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Through the Eyes of a Preteen: Godflesh / Photos & Video


Sydney over the years has heard me cycle through various bands. There are times when I become infatuated with one artist, listen to them for a month or two, and then move on to something different but there are a few that have remained constant. One of those is Godflesh, a band that I’ve been listening to since the release of Streetcleaner back in 1989. I told Sydney that in fact, Godflesh was a band she would probably never get the opportunity to get photos of since the last several tours had been 21+ affairs. It was rather ironic that just two weeks later a tour was announced and for once, it was an all-ages show, at least in the Portland market.

Sydney has developed the same attitude that many photographers seem to acquire as they cover more and more shows. After three songs she’s ready to leave. I think a great deal of that mentality is simply wanting to get back in front of a computer and get started on editing although this is something that she hasn’t moved on to herself at this juncture. However, Godflesh came with a very specific rule from me and that was after three songs, we were NOT going to leave

This show marked Sydney’s first time at the Hawthrone Theater, a venue that she had heard many, many things about from Portland photographer and none of them especially positive. The biggest challenge is that the venue just doesn’t have adequate lighting and with Godflesh, I knew going in that it was going to be a little darker than usual as that tends to be part of the aesthetic the band brings to the stage. Another photographer trait that Sydney seems to have developed is the ability to let me know by a simple look how she feels about certain bands. She was not impressed with either of the openers although I did manage to get her to at least stay for three songs. The glances at me though accompanied by her shaking her head or rolling her eyes was really all I needed to know.

Dark or not, she did manage to get some photos to Godlfesh, the real high point of the evening, at least for me. This was something that even surprised her. As far as her overall opinion of the band, there are some songs by the band she rather enjoys such as “Control Freak” off their 1999 release, Us and Them, but that wasn’t in the set this tour. A few friends in attendance and in the front row watched her and told me at a different show that she seemed to be enjoying the show. Hopefully the band will come back again, sooner rather than later, but with Godflesh it often seems to be many years in-between visits and if that’s the case, Sydney should have improved her photography skills tremendously.

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