March 1, 2009 – A crisp suit, a sharp hat, and dance moves to make you weep? Ne-Yo's the one for you. Performing at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, the Grammy-nominated R&B singer delivered a stylish and impeccably choreographed set to the sold-out house.
For the first song, Ne-Yo came out at the of the stage on top of a small platform, surrounded by white smoke and blinding light. The singer wasted no time ripping into the set. The second song, however, is really where Ne-Yo really turned up the gas, leaving the mic stand at the front of the stage for a hyper-kinetic dance number that carried on into the third song without barely more than a pause for the audience to catch its breath.
Due to the choreographed dance numbers, this was a quick and challenging set to cover in the three-allotted songs.
Aside from the action, the lighting provided another challenge. High spotlights and Ne-Yo's ubiquitous hat did not play along so well, and the combination created deep shadows when there as no fill.
I shot this performance from a small gap between the first row of seated patrons and the stage, which made for tricky angles as I tried to say as unobtrusive as possible to view of the crowd.
Unlike the Pageant where I often shoot, the Fox Theatre features something closer to a four-foot stage, which rules out shooting standing straight up. As a result, I shot crouched down to some degree for three songs and tried to keep a low profile, rising up as necessary to shoot over the front of the stage.
The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 was just about perfect on the D3 for this set, and provided a choice set of focal lengths. The wider-end of the lens was especially useful for more environmental shots to include Ne-Yo and his supporting cast of dancers.
The 70-200mm f/2.8, on the other hand, didn't see much action. The tighter frame of the telephoto was simply left in the dust, given the close proximity and very fast action on stage during Ne-Yo's set.