San Francisco, CA
August 13, 2002 ... Great American Music Hall
Pictures copyright, Jeff Fohl, 2002. All rights reserved.
On the Low
Around My Smile (3x)
Lose Me On the Way
- Jeff Fohl: I attended the San Francisco concert, held on August 13th, at the Great American Music Hall. The crowd was generally good natured and mellow, though the size of the crowd all jammed in such a small space did put a certain tension in the air as people jockeyed to try and get a good view. The Soledad Bros. rocked with some great electric blues. Filling out the low end with a saxophone was an interesting combination for a power trio.
Ms. Sandoval and the band were at their exquisite minimalist finest. The spare, open structures of their music made the experience a real joy. So much live music in recent years seems to have become simply a wall of sound. Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions really know how to use rests, silence, and dynamics to create a pleasurable, musical journey for everyone in the room. This was one of the few non-classical concerts that I have attended at which I needed to whisper when I wanted to say something, for fear of disturbing the atmosphere.
There were several new songs that they performed, or at least they were not ones that I recognized. In addition, much was added to the songs that were familiar from the album. A rough tape recording, played from a hand-held tape recorder and played into a microphone by the keyboardist, was an example of some of the inventiveness that helped to give the concert a fun and experimental feeling. There was only one set, after which, the crowd got a little testy and started to stamp their feet for an encore. After such a mellow set, I must admit it seemed a little out of place. But, Ms. Sandoval and company did politely come out and do an encore; a powerful rendition of the Rolling Stones' (Nanker/Phelge) song, "Play With Fire". I was crouching down by the bass amps at this point, and they really let the volume rip on this last song. It was interesting to feel those long, powerful, low end sound waves traverse my internal organs...
I had brought along a digital camera that I had recently acquired. It takes fairly decent low light shots, and I had wanted to experiment a bit with the kind of environment one finds at a concert. However, my main concern in taking photos was not to use a flash or any kind of lights that would distract Ms. Sandoval or the other performers. This was their concert, and I wanted to respect the hard work and difficulties they must put up with in order to bring us such great music. Some of the pictures shown here were taken with an infrared setting, which gives great low light shots with little motion blur, but also produces some queer effects, such as a greenish, gray cast, and some dark objects, like Ms. Sandoval's hair, appear very lightened.
Eventually, I worked my way up to the front right of the stage, and managed to find a secure place to steady the camera so I could take some better shots. Crouching down, so that I could hold the camera against a low table and peering up at the performers, I couldn't help but wonder if all of this photography wasn't annoying the band. At one point Ms. Sandoval did look over at me, but I couldn't read from her expression if what I was doing was making her uncomfortable or not, though, I certainly hope it was not!
With this context in mind, I submit these photographs, first for Ms. Sandoval and her band mates, and secondly for their fans to enjoy. Please know that these photos were taken out of an appreciation for Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions and their music. They are not intended for commercial use. If anyone, including Ms. Sandoval or her representatives, are interested in contacting me about these images, I am available at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions for an unforgettable show. I can't wait to see you perform again!