Sunday night I caught Strung Out at the Ogden Theater here in Denver, which just happened to be the last show of the tour. I had really wanted to set up some promos, but things being as crazy as they have been here at the ranch, wasn’t able to get it all sorted out (new city, new job, moving studio space, new studio launch.)
I had never shot the Ogden before, and was pleasantly surprised when not only did someone answer the phone there that afternoon before the show, but they actually knew what was going on, as it was their production manager, Mike. Alas, he informed me there would not be a barricade for a photographers’ “pit.”
So I texted the tour manager for side stage approval which he granted, but you know, side stage just doesn’t cut it for me. You are essentially shooting profiles at best, and mostly backs of heads. Sure, it’s nice and safe – especially at your punk shows like this – but you definitely lose something being on the sidelines. Actually, you pretty much miss everything.
So I finally got there, and was surprised to see few people in the front pit area for the band on directly before Strung Out. But oh, is that stage high! They had a nice side stage area and the security guys said I could shoot from there, but I ended up going on the first tier with a permanent rail about 15 feet back from the stage so I could shoot over the heads of the pit.
Which was good, because it was pretty rowdy up front. Maybe it’s always like that, but since I am usually down in front of it with cameras pointed stageward, I don’t see the mess I am usually in. Which is maybe a good thing.
Having said that, I am no stranger to getting in there and getting tossed around, but it really doesn’t make good photos shooting up the bands’ nostrils and getting slammed into the stage. So I primarily shot from the behind the railed tier just above, which meant 70-200mm f2.8. And I’m sorry to say, it was still too damn dark, especially for punk and metal acts that are extra…mobile.
But at least I didn’t get the shit beat out of me for once, although some idiot couple more focused on slobbering on each other than the show managed to knock some half empty cups on my camera bag. Get a damn room already, would ya?
And oh yes…Strung Out kicked some ass. But as long as these guys have been out there touring, you knew that already, right?