Vienna Teng - Loft Benefit Concert

Sound check On March 11th and 12th Vienna Teng came over and performed in two benefit concerts at my loft in Oakland. Marika Hughes (cello), Alan Lin (violin), Jim Batcho (drums), and I joined her on stage.

At the door, we accepted donations totalling $1,386 USD (!), which will be donated to the following organizations: Sea Shepherd, International Committee of the Red Cross, and Big Brothers Big Sisters International

We're also going to make available a streaming-video version of the show to all attendees and people who donate (a great way to see the show, if you weren't able to attend in person). I'll make details available when we're ready.

Marika wasn't able to play on Saturday, so I sat in for about five of the songs. But on Friday, I was caught completely off guard when they called me up; I suppose I should have expected it, though. :)

Saturday's performance incurred the wrath of the guy who lives above me, who managed to make a really loud banging noise through the thick, concrete ceiling -- impressive, to say the least. But it was completely ridiculous: I believe I am *allowed* to make noise at 9:20pm on a Saturday evening. It wasn't any louder than music from a party might have been. Later on, my neighbors assured me that he is the building grinch, and that I shouldn't concern myself with his concerns. The next time, we'll just start over when he starts banging. Right? :)

During one of the shows, I noticed one of the most severe acts of "chimping" I've ever seen. Imagine: Vienna Teng is twenty feet away, performing in an intimate setting and debuting quite a few new songs, and someone in the back is banging away with his digital camera, his face buried in LCD previews. Uh... hello? New songs! First time! Even *I* stopped taking photos.

I see this sort of thing all the time when I'm off shooting. As a guy who documents everything, I always try to throw in a healthy chunk of experience with the requisite documentation. Very important.

About Vienna Teng:

"Our next guest is a talented singer/song-writer from the Bay Area who is making her television debut with us tonight. This is her CD entitled 'Waking Hour.' I've heard the entire CD and there's not a dud on this. You get your money's worth here, ladies and gentlemen." - David Letterman

"The San Jose Mercury News likened Vienna Teng to 'a child of Chopin and Sarah McLachlan,' and she took her first name in adulthood as an homage to the city of Mozart and Beethoven. She writes songs so graceful and memorable that you realize only slowly how confessional they really are. Now in her mid-20s, Teng has been writing songs and playing the piano since she was six and by now her silvery piano stylings, subtly incorporating New Age and world music influences, seem intricately woven into her soothing vocals. Teng's latest album, Warm Strangers, offers a set of unique acoustic landscapes, each beautifully matched to a little short story in song. 'It's easy to think of the people around us as mere objects, cold and removed,' says Teng. 'Writing songs is my way of breathing warmth into them.' - The Ark (

"[BOOTY MUSIC!]" - Sports Illustrated

More information about Vienna can be found at

Special thanks to Adam Tow, Jim Batcho, and Issac Roth, who manned cameras during the performances. Vinh has also posted some photos.

UPDATE: Adam posted some photos later on.