Commentary

Chromatic Anthem is a showcase for the music photography of Jacob Drabik. It exists to promote live music in Cincinnati and the surrounding tri-state region. Jacob is a designer and photographer living and working in Cincinnati, OH.

 

Queens of the Stone Age and Guard at Riverbend

Queens of the Stone Age brought their immense talent and precision playing to Riverbend on a beautiful Friday night. Their passionate fan-base was treated to a vibrant stage show, which was accompanied by the surprisingly catchy (to me, at least) Guards from New York.

Gaslight Anthem and The Sidekicks at Bogart’s

Gaslight Anthem = Passionate and dedicated—as were their fans. I was amazed by the level of commitment many people in the audience showed for this band. At one point, I found myself standing between a man who drove down from Indianapolis for the evening and planned to drive back as soon as the show was over (I had to point him to the closest place to fill up on caffeine), and a couple who had taken off several days of work to make the trek from Chicago and decided to spend a few days in Cincy. All three were oozing with enthusiasm…and these weren’t whacked-out college kids that were up for anything, these were deliberate and calculating thirty-somethings that planned the trips out way in advance. I can’t remember the last time I drove hours by myself to see a band I loved.

Oh, wait. I can. It was when I was almost a decade ago. Damn.

Adam Ant and Prima Donna at The Madison

I found Prima Donna’s high-energy performance, to be quite a surprise. Having never seen Adam Ant before, I expected the show to be a fun, but quaint nostalgia act, and I was very mistaken.

Prima Donna was a perfect opener--they knew how to get the crowd’s attention, and they held on tight. With seemingly limitless confidence, high-energy stage-presence, and youthful good-looks, were as close to the epitome of rock ’n roll swagger that I can remember seeing. In fact they were a much better fit for Adam Ant than I was expecting.

I have to admit, that I wasn’t well-versed with Mr. Ant’s catalog. Although I grew up knowing his biggest hits, I was not familiar with most of his work, and when he took the stage, he came out not as a washed-up pop-singer, but an artists with years of credibility. He took the stage with pride, he sang with gusto, played fast, and he played loud. This wasn’t a casino-boat, revival act; this was a powerhouse. Every Adam Ant song you can remember he played, but they were heavy. The guitars were dirty, grungy, and wonderful. His vocals were strong, and precise. And they played, and played, and played.

It was obvious that the crowd was made up of die-hard fans that had waited along time for this night, and they were not disappointed.

Gladys Knight and the O’Jays at The Shoe

Gladys Knight and the O’Jays brought their immense talents, hard-work, and experience to Cincinnati on a particularly gorgeous August evening.

Man Halen and Brian Olive at Fountain Square

Brain Olive and his tremendous band showed off their seemingly peerless talents on one of the most beautiful evenings of Summer. They were greeted with a very enthusiastic audience—I’m sure that Diamond J and the rest of the Man Halen crew had something to do with setting the right mood. Such a fun night.

Plain White T’s at the 20th Century Theatre

This was my first time shooting at the 20th Century Theatre, and it went very well. There is no barrier between the crowd and the stage—no photog. pit, but the audience members were very polite. They were also very loyal. I met one couple who drove down to Cincinnati from Canton, OH, which is nearly a four hour drive!

All three bands sounded great, but the real treat was just how great Decker performed. This young band not only sounded great, but their songs had a surprising level of sophistication that I really appreciated. I was proud to hear that they were from Cincinnati, and I look forward to seeing them play more around the city.

Bunbury 2013

It’s hard to believe that Bunbury is only two years old. This is such a well-run festival, with so many tremendous acts, and even the crowds were the most laid back I’ve ever seen.

For the second year on a row, I had the honor of being a staff photographer for the Bunbury organization. This gallery includes just a small selection of the all photographs I took over those three amazing days. I have to admit that I broke my first rule, and put way too many images in the gallery, but I hope they paint a thorough picture of what it is like at such a wonderful event.

Streetlight Manifesto’s Last Show at Bogart’s

Friday night, I had the opportunity to see one of my favorite bands, for what could possibly be the last time ever. Streetlight Manifest brought their End of the Beginning Tour to Bogart’s on Friday, June 21, 2013. They brought along Empty Orchestra (not photographed) and Rodeo Ruby Love to open.

Between the all the mic stands and the lowered lights, I had a difficult time shooting Streetlight, but they sounded fantastic, and I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to see them one last time.

Huey Lewis and the News at The Shoe

Huey Lewis and the News, an ’80s powerhouse, still has it. It was a beautiful Sunday night in Cincinnati for a terrific set of feel-good classics. Everyone was smiling and tapping their toes.

The Flobots at the Southgate House Revival

On Satuday night, June 8, 2013, the Southgate House Revival hosted a great crowd for high-energy show. The Flobots headlined, with Wheelchair Sports Camp and Cincinnati’s own B-Shields supporting.