Gig Review – U2, O2 Arena, 25 October 2015

Bono, U2, O2 Arena, 25 October 2015So this is a first. I’ve been a U2 fan for 25 years, and even flew to Dublin in 2009 just to shoot their Croke Park show. I had a standing ticket for tonight’s show, but also a photo pass. The logistics of shooting both halves of the show from a long distance from the stage, whilst intending to queue up to make the front row meant I had to turn the pass down. In truth, I’d also not seen any amazing shots from the tour due to the tricky shooting locations, and in the end I chose to enjoy the show.

This then is the first review on my blog from a concert I shot as a paying customer amongst thousands of others. No SLR for this one (I wish). I took in the fabulous Sony RX100ii and gave it a big challenge – to capture publishable shots from the crowd. I was helped by the enormous runway and B stage, plus some research that meant our six hours of queuing ensured we got what I felt was the ideal spot for crowd photography.

What the little Sony lacks in zoom (it’s a 24-105mm effectively) it makes up in being able to be set up like an SLR – with fully manual spot metering, continuous focusing, workable noise at ISO 800 and nice big RAW files. Photographically, the stunning and stark stage lighting was difficult to shoot, but I basically shot the whole thing on ISO 800, around f/2.8 and with shutter speeds around 1/160th. Shooting RAW meant I could tinker afterwards. It would be completely unfair to compare image quality from the Sony to what I’m used to from a Nikon D4S, but I was massively impressed with the results.

As for the show? It was the right decision to queue up and enjoy it. We simply couldn’t have been closer and the show was fabulous.