Anonymous asked: I'm really wanting to get into concert photography but every time I've attempted I get really grainy pictures because I have the ISO at some crazy level. Any advice on some general settings that work best for you that I can try? I use a Nikon D600

Some cameras just can’t handle higher ISO settings. You could also try opening your aperture more. My old camera couldn’t go higher than about 900/1000 before looking grainy.

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And these lads are the reason why this all happened. A Day to Remember, all we have to say is thank you.  Without you, this wouldn’t have been possible. And I read that this is scheduled to be an annual event.  Trust me, we’ll be there. Self Help Fest 2014 was a complete success, and we can’t wait to see where you take the next one.  From pyrotechnics to cannons of confetti, to rolling around in a giant hamster ball, you guys made it a day to remember. Hah. Yeah, I just did that.  

In addition, after we left the pit, I went and laid on the lawn while they played If it Means a lot to You, and serenaded all my friends via snapchat singing along. I’m sure they appreciated that. 

Again. Thank you.

-XXVII

Photography by Jen Reightley

This was one for the books.

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Bring Me The Horizon.  It is a well known fact that I am very fond of their most recent album release, Sempiternal.  I even rated it as the best album of 2013.  With that being said, I think these guys were the most motivating reason why I bought my ticket.  Oliver Sykes took the stage, and asked the crowd, “Put away your cameras, and your mobiles. Just live in the moment.” He then motioned to have the crowd split into a pit, and they obeyed. With songs from Shadow Moses, The House of Wolves, and It Never Ends, all the way back to Diamonds Aren’t Foreverthe band made an impact that resonated through San Bernardino, hearing thousands of voices shout in unison, “We will never sleep, cause sleep is for the weak. No we will never rest, till we’re all fucking dead.” They’re playing two more local shows this Friday and Sunday at Soma in San Diego.  Catch them if you can.  

-XXVII

Photography by Tyler Jo Gaines & Jen Reightley

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I’ve been listening to A Skylit Drive since 2007.  I remember when She Watched the Sky was released, and I fell in love with the sound of post-hardcore music mixed with electronic elements.  Now they’ve moved to a metalcore sound, but it still feels authentic.  Being a fan for so long, I had been hoping for a few more old songs.  We will be catching them on Wednesday in Hollywood, so maybe I’m still set up for some oldies!  Also, we hope Jordan Blake is doing well.  Very proud of where Jag has taken this band, but I’m feeling a little nostalgic. 

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Photography By Jen Reightley & Tyler Jo Gaines

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Attila are a unique combination of party-rock and death metal, and this sound provides for an interesting set every time.  Lead vocalist Fronz makes outlandish noises with his mouth, and his iconic shirt sets him apart in many ways.  Listening to the crowd chant back to him “Six Six Six Party With The Devil Bitch,” was quite the experience that I won’t soon forget. 

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Photography By Jen Reightley

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Memphis May Fire were the last band to perform on the indoor stage.  The lights were blacked out, and they had red spotlights that made us feel like we were in a science fiction film.  With the anticipation of they’re album Unconditional, the crowd filled the hanger from entrance to barricade.  Playing tracks from all three studio albums, as well as songs off the upcoming album, Memphis May Fire know how to connect with fans new and old.  Matty Mullins is a genuine stand up guy who lives a righteous life and writes songs to help kids through tough times.  Fitting in perfectly with the rest of the performers at Self Help Fest, Memphis May Fire are an exceptional example that there is still life in the hardcore scene.  Check out Unconditional, which drops today.  We’ll be catching up with them on the Unconditional Tour on Wednesday in Hollywood. Stay tuned!

-XXVII

Photography By Jen Reightley & Tyler Jo Gaines

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I remember when Tyler “Telle” Smith used to slap bass for one of my favorite bands, Greeley Estates. Proving himself in yet another musical talent, the frontman of The Word Alive has more energy than a can full of sugary goodness, and his ability to entertain a crowd is nearly unrivaled.  With their song Life Cycles, they represent positive influence and the importance of standing up for what you believe in.  Using metalcore to express positive world views, the band has nowhere to go but up. Just watch out for when Telle takes flight. 

-XXVII

Photography By Jen Reightley

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These beautiful Australian lads are enjoying a break from their tour, and basking in our wonderful California sun.  They look like they’ve walked straight out of an Urban Outfitters campaign, and they play sounds reminiscent of Emarosa and Isles & Glaciers. Their sophomore album Unimagine is well rounded and has a very complete, tuned feeling.  Getting ready to jump on the Unconditional Tour with Memphis May Fire, followed by their own headlining tour, they’re lighting up and making the most of all the opportunities that are being thrown at them.  I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve been listening to their album on repeat.  We witnessed them very briefly at warped tour last year, and they’ve gotten even better since then.  We caught up with them back stage after their performance, and I was very impressed with how humble and genuine each of these guys was.  Two thumbs up, for sure.

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Photography by Tyler Jo Gaines & Jen Reightley 

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One of the shining moments of the day was soon to follow, as I found myself at the letlive. set. The staff at XXVII have determined that even if letlive. we’re playing a Miley Cyrus show, they could get the crowd pumped.  With songs like Muther and Younger, Jason Butler (Vocals) expressed his appreciation and dying affection for all of his fans.  We even witnessed a single tear (Don’t worry, Jason. Nobody reads this yet!).  Being from LA, it was evident that many of the fans have been supporting letlive. from the very beginning.  From jumping around on stage, to pouring water bottles onto the crowd, to throwing his shoes off the stage and ripping his clothes off, Jason Butler is less of a frontman, and more of a Jesus-bearded all around entertainer who connects with his audience on a deep spiritual level with every guttural shriek. If you ever have the chance to see letlive. perform live, drop whatever you’re doing and be there. 

-XXVII

Photography By Jen Reightley & Tyler Jo Gaines

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Here’s Redeem/Revive, an up-and-coming post hardcore group from Orange County, California.  I’ve been fortunate enough to catch these guys at Chain Reaction and The Observatory, and let me tell you: they know how to get down.  Their single Empathy feels like it could fit on any of the major label mixtapes, with a sound that resembles Issues and mild hints of blessthefall.  Performing first in the hanger, they were at a distinct disadvantage.  But frontmen Aldo and Joshua didn’t let this stand in their way of having a good time.  With a decent following from the surrounding area, the crowd appeared thrilled not only to be there, but to support a local blooming artist.  I even caught Anthony (One Last Look) singing along behind the pit.  Seriously, check these guys out.  Their cover of C’mon is available on Spotify, so what are you waiting for?

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Photography by Tyler Jo Gaines & Jen Reightley

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Our dudes in Beartooth put on an expectedly excellent set.  Guitarist Kam Bradbury is caught leaping off an amp at the beginning of the set, and later surfing with his guitar, feat to the sky.  Caleb Shomo is great at expressing himself through his music and movements on stage, and this is yet another band to keep an eye on for the foreseeable future.  I’ve been bit by the Beartooth.

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Photography By Jen Reightley 

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Hundredth isn’t afraid to get down. Here are some of the shots of them, with Chadwick Johnson getting right up in the faces of his adoring fans.  This band has tons of energy, and were a great way to start the day.

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Photography By Jen Reightley

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We could hear our friends Speaking the Kings playing from the parking lot.  Opening for one of the biggest Southern California hardcore shows ever put together, they were fortunate enough to find themselves on the receiving end of a Battle of the Bands victory.  Taking the stage early didn’t hinder them from getting the crowd excited, with Bobby Burap serenading the crowd with the popular Call Me Maybe. This band always has a lot of energy, and they are not afraid to get loud. 

-XXVII

Photography By Jen Reightley

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I purchased my tickets for Self Help Fest as soon as it was announced. After reviewing the lineup, I realized there was no way I could miss it.  Two nights ago, I packed my bags for the day.  My still-healing Sempiternal tattoo was shielded from the sun, and I was ready to go.  I knew that Self Help Fest was going to be huge, but I had no idea it would resemble Warped Tour crowds with a fraction of the bands.  We arrived around 12:30pm, and the lines were teeming with teen angst and excitement. Everyone was smiling, ready for what turned out to be one of the best collections of post-hardcore music ever put together.

Fortunately, March weather in San Bernardino permitted a comfortable attire of tank tops and skinny jeans.  Two stages were set up across the Nos Event Center.  The main stage was outdoors, while the secondary stage (featuring bands like Redeem/Revive, letlive., and Memphis May Fire) was located inside an aircraft hanger.     The acoustics from the hanger were nothing less shot of brilliant.  The echo throughout the surrounding area could not have been more appropriate.

Throughout the day, we will be posting more photos from the event, with specifics of each performance.  Thanks for reading. We love you. Happy Tuesday

- Tyler

- XXVII

Photography by Tyler Jo Gaines & Jen Reightley

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Welcome to the home of XXVII Magazine.  We post things about the music scene, local shows, artists, and just cool stuff. Stay tuned for more. Thanks for reading.

Founded 2014 -

Jen Reightley: Founder, Photographer, Ninja Master

Tyler Jo Gaines: Founder, Photographer, Editor-in-Chief, Sensei

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