So I got to go and photograph one of my favourite bands of all time on Tuesday night. How sick is that? It’s well sick mate. Legit.
It’s a shame that the lights didn’t really kick into full bung until after the three song rule (does anyone know why that’s a thing?) and that I idiotically forgot to set the aperture of my 50mm back to 1.8 from 2.8 (I don’t even know why it was at 2.8 in the first place. ’cause I’m a pro yo.) but other than those two minor niggles it was an amazing thing to be able to photograph a band who, while not being all that big in the grand scheme of things, are a really big deal to me.
36 Crazyfists defy categorisation to an extent. Too metallic to realistically be tagged as post-hardcore and easily too alternative and slightly left of field to be called metalcore. So essentially this band take the best bits of heavy music and use those bits to construct massive, cathartic and good time sing-alongs of the 21st century.
So why are a band like this still playing venues as small (though wonderful) as The Classic Grand?
I’m not sure it really matters. I remain convinced that its a perfect example of the cruel injustice of the music industry. And it might be a bit of selfish of me to admit it, because I absolutely want this band to do well so you should BUY their new record next week, but I’m over the moon that I can see this band in venues like this playing shows like they did on Tuesday.
Carved across our chests: loyalty – 36 Crazyfists “At The End of August” from ” A Snowcapped Romance”
The line above sums up exactly why this band can play shows like they do: they’re loyal and inspire loyalty. They’re loyal to their own motivations for writing, and loving, music in the first place. Even the briefest listen to any of their records (perhaps with exception of the somewhat tired “Collisions and Castaways”) proves that. That approach in turn breeds the same kind of loyalty in their fans and the band’s genuine and down to earth appreciation of that only reinforces it.
Just a single example of that ethos of rewarding mutual loyalty was the invitation long term fan, who turned out to be Grado of wrestling fame, was invited by the band to join them on stage and smash through a belting rendition of “Destroy The Map” (and he did much better than when I saw him do the same with them back in 2009 when he was a touch less sober but not less charming).
The Classic Grand barely stood still on Tuesday night and songs well over a decade old were bellowed back with an intensity that was infectious. I even almost came out of mosh retirement during “The Heart and The Shape” until I remembered the camera bag slung over my shoulder. Even then I considered it. Because this band have earned that kind of response and playing shows like this continues to earn them that response.
If there was any justice in the world a band as unique as 36 Crazyfists would probably be much bigger than they are. But if this is injustice then it turns out that’s a concept that’s not half as bad as my lefty liberal leanings would have me believe.
Here’s to the band who deserve to a bigger deal to the world but couldn’t be a bigger deal to their fans in 2015.
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