Wilco @ the Pageant — 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

In the first of their three-date residency playing to their hometown crowd, Wilco thumped the Pageant with a big dose of hot, smoldering rock.

Setting the tone for the short residency, Jeff Tweedy led the band through an epic, catalogue spanning set:

1. Sunken Treasure
2. You Are My Face
3. Hummingbird
4. Ashes Of American Flags
5. Company In My Back
6. Handshake Drugs
7. Pot Kettle Black
8. A Shot In The Arm
9. On And On And On
10. Misunderstood
11. Far, Far Away
12. Impossible Germany
13. New Madrid
14. Jesus, Etc.
15. California Stars
16. Walken
17. I'm The Man Who Loves You
18. Heavy Metal Drummer

Encore 1:
19. Spiders (Kidsmoke)
20. Hate It Here
21. Kingpin

Encore 2:
22. Passenger Side
23. Red-Eyed And Blue
24. I Got You (At The End Of The Century)
25. Casino Queen
26. Outtasite (Outta Mind)

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Wilco @ the Pageant -- 2008.05.15

Photographer's Notes:

Wilco's performance on May 15 was the first of a short, three-day residency at the Pageant to wrap up their Spring 2008 tour, and I was interested to see what sort of production the band would have on stage.

I shot from a very narrow pit with one other photographer, with just barely enough room for us to get by one another.

During the first three songs, frontman Jeff Tweedy mostly stayed at the front of the stage, occasionally reeling back from the mic or stepping back to play near drummer Glenn Kotche.

I found most of the best angles of Tweedy came stage left, in part due to the performer's stance and also by default, since that position also most clear of speaker monitors.


Lighting for the first song saw dull green and blue effects from behind and warm white light from high in the front. The second dong saw splashes of white light in the background, juxtaposed with a bit of red, while strong blue with yellow accents dominated the third song.

Overall, the front lighting changed very little, leaving the majority of the work to the backlighting.

Exposure & Metering:

I shot around f/2 and 1/160 at ISO 3200 for this set. Strictly speaking, the lighting wasn't as dim as I thought it might be, but I decided to shoot at ISO 3200 for added depth and color fidelity.

Luckily, movements of the band were calculated and few, so I was able to let shutter speeds slide a little more without the fear of too much motion blur.

Lenses & Gear:

I shot almost exclusively with primes for this set with the D3, relying heavily on the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 and Nikon 85mm f/1.4.

Due to the quality of the light, I wanted to stay with as low an ISO as possible. While I could have shot at ISO 6400 and f/2.8 with zooms, I knew the deep shadows and color mix would benefit from the lower sensitivity.

Generally speaking, the two-prime combo covered the event nicely, and I didn't really want for much more than the lenses offered.

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

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