I've long heard about Steve Aoki's wild live shows, so I was very eager to see what the record label mogul, DJ and producer would do for his performance at the Pageant. With champagne, cranberry juice, and salad flying through the air – not to mention crowd surfing bodies – Aoki did not disappoint.
While Steve Aoki should get lauded for playing 100% of music he produced during his set, what's even more remarkable is his command over the crowd. He played the house as deftly as his tracks. The proof? Having fans literally screaming to have fruit juice and carbonated beverages sprayed all over themselves.
- Nikon D3
- Nikon D700
Over the past year, I've really grown to love shooting EDM acts at venues like the Pageant. The setup of shooting a gig like this in a music venue as opposed to a dance club changes things in a couple ways.
Obviously there's the dedicated stage setup instead of a DJ booth, and the accompanying production (lights) that go with that. But there's also a big change in the audience as well. Instead of 21+ events, these shows are now all ages, which has a massive effect on the energy of the show. People just go to let loose, cram into the pit with 700 other hot bodies, and scream their heads off. Sure, there are still people who dress up or go to be seen, but this feels like the minority at the front of the stage.
For me, shooting the atmosphere at a show like this is just as important as the talent. Steve Aoki is much more engaged than your typical EDM producer spinning tunes, which kicks up the energy level even more as he runs around.
I used pretty much all my gear at this show, with the exception of my f/1.4 primes. No need – there was relatively plenty of light. The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 made things fun, though I used the 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 just as much, it felt.
One thing to note about this show was that there were a ton of people in Aoki's crew shooting photo and video, so much that at times it felt impossible not to catch at least one when doing wide shots. How many people shooting do you count in this snap?