I was introduced to the music of Deep Purple as a young boy by my Uncle Gene. He had a quadrophonic sound system and this band just sounded amazing in it. As I got older, I had several chances to see the band live. Unfortunately, circumstances always prevented it. I would have loved to see them on their reunion phase in the 80s and 90s with Richie Blackmore on guitar, but alas, not to be.
Finally, I got the chance to see Deep Purple play live at The Fremont Street Experieince on the Third Street Stage. It was an excellent show. It started at 9 PM, so I arrived about an hour early and staked out a good spot along the centerline of the stage.
The band came on about 15 minutes late and kicked it off with with 'Highway Star'. The speakers were aimed perfectly and loud and I felt the first notes of bass and drums like a blow to the solar plexus. I loved the show, but I had some issues with shooting the show.
The problem with shooting anything public after dark in Las Vegas is the people. I have shot neon signs by myself and had to deal with nosy drunk people who want to.....get involved. I dislike drunks intensely.
I was there early like I said, and I had a nice spot in the open about 50 feet from the stage. Then people started filling in. A couple of guys who were probably on their third or fourth beers stood next to me. A group of women acting like snotty teenage girls on my right. They were fun because they kept looking at me like I was the enemy. I was obviously not welcome in their area despite the fact that I got there first. Oh well.
The drunk guys were soon joined by about 7 more people, also drunk, and they proceeded to jockey into positions directly in front of me. I never moved from my spot, they simply shoved in. The largest of their group purposely pushed in front of me.
I asked him politely if he could stand to my left, and he obliged, but an interesting thing happened during the show. They kept watching me, and when I went to take shots, they would throw up their arms, wave hats in front of my camera and just act annoying. It made shooting difficult. It got worse as the show went on, and about 3/4ths of the way through I stopped shooting and left. I showed them, I got good shots anyway.
What did I learn from this shoot? That I have a great deal of patience. That people don't intimidate me. I stared down one kid who tried to push past me rudely. I love that change in their eyes when they realize I am an immovable object and not scared in the least. Kind of fun in a way.
Lastly, I learned that with good aim, a 70-200mm lens and quick photography you can work around the biggest idiots in the crowd no matter how hard they try to thwart your efforts.
The set list for the show was as follows:
Into The Fire
Hard Lovin' Man
Strange Kind Of Woman
The Well Dressed Guitar
The Mule (with Drum Solo)
Hell To Pay
Smoke On The Water
The encore featured:
A great show!