2022 is off to a great start for me. My first show of the year was also my first stadium/arena show ever! Tool at Honda Center in Anaheim. 18,000 seats. I was so nervous. Would the equipment that has served me so well in smaller venues be sufficient in this place? Do I really need to spend thousands on a new lens? Would I even be able to get a decent shot? This was one time I was actually worried that for once, my hobbity stature would actually be detrimental to this job. I had convinced myself that I was going to blow this. Thankfully, I don't think I did blow it.
Tool did not make this job easy. It felt like every obstacle that could be put in my path, was put in my path. It began when I was first approved for my credentials. I was informed that I would be permitted to shoot for only the first song, and any attempt to take a single photograph the second the final note ended, even accidentally, would result in the expulsion of all the photographers. One song. No pressure.
The hardest obstacle was the stage itself. They start the show with a ceiling to stage curtain made up of tens of thousands of long stringy fibers that light up during the show which I had to shoot under and onto the stage. That alone would not be too difficult, except in addition the stage being very high, storage boxes were placed in front it and stood so far out from the bottom of the stage that I couldn't even touch the stage.
Every show presents new challenges and I love it. My anxiety makes me a hot mess up until the second I take my first shot, but once I start, nothing else in the world matters. There is only the band in front of me and the camera on my face. And then the music stops, and I take a breath and review the images, and I feel a sense of relief and accomplishment and there in no better feeling.
I was given a ticket so that I could review the show as a whole, not just the first song. I bought my $8 cup of arena coffee and took my seat. The two and a half hour set was breathtaking.
You can find my full review here.