A last splash
Revisiting some forgotten film of the ’10s.
Loyal readers might recall that early last year, motivated by an unplanned excess of pre-pandemic free time, I dug into the archives of my early days of shooting to rehabilitate some old images languishing in the dusty further corners of my hard drives. That project was fun in a nostalgic sense and also extremely satisfying for my inner completionist, who would hope to see every live music image I’ve ever taken that’s worth publishing published. Why do this work in the first place if it’s not available to folks to see?
At the end of that process, I figured I’d pretty well exhausted my own archives for unfinished or unpublished photo sets. Lo and behold, however, I’d fully forgotten about a stretch of time in mid-late 2013 where I was shooting a bunch of film at shows and then not doing much with it. Why I started or stopped bringing an analog camera to gigs so regularly around this time escapes me eight years later, but at any rate I’ve got the negatives to show for it.
‘Twas Yeezus that got me on the track of re-scanning and re-editing this stuff; a record I’ve returned to as a running soundtrack this winter and whose eponymous tour occupied a shaky roll of Fuji Superia after I snuck my Olympus XA into the TD Garden nosebleeds in November of the aforementioned year. Along with a Nine Inch Nails show from nearly the same seats about a month prior, the finds here range from The Breeders’ first Boston stop on the Last Splash anniversary tour (with baby Parquet Courts!) to Deerhunter and Marnie Stern, Franz Ferdinand and Frankie Rose, one of several Pelican shows I saw at Great Scott over the years, Kendrick Lamar and Solange at Boston Calling, and some Solid Sound shots on blue-hued, tungsten-balanced slide film.
As with this project’s spiritual predecessor, these are far from my cleanest or most technically proficient images. The film is mostly grainy Superia and the equipment either my old SLR or the XA (an aperture priority rangefinder which guesses for looong exposures in dark rooms), and my skills were still developing even on those fancy modern autofocusin’ cameras at the time. Nonetheless, there’s some colorful stuff here that’s evocative of a particular mid-college period for me, and hopefully of some amusement to you too.