August 11, 2009 – Opening up for Green Day on their arena-busting tour, Scotland's Franz Ferdinand kicked off the night right with an infectiously upbeat set slinky dance-punk.
I'd seen Franz Ferdinand several years ago at a club, so it was great to see them rockin' a big stage supporting Green Day.
In a lot of ways, I thought that Franz Ferdinand's performance was a great warm-up for Green Day. While the band didn't move around that much during the alloted two-song the press photographed, the lighting kept us on our toes.
This live performance started out with lots of deep color washes – red and blue – that were punctuated by flare-ups of white light from high above.
For the most part, the white-light took the form of rimlighting more than anything, casting hot spots and sharp accents on the band members. I was very happy to see that, at least for some segments of the set, there was a good amount of haze on the stage to pick up this backlighting and give the set a touch more atmosphere. It's all too often that openers get such a spartan treatment that these little details are always appreciated.
The catwalk that Green Day utilized for their set was in place and divided the photo pit. The ramp was just long enough and narrow enough that it made getting from one side of the stage to another too tricky to do often, so I ended up photographing the set from stage right for the first song and then running over to stage left for a hot minute during the second song.
Back to the lighting of this set, I think it touches on an important part of concert photography, which is that people only see what you show them. Five out of the ten shots in this show bright white light in some form (six if you count the rimlighting in #6), when in fact the proportion of white light for the set was very, very slim.
I often get comments that the lighting is great at the concerts I photograph, but this is only half-true. What's more fully-accurate is simply that I press the button when the light looks good.
If there's only 10-seconds of great light during your three songs, make it count.