Top of very cold morning, pilgrims! Well, it seemed like forever, but I finally shot my first gig of the year yesterday night. Of course, it’s the seasonal conundrum of whether I’d seriously consider stepping out to shoot any band in this cold weather, and since I don’t do shivering, numb hands, exhaling steam in -1 conditions at all, the performing act has most definitely got to be worth my while. Call me selective & picky, but have you seen how much live music photographers get paid these days? That said, if the opportunity comes your way to get accreditation to shoot D’Angelo in concert after 12 years, you’d seriously have to re-negoiate your stance. *   Right off the bat, let me just say this: I’m not much of a D’Angelo fan.  Sure, I appreciate his music and all, but as some musical neanderthals like to describe my beloved jazz as ‘elevator music’, I consider D’Angelo’s stuff as ‘lounge listening’.  Personally, I was in for this gig purely for the photography.  As far as restrictions go, they were actually reasonable.  We could shoot from the pit the first 3 songs, as long as it was from either one end or the other, but not smack right in his face.
Now, coming to the issue of the ‘first 3 songs‘ condition, logic normally dictates that you start counting once the main act comes on, not when the band starts warming up and playing in the dark, where no amount of ramming up the ISO is going to give you any extra daylight. You never count the band’s intro performance as part of the ‘first 3‘. Try explaining that to the security team at the 02 Brixton Academy.  So imagine our surprise (and I use that term lightly, because live music photographers are never really surprised about anything!) when we were ushered out after D’Angelo’s second song. God bless ’em and all, but guys, you might want to take evening classes in arithmetic & reasoning.  Just a suggestion.  Then again, they might have been right with the count.  You be the judge! Appearance-wise, the brother is looking good.  Yes, he’s had his demons aplenty, but it’s good to see that he’s ageing well, all things considered, and he still has a-game on when it comes to the singing and such.  His dress-sense (hah! Me talking about fashion!) seemed a cross between Van Hunt and Lenny Kravitz, but hey, he pulled it off!
* As you’d expect for a sold out gig, the venue was rammed: *
* Oh, almost forgot.  Can I just make an eensy-weensy request, please: If you’re going to ‘lift’ any of the images (I’m talking to you,  ‘Journalists’ & bloggers, like Ms Symone) without prior agreement, please have a heart and at least contact me before grabbing and pasting, or just plain ‘thieving’! Thanks nicely! Food for thought & soul: ‘Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks‘.  Ecclesiastes  10: 18

3 thoughts on “D'Angelo

  1. Err.. I left this concert thinking some one had mugged me on the Stockwell Park Estate. Apart from a period of 10 mins when he lost the band and played keyboard whilst singing it was awful. Poor stage management periods of D angelo of stage first 10 mins in total darkness with the band playing it was just not good. He is however exceptionally talented and has the potential to be still the best thing since sliced.. But all the electric guitar stuff just left me soul less. The last kick in the teeth was the fast version of brown sugar.. What the hell? Uk garage died a while back dude and even then that version I definately would not have bought. 4/10 my rating hurts me to say

  2. Oh so you made it down in the end? What glorious pictures!! You are right he is looking good, I was never a realm fan, I mean I like his music but I was never crazy for D’Angelo. He is rocking the Jimi Hendrix look.

  3. That’s very cool that you got to shoot it. I really wanted to go, but for the price they were charging for tickets, I just couldnt justify the spend. As well as I ended up with a deadline for a job that weekend which meant i just couldnt spare the time either. And then I got totally stuck in snow jams early hours of Sunday morning anyway!

    I’m hoping he’ll do some other shows too. Interesting that one of these comments slates the gig, when there’s been nothing but praise. A sped up Brown Sugar doesnt sound like a good thing!

    I was never an obsessed D’angelo fan, but there is occasional genius when I go back and listen, and feel like it’s a box i need to tick.

    Some great photos there too – thanks for sharing.

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