Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mat D & The Profane Saints @ Zoo Bar, Lincoln, Ne 5-11-2012

I first heard of these guys as I was looking into the acts performing at the 2011 Sioux Falls Jazzfest, but I kinda figured they were probably an average area band. It wasn't until I wandered over to stage #2 that I got a chance to hear them play. I went from "These guys aren't bad" to "Dayum, I wish I'd have come earlier, these guys are GOOD!" REALLY fast. I traded Mat a few photos for three albums (which I still play frequently) and have been following their progress since....their work on an upcoming album in particular. So when Mat invited me to their show in Lincoln, I put it on my calendar and started counting the days.
I got there early and got to shoot the breeze with them all quite a while before & during their setup. The band consists of Mat DeRiso, lead singer with an awesome voice & acoustic guitar/song writer & front man for the band; Kurt Mullins, lead guitar...plays a Strat.....very well; Bob Birch, bass and backing vocals, and (hiding in the dark) Jeff Deignan on drums. They all took quite a while to talk and were very friendly. Then I had to settle in and wait for the show to start.
Opening for an Omaha band called The Filter Kings, their set was about an hour & 15 minutes, but they played most of the songs I was hoping to hear including one called "Dead in New Orleans". It sounds great on the album (Dirt Town city Limits) and sounds even better live. It was the one song I'd asked Kurt if they still played. They also played several from the albums, Plank Road Drag and Merciful 66 (both of which were released as solo albums by Mat but also feature Kurt). The highlight of the show for me was a song off the new album, Holyoke, about a truck stop in South Dakota. Excellent, EXCELLENT song, but I'll be damned if I can remember the name!!! CRS strikes again. 
Pick up any of their albums you can, and by all means, see 'em live when you can, you'll be glad you did.
If you have some of their music, put it on and scan through these pics. If you don't, visit their site....
http://www.matdandtheprofanesaints.com/
....and listen to what you've been missing.
There's a lot of history in this place.

View from the bar area.


Check out the bill just to the right of center. I didn't even notice it at the time.

Jeff....in good light.

Mat gets the show started.

Kurt & Mat play off each other well.



I think they were having fun too.

Bob Birch







Took me a bit to figure out what this was. THIS is what you get when some horse's rear walks in front of you as you're taking a picture.

See anything different in this shot?
Jeff again.

When the band Autograph was touring back in the 80's, I shot a few of their shows. After the first one, their drummer Keni Richards assaulted (more like gave me a noogie) me because I hadn't gotten much of him. I explained that when he was doing something cool the light on him was bad and when it WAS on him he was just sitting there. The next show, when he saw me next to the stage he started drumming on his head and really putting on a show!

Hard to tell with that stach, but Kurt's grinnin' here.





This was shot just behind Bob, kinda shows the atmosphere of the place.


I was playing around with settings and filtration, but couldn't tell much from the image on the camera. This was about the best combination.



This is my favorite shot of Bob.



Kurt having fun.

This shows very well the downside to a wide aperture. The body of Kurt's Strat is in decent focus, but look at their faces....only inches out of the focal plane. And this could have been the best pic of the night. On the other hand, I wouldn't have gotten much without that f1.8.

More of Kurt the director.




Grand finale.
That hour & 15 minutes sure went by fast. I could have listened to a lot more. Before the show, both Jeff and Mat had told me I needed to stick around and listen to the Filter Kings; they spoke very highly of them. However, having been on the run since 5:30 and not wanting to spring for another motel room I split shortly after their set. I was afraid I WOULD like the next band and not be able to make myself leave.
Now I have to figure out a way to get these guys to play a gig in MY neck of the woods.

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