One of my favorite places to see a show is also one of my least favorite venues to take photos at—The Asbury Lanes. Located, in the newly revitalized beach front area of Asbury Park, The Asbury Lanes is a vintage ’50s bowling alley that looks like it’s been hidden under sheets for more than half a decade (and there’s a good chance it was). The clientèle consists of punk rockers and rockabilly cats and the music usually skews towards psychobilly.

The problem with photographing bands there, is that the stage is planted right between four bowling lanes, and the available lighting is pretty much a handful of yellow, ambient lights (the sound system does kickass, however). Additionally, the stage is tiny and low to the floor. Forget about a photo pit. You’re luck they have a couple of risers to take shots above the crowd. Last Saturday, two of my favorite bands played—The Nekromantix and The Koffin Kats. I’ve been shooting the Koffin Kats for about three years now and the energy they exude on stage is amazing to behold. I could take photos of them for days. Singer Vic Victor swings his giant bass every which way, and guitarist Tommy Koffin is no less aerobic in his guitar posturing.

The Nekromantix are equally as exciting live, but singer Kim Nekroman isn’t exactly the kind of man to pose for shot. In fact, this is the first time I’ve ever snapped a photo of him with his eyes open, let alone screaming. I shot the whole set with my Tamron 17-50mm 2.8, which never stops amazing me. I taxed my 430EX flash to the point where I think it was begging me to stop using it. I guess that means it’s finally time to break down and get the 580II. I so rarely use a flash that I sort of don’t want to do it, but situations like this one make me realize just how necessary is pro flash gun is. The 430 has treated me very well these last few months and I highly recommend it for anyone who needs a solid flash that gets the job done.

If you are every down in Asbury Park, make sure you visit The Lanes (there’s a show almost every night) and swing by the Crybaby Gallery for some great contemporary art.