With a shit-ton of danceable beats, no-nonsense attitude and one pair of gold wrestling shoes, LA's Moving Units rocked a co-headline set with VHS or Beta at New York's Blender Theater.

After a comparatively subdued set by local openers Soft, Moving Units brought the synths out of the woodwork for a dance-punk extravaganza drawn from their 2007 release Hexes For Exes (Metropolis Records). Unlike their musical contemporaries, The Faint, whose band members are known for trying to upstage each other with head thrashing, most of Moving Unit's visual flare comes from the animated moves of frontman Blake Miller.

The show's sonic crowdpleasers were "The Kids from Orange County" and "Crash 'n' Burn Victims" both off of Hexes for Exes.


With no photo pit and a packed house, I set up shop right just house-right of center stage and Blake Miller. Shooting from a stationery position at the front of the stage does not normally bode well for getting shots of every band member. Thanks to Miller's frequent movement around stage, I was able to good shots of the other band members.


The lighting was pleasantly atmospheric with blue and magenta back-lighting dominating the set. Occasional greens and yellows made sporadic appearances, but allowed for some interesting effects and some decent photography. Though colored washes were used a few times, the front-lighting was fairly neutral/white throughout the performance.


Though much more dynamic, the lighting was dimmer than for the openers. Proper exposure fell in the range of 1/80 - 1/200 at f/2.8 and ISO 3200. As usual, the colors are the result of AWB and the point of focus was achieved by moving the focus point instead of focus and recompose.


Though the Canon 50mm 1.4 saw some use in lower lighting, the clean ISO 3200 on the EOS-1D Mark III allowed me to used the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L for nearly the entire set.

End notes

  1. The third shot of Blake Miller really shows off the lighting of the Blender Theatre, which is as rich as any venue I’ve shot. The intersection of lights on the singer is a nice touch.