Last Fast Action @ The Metro

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Last Fast Action are good friends of mine.  I’ve known them since 2002, and they have never stopped amazing me with their talent and flexiblity.   They’ve written many kinds of music, from pop, to pop-rock, to electronic-rock… they are not afraid to play covers of songs on the fly, even if they have never played them before… and they never cancel a show due to band members not being able to play; they find a way to make it work.

Their last show was no exception.

In the past few months, Last Fast Action (or, as they are more affectionately known, LFA), has gone through a line-up change.  The previous quartet is currently only a two-piece, with singer Dan Monahan and guitarist Augie Schmidt doing all of the writing, recording, and performing on their own.

Instead of putting their band on hold until finding new members, they have instead embraced the change and have gone in a more electronic direction as a duo. 

This last show at the Metro was highly anticipated in the Chicago scene, as this was the first time that they would be performing in front of fans since the change. Earlier in the month, they had released a track, “You Need To Know,” that signaled their new direction as well, and this was the first time it was to be performed live.

They opened the show with a song off their last CD, Season 2, entitled “Little Off Center.”  Another talent of Last Fast Action is their ability to transform their songs.  This high-energy song was originally written for drums, bass, guitar, and keyboard, but was performed at the Metro at a slower tempo and only with guitar and vocals.   And it was still a great song.

LFA only had a thirty minute set, so they quickly continued with “Here After,” “Divide Us,” “Turn This Car Around,” and “So Long, Goodnight,” all off Season 2.  They closed their set with the new “You Need To Know.” 

Halfway through the set, after “Divide Us” and before “Turn This Car Around,” Augie shocked the crowd and put his guitar down and turned to the keyboard that was set up to his right.  This was the first fans had ever seen Augie play keyboards.  The already great set continued with Dan on acoustic guitar and Augie on keyboards, and fans loved it, singing and clapping along.

As I was saying before, it’s not that often that a band can so easily rework their songs for whatever the situation calls for.  Not only does it require a great song foundation, but also requires talented musicians.

Despite being maybe slightly biased, I highly recommend checking Last Fast Action out if you’re in the Midwest.  And, if you’re not in the Midwest, you can always listen to them via Myspace at www.myspace.com/lastfastaction, you won’t be disappointed.

Shooting Notes
The lighting for the entire show was on the dark, flat side.  There was little backlight, and often the front lights were the dreaded red that venues seem to embrace.  For some of the softer, slower songs, there was a touch of white, however, so I made as much of these songs as possible.  I also had All Access to this show, so I was able to shoot from the side of the stage for a few unique angles, including this one which provided me with some killer natural lens flare:

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