My April was spent getting ready for a work trip that I was extending into a long holiday, taking in Orlando, Miami and the Bahamas. I purposefully held back from shooting too many gigs in advance, however I did have one gig on the calendar for the day I came back and that was this one. Take That have always put on huge shows with creative visuals for their fans and I didn’t want to let some jet lag get in the way of what would be a fun shoot.
I knew the shoot would be from the middle of the crowd and that a telephoto lens was pretty much all I’d be using. This doesn’t matter as much with a show of this nature since it’s all about getting the scale of what is on stage. What I found out after the show was that the best was yet to come, and the first three songs was essentially an empty stage by comparison. My sister was at the gig and told me how the show kept getting bigger, busier and better, complete with rain which fell in patterns and shapes, band members being raised up to the rafters. I was there to shoot the three lads in action and I got that, but given the chance to shoot the rest then it would have been icing on the cake.
Bar the distance from the stage to shoot, the only other obstacle was when the crowd got to their feet by the second song. This meant a lot of dodging and moving to try get the angle I wanted and without people’s heads, hands or phones in the way. It wasn’t always achievable and either resulted in a little of them getting in the shot or not being able to capture the image at all as planned. The band moved around the stage quite a bit and were only in the same frame when zoomed in at a handful of times. The rest of the time they would be separately wandering the circular stage to see other parts of the crowd and give them some face time.
Regardless of how tired I was from my overnight flight and lack of sleep over the last two days, if I was offered a seat to stay I would have been very tempted to stay and see the rest of the show they put on. As much as they would have been laughable when I was growing up, listening to grunge, Britpop and everything else, they have aged gracefully ( both as a band as well as musically) and are as strong as a three man group and not showing any signs of losing quality for it.