Coldplay Live at The Forum July 14, 2008: Photographer's Journal

All text and photos by Timothy Norris

1:25 PM – Media contact sends an email informing that “the “Shooter” will not be shooting the show from the pit as originally indicated.” Ok, looks like I’ll need to bring a long lens. I’ll need to call Samy’s.

2:25 PM – Call placed to Samy’s. Everything’s good. They have the Nikon 400/2.8 and the 1.4 converter that I like when I have to shot from the sound board.

6:37 PM – Time to make the pick-up at Samy’s. They want to know if I want a reference on the order. I decide to tell it straight; Coldplay! The shit starts rolling. The boss man behind the counter tells me they couldn’t pay him enough to sit through three songs of Coldplay. I tell him it’s only two and that I only found out about the need for the long lens this afternoon. I’m smiling all the while. Before I leave I ask if they’re through. Yeah, they’ve ganged up on me. I’m still excited for this one. George Michael didn’t sell out two nights at the Forum.

6:59 PM – South bound on La Cienega just before Stocker. I remember that my mom called two weeks ago and I need to call her back. We have a nice talk. I tell her about some upcoming projects and she knows who Coldplay is. Says she saw them on John Stewart a few nights ago. Not exactly her type of music though.

7:24 PM – Inglewood! The Forum never looked so good. Just inside the lot and the scalpers are parked next to me working out the game plan. He’s got a grip of tickets. Good seats too!

7:45 – Press Check In Here! Still plenty of time before Shearwater hits the stage. I hang out and sign the release form.

8:20 PM – Shearwater takes the stage.

8:35 PM – Back below the seats at the Forum. They have a little room set for the photographers. It’s like a Sunday school classroom. In one corner they have a fresh “Detention List” posted on the wall just waiting for the bad kid. I suggest portraits in front of this but no one bites. I wouldn’t either.

8:40 PM – News from the media contact that we’ll be shooting songs three and four; or is it four and five? No matter, they’ll be back to take us to the stage after the show’s started. I’m starting to like this little room.

9:10 PM – The natives are getting restless. Show’s supposed to start at 9:20 and they still have come for us!!! “What’s going on???” I smile.

9:25 PM – An announcement is heard over a passing radio that the box office is now closed, because “We’ve sold all the tickets we can sell! There’s none left!” I say that’s probably the announcement the band was waiting for! Shortly after, faintly down the hall, the roar of the crowd is heard which signals that the band must have taken the stage.

9:30 PM – We’re on our way to the spot. It’s not unlike being in some sort of catacombs under the Forum, except it just goes round and round. Kinda cool! We get to the spot and it looks good. There are catwalks on the stage that bring the band pretty close to our position. No problems. I leave the converter on anyways. I want a tight shot.

9:37 PM – No shooting until the after the song when Chris is done playing the piano. That’s not what we were told, but that’s what I find out. They’re not kidding either.

9:42 PM – Our first song is just over and the media contact lets us know that there is one more song and that security wants to see me (and another guy) after the shot. Christ, what now? Can I say that in church?

9:47 PM – Back in the catacombs and security is checking my images to ensure that I didn’t shoot Chris at the piano. I didn’t. I let her know that I was only setting up. She thanks me and one other accused and we’re on our way back to the “lounge”.

10:45 PM – We get to shoot the confetti drop near the end of the set. It’s actually butterflies. Tough to see clearly in the shots as I’ve opted for the wide shot. Look at that house though!

10:50 PM – Coldplay leaves the stage. I head for the car. I want to beat traffic. It’s been a fun night. Can’t really say I saw the show, but it sounded OK from down the hall. What else would you expect? It’s Coldplay.

Also playing tonight at the Forum. Sold Out!

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