Written and photographed by Robin Ervolina for Shockwave Magazine
Last October I was running around Champions Park in Louisville, KY trying to capture as many bands with my camera as possible. With the usual killer Louder Than Life line up, the last thing I needed was to try to squeeze in a band I’d didn’t know, but I kept hearing over and over, “Don’t miss Being As An Ocean!” In the literal sense of the word, I was plowed over by two kids racing to the stage an hour before the performance to ensure they were right on the rail. As my daughter (and music guru) helped dust me off, she said, “I told you, they’re kind of a big deal.” So I cleaned my lens, soothed my wounded ego with a warm whiskey, then headed to the small side stage to see what the fuss was about.
The rest, as it’s so fun to say, is history. Enthralled by the communion between lead vocalist Joel Quartuccio and the crowd, I barely shot a thing, and wasn’t sorry in the least as I traded images for memories. When Being as an Ocean announced a tour with Enter Shikari, I told everyone I was flying up to Baltimore for a chance to re-do the photo shoot. The truth of the matter is, I made the trip because I needed to experience them again, to see if the mystical aura surrounding their performance, capturing their fans, and spellbinding new observers, was a fluke.
So, it wasn’t.
As the slide show to follow will attest, capturing Quartuccio on camera is a challenge because the man does not wish to stay on stage, nor does he pay attention to anything but his fans. His passionate delivery is absolutely unique. Many vocalists are enthusiastic about their lyrics, and they sing or recite with conviction. That’s common, but that’s not what I’m talking about. There is something special about Quartuccio’s connection to his prose and his people. If you know the words to any of his songs, he will seek you out and thrust his mic in your face. If you recite his poetry along with him, you will find yourself forehead to forehead, joining in the sentiment, screaming out the message. Lots of fans love lots of bands, but I’ve never seen a band more in love with their fans than Being As An Ocean.