While the performances by Pink Floyd Tribute band El Monstero have been an annual tradition in December at the Pageant for years, 2011 marked the first time the group took the shout outside in the heat of summer.
I've shot El Monstero and the band member's various other projects for a couple years now, and it's always a good time. Plus, it's a great feeling shooting in the pit and seeing a big grin on the guys' faces when they see I'm covering the show.
This was the second show shooting with all my gear back from repair – nothing like a hot, swampy outdoor show to test out one's gear.
Technically, there wasn't much frontlighting for this show, but it didn't make much of a difference, thanks to two big lighting rigs on the sides of the stage. Light levels were more than adequate to shoot at ISO 1600 with f/2.8 glass.
The stage came in at about 5-feet tall, and together with the lights and monitors at the front of the stage, the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 was essential for this show. The telephoto lens helped immensely with the angles, as the reach allowed me to shoot farther back from the stage and eliminate clutter in the frames that would have been present at shorter focal lengths.
One of the best parts of the stage treatment for El Monstero was the huge amounts of haze used. Despite being an outdoor show, the haze hung around in the heavy summer heat and picked up the stage lighting beautifully.