The things I go through to photograph a good performance! I had been waiting to photograph this band all day! And it was a long day! I left work a squeak early to get on the traffic-filled roads which still made me too late to capture one of the three opening bands.
I’m standing in the photo pit waiting for In This Moment to take the stage (there’s some irony there). I’m checking the angles of the stage they’ve set up. I’ve found the spot I want to be when they start the show. I can hear the crowd booing. Booing? What? It wasn’t everybody, but enough of the fans to recognize, they were tired of waiting. A few minutes later—more booing. Was this the first metal show they’ve attended? Then, in an attempt to protest the wait, someone chucked a full 32oz beer at the stage, only, it didn’t hit the stage. It hit me in the back of the head and splattered over all my camera equipment, and the laptop stashed in my backpack. Damn Blitz fans! (Patrons of the Active Rock station in Columbus—99.7 the Blitz.) This place was packed. Someone had to wait in line for twenty minutes to pay for that beer just to pour it out on my head.
The crowd was fickle and able to jump right back into the show with the smallest glimmer of light on stage to hint at the beginning of the performance. I however was still drenched in, and smelling of domestic violence—an overwhelming mixture of domestic beer, and sweat.
On the other hand, In This Moment threw the venue’s policy out the door (probably bound and gagged), and allowed the photographers to shoot their entire set.
Lead Vocalist, Maria Brink and other members of the band changed attire in between almost every song, and made it easy for us to get the performance we had all heard so much about. Even the touring stage hands were in costume for the extent of the show.
As soon as they were on stage, we were immersed in hard hitting riffs, and wailing vocals that seemed to stem from raw emotions that had yet to be dealt with. There was much more flow than ebb, and Maria even had a moment on stage.
I felt a sense of appreciation for everyone in attendance. A lot of artists will thank their crowd and point out that they’re the reason they’re on stage, but Marie and her stage family did much more than get on stage and reproduce sounds from their studio recordings. Each song was it’s own production. Each song was a tribute to anyone in the crowd that said, “This is my favorite song.”
And then this moment happened where I just felt awful for even being upset. “I just want to say thank you to al of you right now”, Marie addressed the crowd while hushing the band. You could hear it in her voice, “When shit goes wrong in my life and things are falling apart and the whole fucking world seems to come to a stand still, I come out here … I’ve never cried to a crowd in my whole fucking career but just on this day particularly thank you very very much for your support.” She really did pour their everything into this show! Whatever kind of day I felt I was having, I realized she was having a harder time making sure everything was perfect for the show tonight.
At the end of their performance, they passed out all the balloons, guitar picks, and even Maria’s “Whore” dunce cap to those hand picked as the most deserving fans, many of them kids.
fter seeing other photographers' images of In this Moment, I was excited that I had an opportunity to see them at Columbus' EXPRESS Live. I checked out their studio releases and immediately requested access to their show. Some photographers want to get the shots of Willie, Bruce, and Beyonce, but I prefer finding the best performances I can, no matter who they are. I found something fantastic here.
It may sound like a trailer for a 1950’s SciFi B movie, but In This Moment is “The Most Menacing and Beautiful Spectacle of Sight and Sound You will See All Year.” With three opening bands, and wardrobe changes for almost every song, and a stage performance that hightens the flow of emotional turmoil in Maria’s lyrics, It was enough to forget about the smell of my cold-filtered bitter rage. They took some extra time to make sure everything was perfect, and it showed. In This Moment, I forgive you, and thanks for the terrific and terrifying performance.