Photos: Michael Franti & Spearhead

I last saw Michael Franti & Spearhead open for John Mayer on the Battle Studies Tour with a huge, high energy performance.

When I heard that they were coming to the Pageant, I knew that I had to cover the gig to see how they rocked a club.

Photographer's Notes:

Spotlights at a club? Definitely a rarity, but welcome – especially with a performer as energetic as Michael Franti when he's working the crowd.

Cameras Used:

Lenses Used:

One downside to spotlights is when the background lighting is weaker – which for clubs shows like this is almost always the case. However, to be fair, Franti's crew dialed up the lights a pretty good degree – the last photo above is evidence of that.

The other downside to spotlights is that unless there are spots on everyone, it usually means just the singer and possibly soloists are lit. So when the stage lights do go up on other band members, it's a real race to fire off a shot.

For this show, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 was a fantastic primary lens. The quick-focusing and the range were perfect for Franti's front-of-stage performance.

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon Z 7:
I use two Nikon Z 7 for my live music photography. A true do-it-all mirrorless camera with amazing AF, great speed and fantastic resolution.


Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8S:
The 24-70mm is my go-to lens. The range is ideal for stage front photography and the image quality is superb.


Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR:
A perfect pair to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I can basically shoot any job with the midrange and this lens. Superb image quality.


Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8:
Ultra-wide perspective, ridiculously sharp even wide open at f/2.8. I love using this lens up-close and personal, where it excels.

See My Full Kit for Concert Photography

Help Support

If this article or any other content on was helpful to you, please consider supporting this site and grabbing your next photo gear purchase through one of my affiliate links:

Simply clicking through any product links on this site helps me bring you free content like the photography tips and gear reviews regularly posted on, and naturally it doesn't cost you a cent more.