June 5, 2009 – Kicking off their summer schedule, country rock band Rascal Flatts brought the big lights to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis with support from Darius Rucker.
Rascal Flatts put on a great show – big lights, a great crowd response, and the perfect weather for this concert. In other words, an excellent way to start the summer shed shows.
This show wasn't a straight pit shoot, as there was a small catwalk that terminated in a round mini-stage, which in total projected out from the main stage about 15 or 20-feet. The setup was such that there was no true photo pit, so I was in amongst the crowd for the shoot, and there was very limited opportunity to move much.
The rules were two songs, no flash for this one. We shot the second and third songs, which was someone of a trial, since there was one point during the first song where the guys were rockin' it hard on a small catwalk.
This outcropping presented an interesting problem in positioning for the show. The main question was whether to just stick near the stage or to try for a spot at the end of the catwalk. Ultimately, I decided to start at the end of the catwalk and then to come in after the second song. This choice proved to work for me, but I think that any spot would have worked out. As it was, I did get my shots of Gary LeVox on the small stage.
Toward the end of the third song, I moved to the main stage, a task which itself took a minute or two due to the crowding at the catwalk. If I had to do it again, I might just shoot the whole show from the front of the main stage at the expense of any catwalk shots.
On a professional level, my goal for any show is to make the best, most compelling set that anyone is going to see from the show. On a personal level, my goal is arguably more modest: to secure one portfolio-quality shot. For this reason, I was happy to see guitarist Joe Don Rooney rocking out just as I got up to the front of the stage, and made one shot (third one in) that will spend some time in the portfolio.
This concert was the first of the summer shed shows for me – in the next 10 days along, I'll be back here half a dozen times, a fact which already has me chomping at the bit.