Arenas & Sheds Best Of Concerts featured Verizon Center

The Hives @ Verizon Center

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The Hives Perform at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

I can’t believe it’s been five years since I shot The Hives last. How the hell did that happen? Pelle & Co. are one of the best live bands on the planet and without a doubt one of the most fun bands to photograph. Sadly, we were stuck at the soundboard for their opening slot for Pink at the Verizon Center but we were allowed to shoot the band’s entire set.

The Hives Perform at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The Hives Perform at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The band was mostly list by spotlights, which didn’t help separate their black outfits from the black backdrop, but Pelle moved around enough to give us a variety of shots. I rented a 400mm/2.8 for this show and attached a 1.4 teleconverter, so I was shooting this show somewhere around 550mm. As a result, I had to shoot mostly vertical because I never knew when Pelle was going to launch himself into the air again.

The Hives Perform at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The Hives Perform at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The Hives Perform at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

I was a little surprised at how well received The Hives were from Pink’s audience. But then again, it’s hard not to love this band. If you like rock n roll, you’ll like The Hives. Pelle was working the crowd relentlessly, and the crowd was eating it up. He ventured out into the crowd a few times, and even took beers from the audience members and had a few sips. Then it was back on stage for more jumping and ass-kicking.

The Hives Perform at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The Hives Perform at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The Hives Perform at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

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The Hives @ Verizon Center – Images by Kyle Gustafson

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    JP Zajackowski
    March 17, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Really great shots!
    I’ve always wondered what your settings are at. My Canon 7D max’s out at ISO 6400 (not including extended high ISO which is practically unusable) and I still have to leave my camera at f/2.8 and around 1/60 or 1/80. After getting luminance noise out my images are left pretty soft. I always wonder if it is the higher capability of your body, or is it the venues you shoot at are much brighter than the “smaller” ones I shoot at like Black Cat, Rock & Roll Hotel, and sometimes even 9:30 club?

    • Reply
      Kyle Gustafson
      March 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Hi JP,

      My settings depend on the venue and the act. My D3 is very usable at ISO 2000 so I generally start out there and adjust accordingly. The Cat and RnR Hotel are definitely challenging venues to shoot in, particularly the RnR Hotel. I genuinely stick to prime lenses that are faster than 2.8 or those venues. The lights at the 9:30 vary wildly depending on the act. One thing to remember is always keep your shutter speed faster than the length of your lens. That will ensure your photos are sharper. That’s not always possible, but that’s what you should aim for.

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