter, with a chilly drizzle falling, AP was pretty quiet. I had some time to take a little walk around and there wasn’t much going on. Save for a few people outside having as smoke, Cookman Ave was pretty quite and the AP Moto Club – who donated a gift basket for Zack’s event – was empty.

But, by 8 p.m., when Julia Whary was ready to kick things off with her acoustic set, the venue was filling up and Zack had changed into his maroon suede blazer as host of the festivities.

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The rest of the night was a blur of songs and bands and lights and amps and guitar licks. The Jersey Sound at its finest.

Julia started things off, followed by The Carousers.

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Joey Affato, lead singer of The Carousers.

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Andrew Jackle, The Carousers

Next up was strong local favorite, Bobby Mahoney And The Seventh Son.

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Bobby was the band I knew the most about, having attended his CD release party at The Stone Pony back in July, and just  knowing about his via Zack and his Facebook page. He’s a young cat who just graduated from Rutgers. But he already has a deep level of experience sharing it with some big names and, yes, Bruce, on occasion.

As I was doing my edits from Bobby’s set, and came across the one above, I immediately though of the old ’80s movie Eddie & The CruisersI won’t go off on a tangent here, but I can see Bobby doing a rockin’ version of On The Darkside if he ever wishes. And Zack pulling in his sax, too.

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Bobby and the Seventh Son brought a hard-rockin’ intensity to the stage. By this time, my ears were starting to ring from the close quarters and we still had two bands to go.

Next up, The Vansaders, another Asbury Park based band.  Doug Zambon, the band’s lead singer, looked, to me, like a mix of Jason Bateman and Ewan McGregor. But he and his band certainly rocked.

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Doug Zambon, lead singer, The Vansaders

Got some cool light on James Lovaglio, The Vansaders’ drummer.

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The final band of the night was Deal Casino, a group many are saying are “the next big thing” to come out of Asbury Park. They certainly have a very professional stage presence and sound (a bit like Smashing Pumpkins/Oasis). Guess time will tell if the fickle hand of the rock gods touches them or not.

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Overall, it was a great night of music. Zack raised approximately $2,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project and sold out the house. Not bad for a first-time promoter! Look out Bill Graham.

From my perspective, it was a good learning experience for me. Not sure I’m ready to start shooting at The Stone Pony, but it’s a start.There three or four other photographers in a small area, so we were constantly criss-crossing  our lines. I, for one, was trying to get my camera in a new place. though.

And I never did use that chair.

Click here to see a full slideshow of more images from the event.

 

© Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2017

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