Confetti. A huge light board at the back of the stage. Light-up lady legs. Electro funk. Full-set shooting access. Any one of these things would have been good on its own, but add it up together and I have to say that Chromeo's headline show at the Pageant might be one of my favorites for 2011.
Plus, any show that benefits from requires the ultra-wide Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 is probably a fun one.
I think that Chromeo's show at the Pageant was one of the highlights of 2011 for me so far. It was a great combination of an extremely fun live set with a good level of stage production.
Full Set Access
In addition, the band allowed for full-set access for press, right up until the encore. Photography from the pit during the encore wasn't allowed, I suspect, because Dave 1 came down off the stage to sing on the barricade during this time. All in all, full-set shooting was perfect and really allowed photographers to capture the story of this show, I think. With just three songs, it's impossible to shoot in this inclusive manner.
For me as a photojournalist, I want to make the best images of a performance that I possibly can. Not for my music editors or art editors, but for the fans. Access to shoot a full performance like this allows me to deliver the very best images to the fans (short of stage access!).
While the tour used the house lights from the front, which by themselves would have been a mild disaster, there was thankfully a huge array of lights at the back of the stage that flared up to excellent effect.
In terms of sight lines, this wasn't a great show, and the fact that was still fantastically photogenic is a testament to the lighting and the band's showmanship.
Both Dave 1 and P-Thugg are relatively surrounded by instruments, particularly P-Thugg and all his live beats studio. Thankfully, Dave 1 took ample opportunity to come out in front of his mic stand, which made for some great shooting, and both members came out to play on guitar together on a couple occasions.
This is one of the first shows where I used the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 extensively, and I was very glad to have this ultra-wide in my bag. I had felt bored with the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 for a while and had been using it much less over the past two years, but this show was simply perfect to pull out the crazy wide angle.
That said, my most used lens for Chromeo was the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. It's just a supremely useful lens. It's so useful, in fact, that I doubt could ever shop shooting with it for shows like this at the Pageant. I did use the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 for this gig as well, but much less intensely than the other two f/2.8 zooms.
Just an awesome show. Thank you to Chromeo for allowing photographing such good access to their shows – it makes all the difference, and we live music photographers certainly appreciate it.
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