Johna Performs at WitZend, Venice, CA

WitZend is one of those cool places that could have come right out the ’60s coffee house scene. It’s brick wall, exposed beams, small bar, and good food transcend the decades and make you feel right at home. If fact, several leather sofas, in addition to cafe tables, and old theater seats, makes it seem like you might be in a friend’s living room. Add the mellow tones of Johna you may never want to leave.

Vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Nadine Krämer has one of those voices that can entrance you. Kolja Pfeiffer handles the keyboards, and together, this German duo make for a very pleasant listening experience. They are probably considered ‘pop’ performers, but there is a blues quality, and every one-in-awhile, I got the feeling that Nadine could be a rocker, if she choose.

OK, I write about photography, and not music, but Johna, at the WitZend, in Venice, CA., was a very comfortable experience.

Johna opened shortly after 7PM, on an August evening, so there was still some sunlight coming in through the large windows facing Lincoln Boulevard, as well as a couple ceiling sunlights. There was enough light to shoot without flash, but I knew we would quickly loose the natural light, so I placed a Nikon SB-900 with a Gary Fong Universal Lightsphere, to stage right, put a Nikon D700 on a Manfrotto monopod, and alternated between flash and no flash. I started with a sensitivity setting of ISO 800, but soon was working at either 3200 or 6400. As I’ve said, in other posts, ’embrace the grain”. 🙂

Johna at the WitZend

Kolja Pfeiffer — Keyboards Listening to Nadine Krämer — Vocals/Guitar

Johna at the Witzend

Kolja Tinkles the Ivorys 🙂

Kolja on Keyboard

Kolja on Keyboard

Nadine Krämer -- Vocals/Guitar

Nadine Krämer — Vocals/Guitar

Nadine Krämer -- Vocals/Guitar

Nadine Krämer — Vocals/Guitar/Songwriter

Nadine Krämer -- Vocals/Guitar/Songwriter

Nadine Krämer — Vocals/Guitar/Songwriter on Johna’s West Coast Tour

As I do for most club performances, I took a 50mm/1.4, 85mm/1.4, and a 70-200mm/2.8. While I generally transport everything in a Tamarac System 10, (or Pelican roll-aboard) — yes, it’s about 15 years old — once I get to the venue, I find it too bulky to use when moving through the crowd, or between the tables, so I put one lens on the camera, and the other two in a Shootsac.

Johna on Stage

Johna on Stage at the WitZend — the 2nd Stop on their Month-Long West Coast Tour

If you missed Johna at the Whiskey a Go Go, in Los Angeles, or at WitZend, in Venice, run down to San Diego, for their next tour stop, or see the full schedule, here.

For more photos of Johna, in Venice, check out the gallery.

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