Everyone in the Triangle knows the story of Bombadil; in 2009, poised to break out with the spectacular and heartbreaking Tarpits and Canyonlands, the band took an abrupt and open-ended hiatus, based, publicly, mostly around de facto frontman Daniel Michalak’s deteriorating physical health. (If you aren’t from here, you can read last week’s Indy story about the band here.) They reappeared occasionally, playing a joyful set as an opener for last winter’s secret Avett Brothers show at the Cradle, and had, shortly before that show and unbeknownst to (most) of us, spent ten days outside of Portland … recording an album. They played a packed show at Hopscotch this past fall, an utter delight.
And on Saturday evening, thanks to the generosity of my buddy Adam (who put together a team of photographers and videographers to cover the show), I had the privilege of shooting Bombadil’s sold-out CD release party for the gorgeous, intimate All That The Rain Promises at the Cradle, from the best vantage point in the house — everywhere. Watching their set, from the crow’s eye view by the soundboard and the cramped space between the grand piano and the stage monitors, the packed and ecstatic crowd on the floor and the edges of backstage, was one of the sweetest, most genuine moments of my career as a photographer, musically and as a fan of the band and as a fan of reinventing yourself and as a fan of what the scene, here in the Triangle, means specifically. It was an evening without a single moment of bitterness; it was an evening that was joy in human form, rock and roll as worship.
The album is beautiful; the band are the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. Their story is a great one, but their songs are transcendent and transfixing. It was a privilege and pleasure to be there for it, and I hope that my shots convey half of how beautiful the whole evening was. Thank you, boys, for making something so lovely and for sharing it with us, and for letting me be a part of it. Thanks for reminding in the purest human way why I take photos.
Behind the jump, a selection of photos from the evening, and the full set, including shots of openers Future Kings of Nowhere (who are another Triangle story worth telling, but that one is not mine to tell here and now) and JKutchma & the Five Fifths, is here.