Faith No More @ Adelaide Soundwave, February ’10

I’d been looking forward to shooting this show by Faith No More as soon as the notion of them reforming was touted a couple of years earlier. Ideally, they would have played their own show, but Adelaide being Adelaide we should be fortunate enough they came this way at all!

Without focusing to much on it, I will mention the cane incident briefly:

My style of shooting: camera-held-high-on-outstretched-arm-with-wide-angle-lens to get a full width shot of the band on stage didn’t sit so well with Mr Patton, he took a swing at me and camera with his cane during song two “Be Aggressive”.

The connection with my 16-35mm was quite forceful and my initial reaction was of anger. I stopped briefly to scope the impact zone and there was no visible damage to speak of. I checked the zoom and the autofocus and all was fine. So back to shooting. In the back of my mind I was conscious of the waiver as a photographer I’d signed earlier in the day stating no responsibility taken by Soundwave while on site, but I did wonder how willful damage by a band to my gear would sit should the lens have been damaged? I was ready to approach management after the show.

Later in the set when Mike Patton repeatedly referred to the crowd as “filthy Aussie skips“, things were not sitting so well with me. I know the band and their history with stage antics and geeing up the crowd and have seen many Faith No More gigs in the past – I know it’s all part of their schtick, it’s just with the cane incident in the back of my mind I was a little on edge.

Forgetting all that, the show was off the hook! We seemed to be getting the set that every other fan I know from interstate didn’t get. “Cuckoo For Caca” and “Gentle Art of Making Enemies” doing it for me.

After last song “We Care A Lot” I went to a well lit area to check my lens again. I did a bunch of test shots in full light of a tent and when satisfied there was zero damage I left kinda happy I didn’t have to approach FNM management, as I feel it would have been nothing but a nightmare.

UPDATE: (a few months later) The damage to the lens did prove to be more than I initially thought. The impact of the cane had bent a grub screw under the rubber focus ring so that now the lens “grinds” when manually focusing. Sometimes it doesn’t grind, it just locks up altogether. Auto focus still works fine tho.

Thanks Mike Patton, shooting your set cost me about 2k.

You’re a genius.