Mariachi El Bronx – the more melodic alter-ego of hardcore punk band The Brox – rocked Pop's in all it's seven-piece, charro outfit glory. Set up on the sidestage of Pop's, I had my doubts about this show, but the intimate, small-club feel of this gig was a lot of fun to experience and photograph.
Lined with a small mess of cans from the back of the trapezoidal stage and a small line in front of them, lighting was a small challenge due to the levels. However, there weren't many chances during the songs, and the frontlighting was basically either on or off, so that made things pretty easy in terms of exposure.
Thankfully, there was a nice amount of haze being pumped out at the back of the stage – not enough to really create atmosphere on the stage itself, but the perfect amount to pick up the light of the cans. On a related note, one great thing about small clubs is that the lighting rigs are generally low enough to be in backgrounds, which I always think adds a nice atmosphere to the shots. This situation is in contrast to larger clubs of say, The Pageant where I often shot, which has hugely tall ceilings and stage rigging.
There was no photo pit for this show, so I was packed in shooting from the crowd.
I shot with the 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4 primes, as well as the 24-70mm and 14-24mm. I shot at ISO 6400 across all lenses – with the primes, I just let the shutter slide. Sometimes there's just no need to sweat the details. A little grain or a blurred hand on a guitar won't kill you.
If you're wondering what it sounds like when a hardcore band switches gears and goes mariachi, here are two videos from Mariachi El Bronx:
Mariachi El Bronx – “Cell Mates”
And compare it to their hardcore sound: