SXSW 2014 - Up Next featuring Fred Armisen at Esther's Follies

March 20, 2014

Rest assured, if someone with their own TV show is performing at SXSW, people will come in their droves to see them. Fred Armisen (of Saturday Night Live and Portlandia fame) was no exception. This event at Esther's Follies, headlined by Armisen, featured a bevy of comedy talent, many of whom also had connections to SNL. A huge line had formed outside hours before the show was even due to start, and I suspect there were a lot of disappointed people who got turned away.

I love, love, love going to comedy shows, especially at the more intimate venues like Esther's Follies. This was my first time shooting one, however. The challenges are pretty much the same as a lot of music photography (dim lighting, no flash allowed, microphones obscuring the performers' faces, etc.), but being able to walk around a venue where everyone remains seated made for a much more relaxing time. Esther's Follies is a particularly nice venue for photography because the room slopes downwards towards the stage. Standing at the back, you can get a pretty clear shot over everybody's heads.

I enjoyed the whole show immensely. Every act was outstanding, but the highlight of the night (and indeed the entire festival) for me, was BriTANick. BriTANick (rhymes with Titanic) are a duo comprised of Nick Kocher and Brian McElhaney, and they might just be my new favorite thing ever. There's no way I can even come close to conveying just how funny their act was with my horrible, useless words, but to summarize, Kocher and McElhaney play multiple roles in a skit set in an old-timey western saloon, frantically switching back and forth between characters. Things start out simply enough, but the skit gets continuously derailed as Kocher sabotages and manipulates proceedings in order to try and kiss McElhany. As I said, I can't do it justice, but what I found so impressive was just how tight their performances were. It was a complicated, fast-paced sketch, and they never once missed a beat. It was incredible to watch. I've looked everywhere online for a recording but to no avail. They do have a bunch of videos on YouTube, however, so I implore you to check them out. Here's one of my favorites (there is a bit of bad language, just in case you don't like that kind of thing)...

And here are some photos from the evening.

SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenSasheer Zamata SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenTim Robinson SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenSasheer Zamata SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenTim Robinson SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenJoe Wengert SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenChris Gethard SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenChris Gethard SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenBriTANick (Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher) SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenBriTANick (Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher) SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenBriTANick (Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher) SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenNick Rutherford of Good Neighbor


SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenNick Rutherford and Beck Bennett of Good Neighbor SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenKyle Mooney of Good Neighbor SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenTim Meadows SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenFred Armisen SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenFred Armisen SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenFred Armisen SXSW 2014: Up Next featuring Fred ArmisenFred Armisen


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