June 17, 2009 – Returning to St. Louis on their annual summer tour, Dave Matthews Band laid into an epic set of lush lights and a big sound that had crowd on their feet.
Despite the heat and suffering under the oven-like climate of the shed, Dave Matthews Band's performance at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater was a fun show to cover. Great lights, a big band, and a laid back vibe just made for the perfect summer concert.
When I arrived at the security gate, I was met by the Live Nation reps. A few days before, my contact with Live Nation had surprised me with the suggestion that I should bring a nice print of the stadium shot the band had used for the album art for their Live Trax recording from their performance at Busch Stadium.
Aside from coming with a massive 20″ x 30″ print in tow, this was really just like any other concert.
While the shooting rules for this show were first-three-songs, no photographer should ever really worry with Dave Matthews Band. The three songs we shot lasted nearly 20-minutes, so there's plenty of time to get the job done. The first song DMB played felt particularly extended, with some nice opportunities to catch the band rocking out in the solos.
The lights were plenty bright, so there isn't too much to worry about with regard to shutter speeds and such for this tour.
One interesting thing to note about this tour is that the background lighting effects are constantly cycling, so that even on a burst you're going to catch lots of variation in the treatment.
Careful timing to catch the lights you want is really going to pay off, and will mean the difference between Dave spotlighted against a black backdrop or catching him against one of the more lush, colorful treatments the lighting designers have cooked up.