On November 26th, I had the privilege of seeing The Happy Fits live at the Neptune Theatre along with two openers, Phoneboy and Daisy the Great. It was also my first time with access to a photo pass, and therefore my first time doing any type of concert photography. So, I arrived to the venue with my newly bought camera and not a single clue as to what was going to happen once I got inside.
The first thing I have to mention is that the Neptune Theatre is an absolutely gorgeous venue. From the stained glass inside to the illuminated marquee outside, it exudes a feeling of nostalgia, almost like your stepping back in time a little bit. Sure it might be a little dated in its design, but that’s a part of its luster. While I dialed in my camera that I had only managed to take one good picture with thus far (a picture of the Chipotle behind the venue), I snagged this picture.
Oh yeah, it’s go time.
Best Atmosphere – Phoneboy
The concert was off to a great start when Phoneboy took the stage. The band was high-energy, snappily dressed, and very laid-back in between songs. This set reminded me of a house show when it came to the atmosphere. The band was set up in a line that was nestled in a swath of audio equipment, and it looked like if they moved a foot too far in the wrong direction the entire setup would become a mess. The crowd, despite not knowing most of the songs, was engaged the entire time. A photographer and a few stage hands were running all around the venue and up on the stage. In between songs, a rogue listener or two would shout their adoration for the band and its members, and each time the group had something to reply with. Phoneboy has a bright future if they keep this up, and they could possibly headline this very venue if they play their cards right.
Best vocal performance – Daisy the great
Daisy the Great is a duo from Brooklyn made up of Kelley Nicole Dugan and Mina Walker. They’ve had a little bit of commercial success with their song Record Player off of their latest album All You Need Is Time. After seeing them at this concert, along with a backing band, I can confidently say that their success is well-deserved. Dugan and Walker’s vocals blend insanely well together, and if you like any of the studio versions of their music, you’ll want to see one of Daisy the Great’s live shows. If I could recommend any songs that I feel encapsulate the band, I would pick either Cry in the Mirror or Tell Me Have You Been Dancing. While the feel of both of these songs are completely different, both showcase the band at their best in terms of arrangement and songwriting respectively. If you’re wondering when you can catch them next, they are starting their own headline tour on April 12th, 2023, and will be back in Seattle on April 22nd, 2023.
Best Stage Presence-The Happy Fits
While the openers were nothing to scoff at, the show was kicked into high gear once The Happy Fits took the stage. I had been following The Happy Fits since their debut EP Awfully Apeelin’. However, I did not know that one of the members, Calvin Langman, played an electric cello in their songs. Some could say this is gimmicky or cheap, but let me tell you, this made the concert one of the most memorable ones I’ve been to in recent memory. Along with Langman, are fellow vocalist and guitarist Ross Montieth, and drummer Luke Davis. Together, they commanded the stage for over an hour and a half while playing songs from their already fairly large discography. You may have noticed a light in the background of the previous pictures. These were finally utilized once The Happy Fits took the stage and were a great addition to an already amazing lighting setup. The band was on tour to promote their most recent album Under The Shade of Green. Check out Cold Turkey and Long Way Down off of this project.
Overall, this was a great experience, and I want to give a shoutout to the security staff at The Neptune Theatre, as they were extremely helpful and friendly to a first-time photographer like me. If you ever find yourself with a photo pass to a concert, and want one piece of advice, mine would be “just ask”. Ask security where you can and can’t shoot, ask other photographers about themselves and they might give you some tips. The worst thing that can happen is that one person might be a little bit of an asshole, but that’s true just about anywhere. On that note, if you want to see some good concert photography, I had the chance to meet the photographer for Phoneboy, and he decided to drop KZUU a follow on Instagram, so I figured I’d promote him here.
Also, here are the links to all of the aforementioned bands newest projects.