Backstage Pass: Bowie Tribute Show, West Seattle

On Saturday 8 April 2017, West Seattle’s Skylark Cafe hosted a David Bowie tribute / variety show. A musician friend of mine, Claire Michelle, told me about it. I decided to go as soon as she told me she’d be playing “Space Oddity”. It was definitely a variety show – music, comedy, burlesque, drag, etc. An awesome sixty-year-old woman covered “Heroes”…in German. After the master of ceremonies got her permission to tell the audience her age, she said, “Headbangers never die, we just get neck braces.” Diverse lineup, but there was a unifying theme – David Bowie’s importance to so many people who have found themselves a little out of step with conventional, mainstream attitudes on how one should live one’s life.

I shot photos of two of the musical acts – Claire Michelle (accompanied by Finn) and Legion Within (more accurately, William Wilson, lead singer for Legion Within). Claire Michelle and Finn performed a great rendition of “Space Oddity”. Claire also did a solo of one of her new songs, “Keep My”. It was my first time hearing Legion Within. Great, deep voice that resonated, filling up the entire venue without overpowering it. Seemed Bowie-esque to me. I’d intended to shoot the other musical acts, but I was wiped out and called it a night. (The result of a 0530 fire alarm in my apartment building. We were a miserable lot, standing in the cold, but it wasn’t raining, and it was impressive to see how quickly the Seattle Fire Department was on the scene.)

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Claire Michelle and Finn performing “Space Oddity” at the Skylark Cafe, 8 April 2017.
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William Wilson, lead singer for Legion Within, Skylark Cafe, 8 April 2017.

The last time I shot photos at a concert the red lighting wreaked havoc on the images. Tony Hammons, a photographer friend of mine, told me later that I was seeing magenta banding. I may have that term incorrect. Did some research and learned that red concert lighting is the bane of photographers. I found a few photography sites that provide some steps for correcting it in Lightroom, but with most of my images, I’ve decided that leaving the image as is or switching to black and white is the best solution. (If any of you in the WordPress photography community have great tips for dealing with red lighting issues, please let me know. And if you’re a lighting technician, please consider cutting back on the red lighting.)

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Claire Michelle and Finn, “Space Oddity”, Skylark Cafe, 8 April 2017.
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William Wilson, lead singer for Legion Within, Skylark Cafe, 8 April 2017.
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Claire Michelle, “Keep My”, Skylark Cafe, 8 April 2017,

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