Phoenix sounded fantastic in their first appearance at The Pageant, a show I'd been looking forward to ever since it was announced. How'd they look, though? As long as the lights were up, the band looked great, but this set was a huge challenge with a mixture of strobes, projection, uplighting, and just about everything in between.
This show was a little insane to photograph. First off, there was a plastic tarp in the narrow photo pit, covering the floor and the sides and braces of the barricade, all of which made treading carefully a necessity. There's a kabuki curtain and curtain drop later on in the show, so the plastic sheet is there to keep the kabuki clean.
The major challenge of this show, however, was the lighting. In general, there's a lot of darkness during the first few songs, which is punctuated by short-duration lighting of all kinds, from seeming every direction. The band's lighting seemed to employ everything from uplights to strobes to projectors and strong backlights.
I used the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 for the majority of my shooting with Phoenix. Singer Thomas Mars does a great job at working the front of the stage, so in spite of a row of monitors on the high stage, he makes things relatively easy.
The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 came into play most notably for drummer Thomas Hedlund at the back of the stage, but was also key for when Mars stepped back to center stage, as you can see in the lead shot.
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