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Erra at the Roseland Theater on 05/18/2024 - Photos / Through the Eyes of a Pre-teen.

By SYDNEY LEWIS and MIKE LEWIS // This isn’t the first time Sydney has been in the photo pit for several metalcore bands, and it probably won’t be the last either. She was quite impressed with the opener.

Plus Sydney and Mike's video.

So far, 2024 hasn’t really been the big year for Sydney as far as photography is concerned. There have been several shows that she wanted to join me for, but many of them weren’t all ages and so she had to miss out. For her, this was disappointing because on her bucket list for a few years has been Gary Numan, and this would have been the third time she had to miss out. Sydney also turned twelve this year. She’s one step closer to being a teenage and unfortunately, sometimes that teen angst rears its ugly head.

When I told her about covering Erra, she was excited and while she’d never heard them before, I think for her any opportunity to get into the photo pit is a good one. Sydney has often experienced this. There are bands she’s unfamiliar with and dad drags her into the pit for some more photography although I have started to notice over the past few shows that she’s started to become a little more confident in herself. There was a time when she really didn’t stray too far from where I was. She often would mirror the pictures I was taking but more and more I turn and find she has wandered down the stage a little farther and is doing her own thing.

This isn’t the first time Sydney has been in the photo pit for several metalcore bands, and it probably won’t be the last either. She was quite impressed with the opener, Novelists, but that’s also mainly because they have a female vocalist and Sydney seems to gravitate to bands that have female members. I think she enjoys seeing the girls before metal like the guys do. She even met the vocalist after their set although initially she was a little shy but eventually got up the courage to talk with her.

Australia’s Void of Vision didn’t seem to impress Sydney too much although I’m uncertain as to why as she didn’t really offer up any explanation. I think at times it might be hard for her to fully convey what it is that she doesn’t like. It could simply be not having any familiarity with the music. From what I could tell, Make Them Suffer she was fine with, and she did seem to enjoy Erra. I noticed a few instances where she stopped taking photos and instead was just watching them perform before noticing I was still getting my pictures, and then she would return to work as it were.

The challenge here however was the lighting. Metalcore bands seem to tend to go with a darker stage aesthetic, at least from my experience, but it’s not nearly as bad as what black metal bands tend to do if they move beyond using nothing more that red through their entire set. I have noticed though that the lighting at the Roseland as of late seems to be a little less impressive than it has been in the past. I’m not sure if that’s just due to the type of bands, but it has made taking pictures a little more difficult at times.

Overall, I think Sydney still had a good time despite her trying at one point to get out of going completely. There are times I wonder if she’s still interested and while she assures me that she is, I do think at times there might be a slight lack of confidence on her end. As a parent, I can only offer so much encouragement, but I also believe that no matter what age, many of us feel that the praise of those close to us might simply be a façade. No matter how sincere, maybe they don’t want to be truthful, and this is something that I still deal with myself. I did decide to start Sydney her own photography Facebook page though, so anyone wanting to help build her confidence a little can certainly follow her although she isn’t running this page herself but she is aware of any comments she gets, and she appreciates them all.

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