June 2, 2009 – Returning to the Pageant after a three year absence, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs came packing a powerhouse set, led by the indomitable Karen O.
This was a tricky shoot due to very tough lighting. Not so much the lack of intensity, but simply strange color washes and casts to the stage lights during the first three songs. Of course, as I look back at the start of the fourth song, there's some beautiful white light. Naturally.
But there's really no reason to complain when photographing Karen O., as she's simply a phenomenal subject in any light. Truly, KO is one frontwoman who is doing something interesting just about 100% of the time.
As weird as the lights were, Karen made this shoot as easy as it could have been. So many great gestures in just three songs that one starts to lose count of all the finger wagging, pointing, waving, and so forth.
There was a small arc of speaker monitors at the front of the stage, partitioning off a small area that Karen O. stayed within during the time I photographed her. As a result, I stuck mostly to the Nikon 70-200mm for this show. I could have easily shot with only this lens and been quite happy. The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 only came out for a few shots, but even then these were mostly past 50mm or so.
The pit was really tight for this gig, with no real reason. I can only assume that tour management wanted it that way for some reason, but it was tight enough that moving around wasn't too much of an option. I shot most of this set from the same three-foot slot.
Apologies to Nick Zinner and David Pajo. I know; You guys were on stage, too. But it's really hard to tear the lens away from Karen O. Brian Chase just lucked out because he was directly behind her at the back of the stage.