Photos: Death Cab For Cutie @ The Pageant | 05.13.15

Bellingham, Washington natives Death Cab For Cutie lit up a sold-out Pageant in St. Louis on May 13, 2015. (Bryan J. Sutter)

Touring behind the acclaimed Kintsugi, indie rockers Death Cab For Cutie brought their well-honed business to a sold-out crowd at The Pageant in St. Louis, Missouri on May 15th, 2015.

Bellingham, Washington natives Death Cab For Cutie lit up a sold-out Pageant in St. Louis on May 13, 2015. (Bryan J. Sutter)

Continuing the string of sold-out shows I’ve recently photographed at The Pageant, Death Cab For Cutie did not disappoint. Well, they did not disappoint for the first three songs of their performance. For better or worse, the other photographers and I were promptly escorted out of the venue by security at the end of the third song, even before the lights finished dimming in sync with the final, dying chord. To go from what seemed to be a deeply atmospheric performance to being rushed out the front door before I could pack a single piece of gear, was jarring, and took me out of the mindset in which I could take in what I just experienced. I don’t have much else to say besides that. The reviews for this tour are overwhelmingly positive, and what I saw definitely goes in line with what I’ve read. All signs point to this being a memorable tour for Death Cab For Cutie, so if you’re a fan, you’re probably not going to want to miss out.

Bellingham, Washington natives Death Cab For Cutie lit up a sold-out Pageant in St. Louis on May 13, 2015. (Bryan J. Sutter)

Death Cab For Cutie were really fun to photograph. The lighting was expressive and moody; maybe a little drab, at times, for still photos, but with plenty of rewarding flourishes for the patient photographer. I’m still getting used to photographing live music with the Fujifilm X-T1. The auto-focus wasn’t hitting like I wanted, preferring guitar fretboards and headstocks over faces, so I mostly shot with manual focus. This isn’t a huge problem, since X-mount Fujinon lenses and Fujifilm bodies are built well for manual focus. Though, I feel like I missed a few moments hunting for focus. This negatively impacted the variety of keepers I walked away with. However, it sounds like the next update to the X-T1 firmware will eliminate the low-light auto-focus issues that myself and other X-shooters have been having.

Bellingham, Washington natives Death Cab For Cutie lit up a sold-out Pageant in St. Louis on May 13, 2015. (Bryan J. Sutter)

I am also starting to feel that The Pageant’s stage isn’t the best for the two prime lenses that I have for the system. If a band is pushed back a bit from the stage, or don’t really approach the edge of the stage, the 14mm F2.8 doesn’t feel like the best focal length. Shooting upward towards the subject matter, as one does from the Pageant’s photo pit, typically gives you a perspective without the sort of vanishing point lines that makes shooting with an ultra-wide lens worthwhile. The 56mm F1.2 is, as I have mentioned in previous posts, an incredibly sharp and impressive lens, but sometimes I feel like I am either too close or too far away from the subject matter to get what I am looking for.

It also could have something to do with how I haven’t really shot a lot of live music lately since Ferguson happened, and that I may be a little rusty.

See more photos from Death Cab For Cutie’s performance at The Pageant by clicking here or by checking out the gallery below.



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