If this post is a little bit delayed, it’s because I’ve been preparing to speak about my (almost) six years of experience as a live music photographer at SXSW this coming week. If you’re headed out to Austin, make sure to stop by WeWork and check it out. Bonus: it features some incredible up-and-coming bands from the Bay Area including Survival Guide, Abbot Kinney, Kendra McKinley, and The Damn Fanatics. Hope to see you there.
Another Bay Area group whose star has been on the rise lately is the imitable Happy Fangs. You may have seen them everywhere from SF Weekly to SPIN. If you haven’t, you’re definitely missing out. Rebecca Gone Bad and Mike Cobra have always made quite the dynamic duo. They’ve really upped the intensity by adding Jess Gowrie from Sacramento’s I’m Dirty Too.
Last Saturday night found them in top form, performing a set consisting mostly of songs from their debut full-length album, Capricorn, released this past January. One highlight: front woman Rebecca asked the audience to help her create a song right then and there. After asking for song title suggestions, she decided on “Jesus and I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich” before launching into the remainder of the show.
Bands sometimes ask me what makes musicians photogenic and memorable. My first answer would probably be to point to examples of Happy Fangs performing over the past year. They don their trademark warpaint, sure, but they also have an aesthetic that keeps evolving in the most fascinating of ways. Constantly moving, and even gyrating, around the stage, Rebecca and Mike ensure that your eyes remain transfixed on what’s happening around each and every performance. The photo set, below, should give you some insight. If you dig punk and haven’t seen them live just yet, make sure you change that.