What do guitar playing Santas, projectile poinsettias and three-piece suits have in common? That’s right boys and girls, they’re all the ingredients in the rocked out holiday bash known as A Very Ludo Christmas.

Generally speaking, any band that takes its name from a giant muppet, especially if said muppet comes from an 80’s movie staring David Bowie, is tops in my book. Add to that a bunch of dancing elves, walking candy canes, confetti, and a partridge in a pear tree, and you’ve got one banger of a concert.

The Christmas holiday brought power pop rockers Ludo to home to St. Louis and plenty of rabid, crowd surfing fans out of the woodwork. Any other night, opening performances by The Hush Sound, Quietdrive, and Nothing Still would have satisfied the crowd. But, on December 27, 2007, precious few of the 2,200 people in attendance were ready for what Ludo had in store.

Armed with a festive three-piece suit and an arsenal of hand gestures that put even Andrea Bocelli to shame, Ludo frontman Andrew Volpe lead the five-piece through an unrelenting set that had fists pumping and cellphones held high all the way up to curfew. The band brought the rock to the home front like is was 199… er two thousand and eight.


I was home for the holidays and decided for the third time in a month to tag team a show with my brother Todd Owyoung (www.ishootshows.com). The month before, we had the pleasure of shooting both the VHS or Beta/Moving Units show in NYC and the Modern Day Zero show in STL.

I didn’t know what to expect from Ludo’s live performance except that it would be zany. Much to my delight, the band lived up to its reputation. This show was a complete blow-out blast. Can you really go wrong with confetti cannons and a small army of dancing elves?


The lighting design for this set was dead simple. White light from the front with holiday reds, blues, oranges, and greens from behind.


Although the lighting was fairly good, the set demanded a wide range of ISO settings with a fairly constant shutter speed and aperture of 1/200 and f/2.8 respectively.

Going into this gig, I was slightly worried about my EOS1-D Mark III’s ability to autofocus in low light. I had updated the firmware to version 1.1.3 days before with somewhat questionable results.


I decided to travel light for the holidays. Though the 70-200mm would have come in handy, the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L was the only lens I used for this shoot.