By Scott Raymer
The Swedish metal band Avatar performed at the Vinyl Musical Hall in Pensacola, Florida on September 5th. The second opening act of the night was ’68, an Atlanta based punk rock duo comprised of Josh Scogin on guitar and lead vocals and Nikko Yamada on drums. They have released two studio albums, In Humor and Sadness in 2014 and Two Parts Viper in 2017.
The band performed with a minimalist stage setup. Both men entered the stage clad in dark suits with white shirt and tie. Yamada sat behind a simplistic Anchor drum set positioned parallel to the crowd, while Scogin stood behind a mic stand facing Yamada, wielding a Titan electric guitar. I was raised in the state of Michigan so watching them perform in this style immediately brought back memories of the Jack White led White Stripes who hailed from Detroit.
My main objective was to photograph the headliner, Avatar. However, some of the best photos of the night came from the ’68 performance. They put on a dynamic show full of emotion and energy with plenty of face melting, resulting in great photo opportunities. Sometimes while photographing a band, I become so hyper focused on getting the shot that I totally block out the music. But in this case, I was totally blown away by the sound of the band. As a result, both their albums now reside in my iTunes library.