I first got into concert photography in 2008 as a photographer for the MOTORCITYBLOG. I got to see Electric Six in 2009 at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor on assignment. That was an awesome night. The band was incredible and the place was packed with a hardcore following, both the young and the slightly less young.
A few short years later, I left Detroit and started freelancing as a photographer in Houston, Texas. I found out a couple of months ago that Electric Six were about to go on tour and they were going to make a pit stop in Houston. I figured this was a great opportunity to see the band again and give a little back to MCB, where I got my first few breaks as a photographer.
The band played to a really diverse crowd at the Fitzgerald’s last Friday. Their sets were slick and the fans chimed in with the chorus lines. The audience was totally hooked and the lack of space wasn’t a deterrent to crowd surfers and mosh-pitters at all.
The Fitzgerald’s has a rich history. Like the Blind Pig, this venue became a live music hotspot in the seventies and has stood the test of time as a local favorite over the several decades that have followed. Right now, Fitzgerald’s is partially owned and run by the Houston Free Press. From a performers’ point of view, local acts like Brandon West and The Suffers really like the acoustics and the crowd-factor of this space.
There are a couple of subtle differences between the two venues though. The Blind Pig has had wider appeal with out-of-state bands and audiences. Allegedly it was Kurt Cobain’s favorite venue to play at. Critics often claim that Detroit has a handful of venues that have been important to the careers of many international acts and that The Blind Pig has always been one of them. This has had a lot to do with the fact that Detroit has been creating and maintaining a cultural niche for itself with punk, rock, funk and electronic genres since forever. Despite the persistently crumbling economy, Detroit still has that going for itself in spades.
Houston on the other hand is kind of different. Its economy has been booming courtesy of the Oil & Gas and Health industries but it hasn’t been a major player on the cultural map. This is about to change though. The disposable income in this town is visible by the truckloads and there is a lot of local talent that is diverse and young. Also it’s only a matter of time that the trickle-down effect from Austin’s now-thriving indie scene manifests itself in Houston.
The talented Mr. Fink is a class act. He is from Houston, born-and-bred. From animation to painting to screen printing, Vincent has journeyed through different creative realms to find his ‘true voice’. And now that he feels he has found it, he aspires to showcase his skills on a bigger stage.
Vincent is really proud of being a part of the Houston scene and genuinely feels it is toe-to-toe with the widely acclaimed contemporary art culture of Austin.
Right now he is working on a series of paintings and sketches based on a single dream that he had some months ago. In fact it was one of these sketches, rendered in ink-on-masonite, which I saw at Space, a popular art-craft boutique in downtown Houston. The intricate details in that piece drew me in instantly, and as Leila, co-owner of Space, told me later, I wasn’t the first and I haven’t been the last.
Fink is working pretty much round the clock. Through his label, “POINT 506” he has also launched a new t-shirt design, Octahedron, that is getting noticed on the internet pretty quickly. He’s getting emails from around the country and is responding to a lot of requests for commissioned work as a result.
If it is not contemporary art design, it is progressive rock and Fink will be heard jamming with his band as they rev up for a gig scheduled in a few weeks. What is said about there being no rest for the wicked, has clearly been taken to heart by this man.