Over the years of photographing live music in and around Tuscaloosa, I’ve experienced the full spectrum of shows. Some have been real struggles to get good material due to issues with the band, while others have rewarded me with an abundance of riches to sort through and process the next day. Green Bar in Tuscaloosa on Friday, August 24th hosted a show that was more than rewarding for me. Not one, not two, but three different acts took the stage and owned the night. The headliners of the evening, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, who continue to turn heads with the assault of their live shows and the content of their debut album, ‘There is a Bomb in Gilead, were given a great set-up by Austin Lucas, a singer-songwriter out of Bloomington, Indiana, who was made his Tuscaloosa debut, and Banditos, a hard working, entertaining, and very talented band out of Birmingham, Alabama. For me, it was a triple threat of bands who knew how to work an audience and express a range of emotions while on stage. It was a perfect storm for live music photography.
Austin Lucas kicked off the evening by himself in a city where he had never played. For a lot of musicians, it would have been a tough task to accomplish, and that’s not a negative thing to say by any stretch of the imagination. A performer can never really know how a crowd, especially a brand new one, will react until they get out on stage. Lucas, though, took right to the stage and commanded it with no signs of faltering. He had played on bills with The Glory Fires recently so his music definitely meshed well with the crowd and what they were expecting. His rapport with the audience in between songs also helped everyone relax as they began their ride for the evening. I do look forward to whenever Austin Lucas makes his way back to Tuscaloosa.
After Austin Lucas set the table, so to speak, Banditos came on stage and roughed things up a bit in the best way possible. They immediately kicked off a rousing set fueled by a healthy diet of honky tonk, blues, and southern rock and roll. I had seen them perform a couple of times before this show, and they all were energetic and emotion filled shows. This one was no different. They brought the heat, and they brought a lot of it. The audience really didn’t have a chance to catch their breath or do anything other than dance and enjoy the show. As you might can tell, I’m a big fan of bands like that. The more I see them, the more I hope big things happen for them. Some bands have “it”, and some don’t. Banditos have “it” and continue to show new levels of “it” each time I see them.
The time for the main event of the evening soon came. Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires hit the stage and immediately performed rock and roll assault on the audience. It was the best kind of assault out there because it was an unrelenting offensive of hard charged, soul driven music by a band that just continues to impress more and more people. Lee Bains can be such an endless ball of energy on stage, but the other members of the band also show such great movement and emotion with their performances. It combines to produce such a memorable and involving show if you happen to be witnessing it from the crowd. For a photographer, it’s even better. I can’t help but admit I’m incredibly lucky and fortunate to be in an area where such great live music happens at times. I also can’t help but admit I’m incredibly luck and fortunate to be able to capture and document it for everyone else.
I do invite you to check out and support each of these bands. You can visit Austin Lucas’ website at http://www.austinlucasmusic.com/, you can visit Banditos’ website at http://www.banditosband.com/, and you can visit Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires’ website at http://thegloryfires.com/
To check out the rest of the photos from this show, I invite you to visit http://www.dsmithimages.com/site/music/the-glory-fires-with-banditos-and-austin-lucas-8-24-12/1/