Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bon Jovi @ Arena

A foreword to any Bon Jovi fans, the following comments are made from the view of a photographer, only based on the first 2 songs. I was actually fairly excited to shoot this show, because I knew it would be big. It was at arena... one of the 3 biggest venues in Phoenix... and it was Bon Jovi. Sadly, all that could have been, was not... at least in the first 2 songs.

The stage was proper rock show big. Lots of lights dangling in the air... a circular catwalk out in front... and 2 sets of organs (?). When the show started, I kept my wide lens on, thinking it would be a crazy showing of lights to get the crowd in a roar... but really it was just some white spots. The lighting for the entire first song was pretty uneventful. Just white light, with the occasional color throw in. The second song wasn't much different... except they turned on some video screens... which, the center screen was too high up to feel like a cohesive part of the set... and the lower screen wrapped around the bottom of the stage, behind all the gear. I realize I'm being overly critical here... I'm just trying to paint a picture.

There was no great spectacle in the opening... the band didn’t use the cat walk yet... so there were no opportunities for neat shots of Jon and Richie interacting with the crowd... and none of that "closeness" you can get with other big shows, because the photogs were positioned just in front of the catwalk. It was just sort of awkward.

So that's the bad... the good is that the white light was good light. Good for photos. The band sounded good, and for the most part, looked good too. There just wasn't a whole lot going on up on the stage. No ridiculous amounts of gear, or interesting backdrops. But if you're a fan, that probably didn't matter. All in all, it was an ok show. And before you even think it... I'm sure it got better as it went on. I just don't know why bands choose to leave the photographers out of the cool parts of the show... I mean, we're there to promote them! :)

Dashboard Confessional opened the show. It was fairly obvious tho, that this was a strictly Bon Jovi crowd. They didn't do down terribly or anything, it just didn't quite work as well as it could have. But they gave me some cool photos.

Oh... and one obligatory backstage photo. Enjoy.

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