This Saturday evening I was photographing Kylie Minogue's world premiere of her new tour with the title "Les Folies Tour", which can be translated into 'the tower of madness', the 'return to something' or be a reference to The Folies Bergère parisian music hall established in 1869. In any case it might be all of them, because it's big and glamouros. It represents a lot of fashion and technology.
All photos was taken with the Leica M9 and Leica R8/DMR.
I was almost so close I could have asked "What do you think of Denmark" but I didn't. The answer wouldn't have been of much use on still images anyways. We were seven photographers from Danish media and international wire agencies, myself photographing for WireImage and Getty Images.
Photographers are allowed to be in front of the stage usually the three first acts, and then escorted out, and this was how it was here. We were much closer to the stage than planned, the original idea was that we would be by the sound stage, whihc would have required 400mm lenses and made the images a lot more dull.
Large concerts - or shows - as this one are very differently approached in terms of photography. Some make it so exclusive that photography is only allowed for 20 seconds, and then it might be dark the first 18 seconds. Others, as Madonna, will allow the first three acts, and will even give a detailed briefing to photographers about what's going to happen so they can plan their shots. Rolling Stones did this, and then even gave exact light measurements for the photographers to use (which save photographers guessing and some wasted images in the beginning of the show till they get it right).
And some have so much smoke on the stage it washes out the images and make autofocus very difficult. And others again, as George Michael, allow two acts - but then stay behind a big screen for the first 8 minutes. It's always exiting what the conditions might be, and some times precautions are made for photographers that seem ridiculous, considering how many people in the audience use their mobile phones to photograph and record video. It's obvious the artists should share the photographers interest in the best possible images - considering the photographers images are the ones being distributed most widely.
The tendency of PR people presenting "photo contracts" on behalf of their artists seem to be fading out. That is where the PR people ask the photographers to sign a contract just before the concert that the PR agency may use all images taken by the photographers for free. In which case most photographers walk out. Who want to give away work for free?
Technically, for those intersted in those details, all images are shot handheld with Leica M9 and 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5 at 800 ISO, or with Leica R9/DMR and 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R ASPH f/2.8 at 400 ISO. All images was processed in Lightroom 3 right after the concert and sent out on Getty Images and WireImage.
Official video from Kylie Minogue of the dress rehersal in Denmark on February 17, 2011. A can be seen there's a lot of fashion and luxury branding involved in the show, apart from the music and the light, water and stage.
Thorsten Overgaard is a Danish feature writer and photographer who contribute stories and unique branding to magazines, newspapers and companies through exclusive and positive stories and photos. He currently photographs for WireImage, Redferns, Getty Images and Associated Press.