Here’s something you probably weren’t expecting from me. Though I’ve shot concerts on assignment before (here, for instance) I don’t tend to go very often as a fan, simply because I don’t have the time, and even if I did, most of the acts I’d want to listen to don’t come to Kuala Lumpur.
But since Avril Lavigne decided to stop by on her 2014 new album tour, I thought ‘why not?’ Oddly enough, a lot of people have said they’d never expected me to be a fan. Time passes quickly: she released her first single in 2002, which is now 12 years ago and about the same time I was starting to take photography seriously. By that metric, even Britney Spears is starting to look like easy listening classical. I liked her first two albums, a lot. There was a good mix of the catchy and the depressingly grungy. The third album, Goodbye Lullaby, didn’t quite do it for me; it felt too…soft. Fortunately, the new album – self titled Avril Lavigne is I think her best yet. It has the catchiness of the first one, but with some added sophistication; no doubt injected by new husband/ co-writer/ duet performer Chad Kroeger, lead singer of Nickelback. Marilyn Manson also makes a cameo in there too, in what is perhaps both her darkest and most sexually open song.
Music aside – all that’s even more subjective than photography, I think – it seems that whilst DSLRs are banned from concerts, compacts, phones and obnoxious people holding iPads in the air to record the entire thing aren’t. (The latter really should be though.) Being smaller than most compacts, the GM1 got in without a second glance; I paired it with the 45/1.8. Despite being in row 4, the 75 would have been much more useful; the only problem is one of stability. The GM1 itself has no stabiliser, nor do either the 75 or 45mm lenses; 1/250s was the minimum required to freeze subject motion, and I think camera shake also; anything lower would start to show the weaknesses in handholding a moderately long focal length at arms’ length.
This set splits into two parts – color and monochrome; I feel the monochrome has more energy and punch, though the color captures the atmosphere better. It was quite difficult to decide on one over the other, so I’ve included both. Note that my point of view was fixed, for obvious reasons. In hindsight, I probably should have used my press credentials to get a media pass, but then I’d be concentrating on shooting instead of enjoying the show. MT
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