Me knowing a band well and for longer than a month before photographing them is rather the exception I have to admit and a questionable method for sure but also a very exciting one. With this band, Delta Moon, well let’s say we have a bit of a history before I got around to shoot and finally meet them at the wonderful and pretty small venue that is the Museumskeller Erfurt. I can’t even remember what made me check for this band’s recent tour dates to be completely honest, not that it would matter anyway and when sending out that e-mail I wasn’t very hopeful as currently, I haven’t had a lot of luck with these things. All the more euphoric I was when one morning I woke up and saw that Tom Gray had answered me and it happened to be a yes (and a warning about the size of the venue…). You could say that I was dancing my way to the kitchen with the biggest smile ever and making breakfast while also dancing. Before I forget: This is a warning cause this blog post might turn into a very long one as I am gonna talk about my history with Delta Moon. If you aren’t interested in this you might want to skip a few paragraphs (but then I rarely mainly talk about the concerts themselves but rather stuff that happens around them and random things that come to my mind. Not even sure if anyone even reads this shit.)
So let’s get this terrible party started. My first contact with Delta Moon must’ve been 2012 or 2013, I am not 100% sure anymore but what I remember is that it was around the time I really got into music (probably 2012) meaning I started volunteering at the live music venue my dad is involved in and also started exploring different genres (going from cringy teenager pop to the good stuff). Unfortunately, I can’t recall if this band had been my first live concert that wasn’t a local cover band or if it had been Rob Tognoni but needless after that night their music stuck with me. Sadly enough it wasn’t up until now that I got to see them again.
That (I think) autumn night my dad invited me to go see Delta Moon at a friend’s venue (He builds guitars and stuff but also sometimes organizes concerts together with his wife who used to be a manager or sth but don’t quote me on that). He was pretty excited and told me that they are so good at playing slide guitar, leaving 13 (?) year old me super confused as I, of course, did not even know what that was but nevertheless I came along. So we went there and young me was extremely fascinated by this thing called “slide guitar”, Tom’s unique voice and their songs in general. I can’t remember much more but one story and kind of incident my dad tells me about up until today every time I bring up Delta Moon is that Franher, the bassist, managed to… well fall onto his bass after trying to get back up on stage (the stage is pretty high and at one point the band decided to sit on the edge and play a song whilst sitting, I remember that fairly well strangely enough). End of story, our instrument maker friend had to repair it. I am telling you all this because not only do I feel like sharing this but also to show you how much this one event has stayed with my father and me over the past couple of years (He also, in fact, was pretty jealous when I told him I got to see Delta Moon again). One more thing before we skip to January this year: Weirdly enough my younger self was so fascinated by all this and apparently the song “Clear Blue Flame” that I added it to my main playlists meaning it would pop up every once in forever meaning I wasn’t forgetting about them. Not sure why it took me so long to go to another one of their concerts.
And then back in January this year Delta Moon sort off resurfaced for me personally and I started listening to their music more on purpose again with them kind of being my Australian East Coast soundtrack. You could argue how much this influenced me to go check them out in Erfurt, I’d say quite a bit.
Okay, I think we are done with all this sentimental crap and ready to focus on the actual concert and more irrelevant stuff no one wants me to write about.
So the people that know me won’t actually be surprised that the day of the concert I was basically terrified to go because of a couple of reasons:
- I haven’t been shooting a concert for over two months at this point
- A venue I didn’t know what to expect from in a city I didn’t know
- The irrational but very present fear of fucking it up and leaving with no usable photo whatsoever (especially bad this time as I really like this band and didn’t want to disappoint them and live up to these high expectations I have for myself)
In addition, I decided to make dinner (and a cake for some reason) shortly before leaving for the train station which resulted in me running around like a headless chicken and inhaling said food. Funny enough I still ended up at the station 20 minutes early, so yeah panicking all for nothing. A thing I basically forgot about was that that specific weekend the Onionmarket in Weimar was a thing and that basically means tons of drunk and loud teenagers on public transport. I don’t think I have to say what that meant for me the sober pedestrian… Arriving in Erfurt early I decided to just chill in the city a bit before going to the venue.
The Museumskeller Erfurt really surprised me by being one of the most welcoming and warm venues I ever went to. It is basically this fairly small cellar owned by this extremely nice and down to earth man called Reiner who was also the one at the door letting me in. As I was on the guest list (Thanks for not forgetting that Tom, you rock. Trust me it happened to me a bunch of times) we immediately had something to talk about and we talked quite a lot that night actually. Still had some time left before the show so I went outside into a warm night and instantly found myself in conversations with the other people there which by the way rarely happens. At that point, I knew that this might become my new go-to venue.
I went back down and realized that the place has pretty much filled up meaning I maybe should’ve gotten myself a good place and maybe I shouldn’t have spent so much time outside but I couldn’t change that anymore could I? So I used my exceptional “getting through crowds”- skills and problem solved (kind of). The concert started with “Black Cat Oil” and the memories from that one time I saw them live came back. “Black Cat Oil” was, in fact, the album that just recently had come out back then and I am sure I haven’t heard that specific song since that night. No clue how I should be describing that emotion I was feeling. I felt very at home you could say. That relief you experience when an old friend and you finally meet up with again and that second the anxiety and nervousness from before just vanish. But to be honest that happens at most concerts. As soon as I start shooting I become this very focused and calm person.
Just have to throw this in here: I am sorry this all sounds way too cheesy and straight out of a cliché romance movie which is kinda strange but then I guess I am just a very emotional person. Fun fact: I hate romance movies. A lot.
Of course, they played some of their latest songs from “Babylon Falling” which I haven’t listened to before sadly (I suck at doing my research. I listened to it a couple days ago and I recommend you do too just saying.) I have to say it was a tiny bit strange to know the songs and the lyrics to some degree (that sounds weird) because like I said earlier I usually don’t know the bands and their music all that well before I go out and shoot them. Let’s talk about what I thought of the performance. Let this unqualified and certainly not musically educated person tell you what it was like.
First of all, I have to say that this band has been giving me one of the strongest vibes of connection I have experienced in quite a while both band intern and with the crowd. It felt more like a couple of friends coming together and enjoying themselves rather than the average concert experience. This might be due to the small size of the venue and the age of the audience as well (I was the youngest one which is usually the case by the way). Delta Moon’s music felt honest, fun, homemade and rough in just the right amount (not sure I am making any sense). Stylewise to me, they are very unique and recognizable which I really like and that is both due to the vocals and the signature slide guitar. Each song has a similar feel to it but it never gets boring or too predictable and somehow every time I listen to their music it gives me a piece of comfort actually. For me personally, this is the kind of tune I’d put on on a chilly day whilst enjoying the warmth of a fireplace and a tea maybe (I know I should say whiskey at this point but I don’t drink I am sorry). The crowd that day adored Delta Moon just as much as I did, some of these people maybe even more than me. Almost every single person was moving to these haunting rhythms, some straight up dancing, others maybe only tapping their foot (That is always so great to see). All in all a very successful night. They played two sets and a bunch of encores as the crowd just didn’t want them to leave.
So after the concert I got my backpack, started packing and happened to stand right in front of the door to the backstage area and straight up ran into Tom, the band’s singer amongst other things, and we finally got to exchange a couple of words which was nice and later on even had a long conversation about random things like that friend with a venue we have in common where I saw them for the first time for example. I usually don’t get to talk to bands and their members all that much and it was really refreshing as everyone was extremely nice, welcoming and warm. You don’t always get that unfortunately but that is a topic for a different blog post maybe. I decided to take the very last train home meaning I had like an hour to kill and I ended up in a couple more conversations with strangers and sat around in the warm cellar for a while. At some point Mark Johnson (He is that gentleman with the cool hat and the guitar in the photos just so you know) joined me on the bench which I think was very sweet of him and we and some other guy ended up talking about the German states (not so sure how that happened). Anyway to wrap things up: lots of goodbye hugs, a long train ride home and a very exhausted but extremely happy me falling into bed. I could talk a lot more about this evening but we already have quite the long blog post here. Let’s just say I reflected a lot on what happened the past 5 years and how I grew as a person and a lot more super cheesy crap that I might talk about at some other point…
Location: Museumskeller Erfurt
Band: Delta Moon