Three Crazy Bassists at Die Fabrik

Wow, I just came back from an incredible concert with three of my all-time favorite musicians! Think, think, think, who are the three biggest bassists alive? Yes, that’s right!

Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten. And they rocked, funked, jazzed and thundered in a club in Hamburg called Die Fabrik.

Stanley is of course the grand master…

… regardless if he plays electric or acoustic.

Marcus is the coolest…

… and surprises with great tones from the bass clarinet too.

But Victor, with his beautiful and melodic solos is my main man.

As you would expect, there was a good bit of soloing, showing off and lick-trading going on.

The photos turned out OK. Nothing to brag about, but good enough to show here. It was not all that easy to get them. I knew that I’d need all the photons I can get, so I took only two lenses with me: 50/1.8 and 85/1.8. My test shots at ISO 800 required f/1.8 and 1/8 sec (!!!), so I went for ISO 1600. When the concert started they turned on a few extra lights, so most shots ended up at roughly f/2.5 and 1/80 sec. One photographer was trying to shoot with a 5D and 24-105/4 IS, but after 2 songs she gave up. She had the camera in shutter-priority mode and kept trying to set 1/100 sec, but that was not possible with that f/4 lens of hers…

One great thing about Die Fabrik is that you can get very close to the stage, so I arrived early and got into position. But once the concert started, it was packed, so I could not move to the left or right. From my viewpoint Marcus had a microphone covering his face most of the time. And when the three guys played together, nicely lined up next to each-other, I couldn’t get any shots because my 50 mm lens was not wide enough.

All photos that you are seeing here are at ISO 1600, and by old standards the grain is OK. But, boy, I really would have liked to use a Nikon D3, D700 or the new Canon 5D mark II.

During the fourth song someone (The club’s owner? The band’s manager?) came up to me and told me to stop photographing, so I restrained myself until the lest song, when I took a few more shots again.

PS: I half-asked and half-suggested to Victor that he come back to Hamburg together with Béla Fleck, and he said oh yes, they will be on a Europe-tour in late 2009. 🙂

PPS: Click on the images to see them larger.

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