Sadie at Zepp
Sadie had long been a band on my wish-list to shoot so when I was quite stoked to recovering them at Zepp Diver City on December 26th . Zepp is a BIG venue and I was under the belief that it was going to be packed. I also assumed I would be able to shoot part of the show from the second floor gallery seating – perfect for capturing the drummer.
It was a busy show, however that day four other big bands were holding one-man shows in Tokyo and so the fan-base was spread thin. Alas, we found that the top floor was closed and the guest area was actually a cordoned-off section towards the back of the venue. This proved problematic for capturing the drummer as I had neglected to bring my stepladder on the 90-minute train ride to the venue.
However, the lighting up close to the stage was great. Even the red lights made for some atmospheric photos, and the stage was huge enough for singer Mao not be blocking the drums all the time. Myself and the other cameraman spent quite a lot of time with our zoom lenses pointed at Kei, the drummer, as the plethora of cymbals he was hiding behind made him difficult to shoot from the floor. I spoke to the other photographer afterwards as he dismantled the 8ft tripod and ladder he had set up at the back with a 400mm zoom lens on it. What’s all this for? I asked him. “The drummer,” he said and I nodded knowingly.
After the show Kei asked if I’d managed to get any decent photos and I tilted my head in a Japanese fashion and answered: “Maybe…” and he seemed to look at me like this wasn’t the first time he’d asked and got a vague answer.
So I got home and made looking for decent photos of him my first objective. Looking through, I found this overexposed and quite boring picture of the drum-kit, until I looked closer and realised that I had been lucky enough to catch Kei in mid-mosh with his sticks all-a-blur and his hair flying.
I tinkered about with the image, cropping and rotating the shot until I found a composition I liked, before darkening all the blacks, reducing the exposure and adding in a heavy vignette to make the central image pop.
The result is a photo which I think has to be one that I am proudest of.