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Impulse Ride is a is a powerful trip through nostalgia.


One of my favorite things about local music and musician, is seeing how the community supports each other and overlaps. Last week, Ruskin Yeargain showed up to run sound for Black Dawg, and this past week he was front and center on the Bud Light Stage and delivering a commanding performance. You may have recognized Cam Ball (Bass) and Brannon Galloway (Drums) from their past performances with King Size. Not to mention Cam was holding down Bass for Black Dawg and Brannon had the beats rolling for The Experiment and the I-20 Horns. It's just so cool to see the giant Venn diagram of local musicians that build our scene from Aiken to Augusta. I've had "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds stuck in my head since Thursday. I have no idea why that one stuck when they had so many other great covers like "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "The Ballad of Curtis Loew". They even squeezed some ZZ Top and Kiss in there. Front to back it was an amazing show! Catch more from the guys

Thanks to the amazing lighting setup and the energy from the band, I got a ton of amazing shots. Cam having his own "kick cymbal" made me smile every time! Check out the gallery!

Let's Talk About Those Lights

This bit is going to be completely biased and through the lens of a photographer, but a bands investment into lights can yield some huge results. This picture was taken at 9:06 pm, during the last portion of the show. More often than not, I've put my camera up by now, however, I kept shooting to the tune of 384 pictures! That beat my previous record of of 272, set the week before by Black Dawg.

Light trees help by elevating the lights above the performers. These aren't inexpensive, which is why most bands don't have them. They've already invested so much into their instruments, their boards, their pedals, their PA Systems, extension cords, amplifiers, microphones, mic stands... the list goes on and on. I used to walk into the music store and the salesman would say, "ahhh, capo man! Another one already?" For $100 less than the light tree set up, you can buy 8 of the lights hanging on it. So you do have options.

Next is the placement - CROSS YOUR LIGHTS! Impulse did a great job of this having lights at both stage left and right shooting across the stage. The two stands in the back not only only provide great rim lighting, but also help light up that poor drummer who is always stuck in the dark. The effect of their lights bouncing off of the cymbals was pretty sweet. With 4 band members on the stage, everyone was lit evenly and clearly.

If you do grab one of the 8 packs, be sure to avoid the campfire effect by setting it directly below you and lighting straight up your nostrils. Another common mistake I see is placing them on the floor, but between members of the band. These will occasionally catch you when you are moving around the stage, but the rest of the time they are projecting into the air conditioning ducts on the ceiling or into the ether if you are playing outside. Not only does great lighting illuminate the band, giving the audience a better visual experience to compliment the audio, but it also allows the media to get more and better images. In turn, you have promo shots displaying your lighting prowess and command over a captivated audience, which can be used to book future gigs. Most importantly - it makes my job easier and more fun! So thank you Impulse Ride for your professional set up. I didn't even mention the programmed lighting effects and changes plus a smoke machine! Top notch.

This Week - Keith Gregory

One of the hardest working men in the CSRA music scene, Keith has been playing show after show for decades. He covers everyone's favorites and writes his own music as well. He's the nicest guy with the biggest smile. You may remember him playing the Aiken Hotel back in the day, or you may have seen him at in literally ANY city in South Carolina or Georgia. Check out this demo sampling from Keith's YouTube page.

The Mason Jars 3rd Official Amp Music Video

Here's a third video from The Mason Jars performed live at Amp the Alley earlier this year. Check out their YouTube page for past performances and give them some likes and subscribes. A simple little click can add up to mean so much for these local musicians. It helps them get booked, and booked gets them paid, and paid keeps them and their families fed, and when their fed they can keep making music for all of us.

Bud Light is the official sponsor of Amp the Alley
Amp the Alley Sponsor

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