The lesson of the night? 30 Seconds to Mars fans are super fans. With the line stretching blocks, they summoned enough collective willpower to fend off the incoming storm just long enough to get the sold-out crowd for one memorable night of rock.
CB7 welcomed the incoming crowd with a set of 80’s electro-tinged rock and epic stage presence. Having started as a project between Antoine Becks and 30STM drummer Shannon Leto, CB7 was a natural pick as an opener and the 30STM fans seemed to warmly welcome them.
Photography notes: With the long line to get in, I didn’t actually make it to the photo pit until the middle of the second song. Thankfully, CB7 delivered more than enough stellar rock poses to capture with barely over one song of shooting.
I’ve been a huge fan of Anberlin ever since picking up their debut album Blueprints For the Black Market all the way back in 2003 and I can’t understand why it’s taken me this long to finally see the Florida band live. The guys killed their set firing off one explosive song after another and frontman Stephen Christian bouncing all over the stage with his microphone cord wildly whipping everywhere. Showcasing songs from their latest release, Dark is the Way, Light is a Place, the group still made time for a few choice selections from their catalog (include personal favorite “Paperthin Hymn”). While waiting for 30STM to take the stage, I talked to a few fans in the crowd who hadn’t heard of Anberlin before, all who were intrigued after seeing their performance.
Photography notes: While the performance was great as a concert goer, it was definitely rough for photographers. Red and blue light dominated the three-song limit, setting a great mood, but washing out a ton of shots. Christian was also constantly on the move, rarely standing still long enough to compose a shot. While the 28-75mm usually does the trick, I actually preferred using my 14-24mm just to give me a little breathing room between the lens and the band.
How’s the saying go? A watched curtain never drops? Bad idioms aside, a white curtain was raised after Anberlin’s set as 30STM began to setup, with the crowd anxiously awaiting the curtain drop. Once it did, the crowd leapt to their feet ready to receive the LA rock band. The two guitarists traversed the stage and risers, with Jarred Leto perfectly playing the part of rock star and feeding off of the crowd’s energy. His brother, Shannon, was fixed on the right, pounding away at his drumset while incongruously clad in a cute animal cap. Going into the show, I was completely unfamiliar with the LA rock band other than its famous frontman, so I won’t attempt to elaborate on the show. If nothing else, I just left aware of how big of a show 30 Seconds to Mars can put on.
Photography notes: Because of the curtain and stage setup, there was no photo pit access. Fortunately with a friend’s 70-200mm lens, I was able to perch myself up in the balcony for some great shots. In hindsight, I wish I had gone back down to the floor for some perspective variation, but I think I was so caught up at the time not wanting to miss a moment shooting these guys.
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