Gakido, Takadanobaba Area, December 2012
We don’t normally cover group shows for the magazine, preferring to focus on the one-man gigs where you get to see much more of the band for your buck. However, I rather like the idea of group shows as I’m always on the hunt for new and interesting bands, and am willing to see the whole gig from start to finish. When I found that Duel Jewel, Gakido, Fest Vainqueur and [MU:], among others, were all going to be playing a show a mere 15 minutes from my house, I leapt at the chance to cover them.
I came away with a huge number of photos, but I think my favourites of the night were of Gakido, whose abstract black and white print made for an eye-catching appearance, only outdone by their on-stage exuberance. My particular favourite photo is of singer Kahiro, with his loungey off-the shoulder top paired with an amazing steampunk-style oversized monocle, which I have been coveting ever since.
However, the photo needed a lot of work and I spent ages messing around with it in Photoshop. Now that I shoot in manual mode most of the time, I tend to over-expose images to compensate for the low light levels. This does mean that sometimes the images are blown and unusable, and it was the latter thought that ran through my head when I imported this image, especially as I was shooting in JPG rather than RAW format (I don’t make that mistake anymore). As soon as I saw it I knew that I would have to save it somehow.
I layered up duplicates of the image using the multiply and overlay options in order to tone down the whites and saturate the image a bit more, and then made lots of other minor adjustments including cropping out the audience and bringing the focus to the centre using a vignette. It ended up coming out with a slightly dreamy quality to it which I rather like.
I covered Gakido last week for their 4th Anniversary show at Shibuya WWW, and the band were as infectiously upbeat and energetic as ever. Stay tuned for that report. In the meantime you can check out more photos below and the live report over at Rokkyuu.