June 10, 2009 – When Steven Tyler is on the catwalk, bends down, and starts singing directly to you, one fact is made simple and abundantly clear: this is a pretty good gig. Personal serenade aside, this show was amazing. The hazards of a fierce lightning storm and torrential rain couldn't stop the rock, only delay it. Taking the stage 45 minutes after their scheduled start, the “Bad Boys from Boston” took the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater by force with rock star charisma and a set of world-class lights.
This was a fantastic show to photograph. Despite the long delay and getting soaked to the bone walking back to my car after shooting, there wasn't too much that could keep me from grinning as I left this concert.
The rules for this show were first three, no flash. There was also a relatively long catwalk into the audience, so photographers were corralled into one spot where the walk met the stage. Due to a curtain drop, we weren't allowed in the photo pit, though tour management said that this may change during the course of the tour as the logistics are worked out (this was the first show of the tour).
This positioning gave fairly good sight lines to Steven Tyler and Joe Perry at the expense of the other band members. A large fan at the corner where the stage met the catwalk prevented clear shots of the middle of the stage, but Tyler and Perry generally made good use of the space to maximize photo time.
The third song in particular was excellent for photography, as both Tyler and Perry came to the first few feet catwalk near the press area and gave us plenty of face time.
The third song is also when Steven Tyler took the liberty of singing into my lens not once, but twice. I'm just going to chalk that up to the Nikon 14-24mm's magnetism – rock stars just can't resist its bulging front element.
I photographed this concert with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. The 14-24mm f/2.8 also saw some time, but given the height of the stage and catwalk, I think I could have done without the ultra-wide.
24mm on full-frame is plenty nice for when Tyler and Perry come to the catwalk, but 14mm monkey jumped on my back and I just had to go for the ultra.
If you're shooting this tour, you're in for a great assignment.