On the heels of the release of their chilling new single, “Bury You,” Nefariant played The Meadows in Brooklyn on Saturday with support from Moths, Sun & Flesh, and The Unbroken.
Nefariant has been doing anything but standing still as of late; they’re releasing their new EP, Noct, one song at a time with a new single out each month through February, they recently debuted a music video for their single, “Beg,” and their set at The Meadows promised to be their longest to date.
While I’m usually an arrive-at-doors kind of guy, there are times where that just isn’t in the cards. This was unfortunately one of those nights, and I missed The Unbroken and Sun & Flesh’s sets. I did, however, make it in time to catch some of Moths’ set and they were phenomenal.
Closing out their mainland US tour, the Puerto Rican metal act played an explosive set that had me hooked from the moment I walked in. So much so that when I saw they already had a few photographers getting shots I decided to keep my camera in my bag and just enjoy the show. Of course there ended up being a few moments where I’d really wished I had my camera handy, but it was nice to take the time to watch and listen. Moths were spectacular, and they got the crowd plenty warmed up and excited for the headliners of the evening.
Nefariant commanded the audience from the moment they stepped foot on the stage, their gothic ferociousness drawing the fans into the darkness as the band delivered a dynamic set of passionate anthems. Despite the absence of a guitarist, Nefariant’s songs are still massive. the strength of their sound driven by pianist Paul Cibrano’s melodies and the rhythms of bassist Daniel Martinez and drummer Andrew Maciejewski.
The trio created the most cryptic of melodic beds upon which frontman Jason Lekberg could lay down his killer vocals. Lekberg held nothing back in his delivery, leaving his full heart and an empty whiskey glass on the stage by the end of the set.
Nefaraint’s setlist included tracks from their 2021 EP, “Fowl,” and treated fans to the new songs the band has been releasing. Ending with “Bury You,” the band said good night only to have the crowd demand one more song which, after humorous deliberation, was delivered to the fans’ excitement and adulation.
A show at The Meadows means no photo pit and the ability to use a flash, so I was excited to get to experiment with my flash and to have plenty of time to do it.
The lighting was low which made the flash more of a necessity than an accessory. I wanted to capture the mood of the stage lighting, though – so I decided to bump my ISO ceiling to 6400. It helped, but like the last time I tried it, I ended up regretting it when it came time to manage the noise in Lightroom. It’s not that it’s not manageable, it’s just that I don’t want to get into a habit where using A.I. to denoise my photos (which was required in this case) is a built-in part of my process.
I decided to focus on two styles: creating trails with flash plus slow shutter, and double exposure. I spent so much time on these I nearly forgot to grab “normal” photos. I was just having too much fun.
For a bit I felt like I was getting to a plateau in terms of my creative inspiration during a performance, but I think it was more that I was choosing a rinse and repeat approach over challenging myself to take more chances. I’ve found that by playing with the camera a bit more, be it via double exposure, slow shutter, or whatever I try out next, I’m taking less shots but I’m loving a lot more of the shots that I do take.