Monday, April 26, 2010

Norah Jones @ Dodge Theatre

"Do you want to shoot uFest?"
"Yeah, I'll do that"
"How about Norah Jones on Sunday?"

I didn't know what the surprise was about. Maybe it was because I was happy to shoot uFest it meant I wasn't in to Norah Jones? Either way, I was pretty excited to photograph her. She's definitely carved herself a neat little niche. I was familiar with her when she got her start, but it was when she collaborated with Mike Patton, one of my musical icons, that I sort of "respected" her. I thought that was quite a leap for someone of her stature. Singing the line "The truth kinda hurts don't it, motherfucker?" was not probably something the mothers and tweens were ready to hear from her.

Of course, my initial reaction was "Cool, I'll be able to get some nice photos of a hip, young thing to class up my portfolio"... but then that old gauntlet came down... "You'll be shooting from the sound board." Now, I won't go on and on about it... I've written about it in previous posts... but I wasn't expecting it from someone like Norah Jones. But you take what you get.

In fact, I will say that Norah is the answer to the argument I was having internally and with Eagle fans when it came to my post on last week's Eagle's show; If the band is going to confine the photogs to back of house, fine. If the band doesn't want to move around, fine. But why not dress it up a bit? The Eagles, who have much deeper pockets than Norah Jones, put on a very minimalistic show... spot lights and a few colored bulbs. On the other side... Norah Jones' production team at least decided to gussy up the stage with some long flowing back drops to catch light... get the band in some smart looking clothes... use some interesting colored lights... and just looked like they tried with the budget they had.

I can't fault the show. Norah Jones is not Kiss or the Scorpions... I didn't expect LED backdrops. But she did what she does, and it looked fitting. The sound was great. Her voice was great. And the jazzy vibes from the band was a very welcome and relaxing counterpoint to the scream-rock band's I heard the night before. Since I was far away from the stage, there were only so many angles and things to shoot, which made it possible for me to stop and listen from time to time. It was a nice and easy shoot. I wish I had better pictures to take away from it, but that's how it goes.

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