June 11, 2009 – Exactly how loud is the sound of 25,000 people screaming the words “I’m just a Girl” into the bowels of the Susquehanna Bank Center? The world may never know because whatever machine they were using to measure it went to 11 and then broke. Speaking from experience, I’d rank it somewhere between “Yeah that definitely did permanent damage to my hearing” and “Holy F*cking Sh*t No Doubt is touring again!”
Having shot two of the band’s first performances in five years, No Doubt has become my favorite band to photograph in 2009. There are the lights, the outfits and the giant video displays but what makes the group such an appealing subject is how much fun they have while performing. Every member of the band looks like (s)he’s having an absolute blast (what’s even better is that they sound great doing it).
Receiving credentials for this show came as a wonderful surprise. Just an hour before the band took the stage, I received an email from the group’s management. The band had seen my photos from Bamboozle and liked my work enough to have me shoot. Seeing as this happens just about all the time never, I was overjoyed.
1) Cover each band member equally – Epic Fail. Adrian Young, Stephen Bradley and Gabrial McNair simply didn’t come close enough during the first three songs for my 200mm lens. Sorry guys!
2) Get as many shots of Gwen, Tom and Tony interacting with each other as possible – Yup, got it. Even though Gwen had me running the length of the entire stage, I managed to get shots whenever she bounced towards Tony or Tom.
3) Get Hero Shots of Tom and Tony, but especially Tom – Check. While my position at Bamboozle gave me a good angle on Adrian, I felt I didn’t get enough of Tom embracing his inner rockstar. This time, I was determined to get a variety of shots of Tom and his beautiful guitar, the custom made Hamer Flying V. Even though they’re not the most flattering shots, in the GQ sense, I was also set on getting shots of Tony during some of his more “metal” moments.
I shot this set primarily with the Nikon 24-70mm lens on the Nikon D3. Since the entire band moves very quickly, I kept the shutter speed above 1/300 and used the ISO** and f-stop to keep up with the lighting changes. The Nikon 70-200mm lens was used for a few downstage shots..
** I generally use ISO to adjust my exposure perfering to leave my shutter speed and f-stop at their desired stopping power and depth of field. This way, noise increases or decreases but the technical foundation of the image remains the same. This is one of the best reasons to shoot entirely manual.
Huge thank-yous go out to Erin (and friends), Lisa and Dave for supporting my work. Big thanks to Carly for arranging everything on-site!