Last weekend I had the pleasure of getting the royal treatment of a backstage pass, soundboard access, and permission to record the reggae band John Brown’s Body at the Warfield in San Francisco. I grew up with two members of the band back in Ithaca years ago, and they put on a great show opening up for Slightly Stoopid on Saturday night.
I sat right next to their sound engineer and recorded a soundboard feed directly into my laptop, while also simultaneously recording a second feed from a stereo pair of microphones that I clamped to the balcony into a portable hard disk. This was possible because JBB is a “taper-friendly” band that permits personal use and non-commercial trading of their live performances between fans. Later, at home, I mixed the two stereo tracks together into what is often called a “matrix” that turned out to be an incredibly nice live recording of the event. The entire concert recording I made can be streamed as MP3s at the links below or you can download the high-quality 16-bit WAV masters directly from The Live Music Archive. I also shot some video and snapped some pictures from the balcony with my digital camera. Their performance was awesome, and the crowd was loving every minute of it!
After they finished their set, I broke down my gear and headed backstage to hang out with them in the Warfield’s green rooms. It was great seeing them and reminiscing about old times. It was also quite an experience hanging out backstage while watching the headliner rock the house while standing right on the far side of the stage with them. I could really feel the incredible vibe coming from the thousands of fans dancing and screaming out in the audience, and for just a moment or two, I got a sense for what it must be like to perform out in front of so many raving people!
So, I encourage you to click on the images above and video links below to view the full-size pictures and to watch the eight-minute video I threw together from the event. The video was created from a combination of the audio, pictures, and video I recorded that night. Can you believe I shot this video not with a video camera, but with a super-tiny STILL camera? Anyway, I hope you take some time to enjoy these memories from the event. Lord knows I had a great time, and before I forget, I’d like to give a major thanks to my old friends in the band for treating me so well at the gig!
Download: Track 1, Track 2, Track 3, Track 4, Track 5, Track 6, Track 7
1. 33 RPM
2. Rock Stone
3. Make It Easy
4. New Blood
5. Heart & Soul
6. Follow Into Shadow
7. Full Control