While many of the band's shows on the tour are already sold out, including their first show tonight at an approximately 2,000-person capacity venue, they announced a "secret show" at a 400-person capacity venue in Tampa on Sunday night. This show was $10 at the door on a first come, first serve basis; and once it was full, it was full.
The venues they normally play at have big stages and a barricade/photo pit between the crowd and the band. Not so at this one, as you can see in the video below:
This time I was armed with the same Canon 1DX bodies and 70-200mm f/2.8, but this time I had the 11-24mm f/4 and 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses as well. The latter two ended up being the only ones I used during Underoath's set since it was such a small venue. I started off right in front of the stage in the crowd during the opening bands and was fine. But once Underoath took the stage, I only lasted for two songs before I escaped the flying bodies and pummeling from the fans to try to catch my breath and make my torso cease feeling pain.
As my friend Andrew described seeing me upon my escape, "I wish I would have snapped a photo of you when you came up off the floor at the beginning. It looked like a cartoon version of someone that had just been caught in a tornado, it was great! I'll have that image burned into my head for ever, I was sooo worried for a second and then processed what happened and just immediately burst out laughing."
From then on, I shot from the side and back of the stage where the rest of the friends and family of the band were standing. But they weren't standing there for long. Most of them wound up diving into the crowd from the stage before the show was over! This vantage point allowed me to get shots of the band up close and personal that aren't usually possible at a larger venue. Plus, just due to the nature of the show, I was actually able to get out on the stage and shoot a few short bursts then get out of the way again.
To say it was a crazy night would be an understatement, but it was an absolute blast and one to remember for sure.
This show allowed the band to perform in front of a crowd for the first time since their last tour three years ago and allowed them to get back into that groove again. Now that they've got the playing and energy parts down, time for "tech rehearsals..."