Photographic Mystique of Live Music: Beerded Bean

Sound. Light. Action. Energy. Live music, whether performed to 10 patrons in a coffee shop or 60,000 fans in a stadium, generates a creative atmosphere that begs to be photographed. Often overlooked, the venue can have a profound effect on both the performers and audience so having been on both sides of the stage, my eye is drawn to capturing the energy of the spectacle as it unfolds within a space.

In 2022, the front man for Monk and the 66 invited us to see him perform at an open mic Friday at the Beerded Bean in Salinas, CA. It was a warm night in downtown Salinas with people fluidly moving in and out of the various music venues, bars and restaurants.

The Beerded Bean is small and narrow — almost New Orleans shotgun-like — which adds to its unique and intimate ambiance. That night we enjoyed everything from hip hop and folk to rock and poetry. Below are some of the shots I took of Chris with my iPhone 12. Stage front was packed, so I settled in at a table stage right and to the back to take advantage of the 3/4 lighting.