Wednesday: Manchester Orchestra. Never heard of them till a few days before the night of the show. Watched a little of the Bulls- Hawks game with them on the bus before the show (They are from Atlanta so it was a little tense- Bulls were kicking butt). Took them outside for a little shoot at the end of the first quarter- priorities! Then they had to do a show. Band was really good, and the crowd knew the words to almost every song. Average age of the audience was about 17- man did I feel old!!!
Thursday: Of Montreal. Had seen some articles about them a few years ago but never tried to shoot them. My mistake. Did a quick shoot with them after soundcheck and then prepared myself to talk the road manager into letting me shoot more than 3 songs. Went downstairs to find him, asked him my question and it was met with a perplexed look. “Don’t worry everybody with a photo pass can shoot the whole show- stills or video. Also everyone in the audience can also shoot anything they want.” YIKES!!!
The show was amazing. There were people dressed as pigs and Mexican wrestlers beating each other up in between band members playing some great stuff and a lead singer/showman who prowled the stage, sang great and looked great in a mini-skirt.
Friday: Little Big Town. They were opening for Sugarland. Drove to the suburbs in rush hour traffic to find out that there was no pit, just a country version of a mosh pit in front of the stage! Trying to shoot in that situation, for a person my height, was troublesome. To add to that, it seemed to me that there were many parents in the pit with small children on their shoulders! Still a pretty good show, though. When I was walking in, I ran across a press photographer who shoots a lot of shows. He was carrying a 300MM lens with a monopod. He told me that he always carries it to arena shows, because it has become the norm for photo access to be confined to the sound board. Oh well, another freedom for photographers down the drain.
Saturday: Surfer Blood. Another band I have never heard of! Four nice kids from Florida. Sold out the venue. Will probably be pretty big. I felt like I was about 100 years old by midnight. I shouldn’t complain, though. Four bands who let me shoot in four days!