The Legends of Hip Hop Tour 2011 rolled through the Chaifetz Arena along with some of hip hop's earliest and most influential artists, including Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh, Salt ‘n Pepa, Biz Markie, Kurtis Blow, and MC Lyte.
The Legends of Hip Hop was a smaller arena show as far as these types of events go, but I think the format worked pretty well for the acts. The stage was pleasantly low, at just 3-feet or so, with several monitors spread out along the front of the stage.
Light from the front consisted entirely of spotlights, while at the back of the stage there was a very small array of gelled lights. There were also some vertical arrays at the sides of the stage, but for the most part these didin't really come into play.
Thanks to the relatively abundant spotlights, I shot at a comfortable ISO 1600 with a high shutter speed. While I could have shot at ISO 800, I preferred keeping my shutter speed as high as possible to help freeze the motion on stage. Since the high ISO performance of the D3 and D700 is so good anyway, shooting at ISO 1600 never elicited a second thought.
There was no barricade at this show, only a wide gap between the seats on the arena floor and the stage. This all worked out just fine until Salt ‘n Pepa got ready to take the stage and their DJ instructed people to come to front of their stage. Great for fans, bad for photographers. Still, everything worked out.
Shooting restrictions for this show was the first two songs of every artist. While I'd have loved more shooting time, I was actually thankful for a two-song limit because it meant shooting for each act was kept short. Since the lighting didn't really change from song to song, this imposition made for refreshingly quick editing after the event – a definite plus.