i had asked the phoenix probably 6 months ago if i could photograph madonna when she came to town. it's one of those things... there is another photographer who always shoots those big shows (madonna, aerosmith, U2) except REM...which is mine whenever stipe and boys make it to boston. so i think there was a little runaround with either the garden or the people working with the tour, but the editor didn't find out that we actually had a photo pass for last night's show until 20 minutes of 8. i got a call from c.c. around 7:45. "can you get to the garden in 15 minutes? they are bringing press up to the floor at 8."
of course! (maybe!)
so i ran down the stairs with my gear and luckily a cab was coming down my street. of course it was a van cab with the slowest driver in the history of boston cabbies. we got 2 blocks away from the garden and stopped ... limos and cabs everywhere. i paid got out and ran to the press entrance of the garden (on the FAR side of the enormous building from where we were).
but i made it. the pr lady slapped a press sticker on me and we headed to the elevator to go up to the 3rd floor...the floor of the concert.
then i looked around. 4 male photographers (the herald, the globe, AP, and someone shooting for the garden). and 1 other female photographer! yah! (that's rare). she was shooting for reuters. ALL of them had multiple cameras and enormous lenses (some bigger than me) and i realized we weren't going to be shooting from the front row.
we were placed behind the sound board but assured that the first song madonna would be super close. (that means kind of close if you have a 300mm lens, which everyone else did). the globe guy offered me the use of his 2X converter, which i should've taken him up on, but really, i do this all the time with the gear i have, i should be able to make it work. i'm shooting raw. it's well lit. i can crop tight.
seconds before the show began (which was 45 minutes after we were brought up to the floor), a woman came up to me. "i love your shirt. where'd you get it?" when i was 8. my dad brought my oldest sister to the 'like a virgin tour' but i wasn't old enough to go, but i got a tshirt! "i'm madonna's press agent. nice to meet you."
no no... nice to meet YOU!
and look! her bra on the shirt is actually puffy (well, it used to be...now it's cracked and a little fragile!)
and then the lights go out...a disco ball descends from the rafters and madonna comes out of it and it's deafening.
after the 4th song (like a virgin) we, the photographers, are escorted out of the garden. no tickets. just press badges. but, 4 songs of madonna with my camera for free... it's all worth it!
(objects in photos are farther away than they appear!)