September 25, 2008 – Propelled by the chemistry between singers Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan, indie rock band Stars wove a lilting set of lush pop in their debut performance at the Pageant.
One of the first things I do when I arrive at a club venue like the Pageant is to check whether or not a photo pit is in place. Unlike larger venues like arenas and amphitheaters, a dedicated space for press and security is not a guaranteed feature for a house like the Pageant.
While Neko Case the night before featured a very wide photo pit, it wasn't to be for Stars, so I made my way up to the stage through the thin crowd a few minutes before the openers, Bell X1, came on.
By the time Stars came on, the pit was loosely filled, just enough to make moving around difficult enough to conflict with the three song limit, so I stayed put. My position put me just stage left of Amy Millan, with Torquil Campbell slightly farther down stage.
Due to the fixed position, I shot with the 70-200mm f/2.8 on the D3 for the majority of the show, switching to the 24-70mm f/2.8 on the D700 for just a few wider shots. The band was positioned back from the front of the stage about two meters, so even 70mm on the telephoto zoom was plenty wide in most instances.
Stars were one of the very first bands I photographed when I was starting out. Last time I saw them, they were playing to 150 people in the basement of a university's student center, and it was great to see them again in the big hall of the Pageant.