Bamboo is considered as one of the most respected rock artist in the Philippine music industry. He performed live on stage at the Dubai World Trade Center as part of his 2016 World Tour last 27 October 2016. His tour reaches the UAE after shows in different parts of Canada, Singapore, England and Ireland. Bamboo has made a lot of best Pinoy music for more than two decades. His type of songs are very catchy, jazzy and funky, I have a copy of his "As The Music Plays" album where most of my preferred songs can be found. His best songs are in my playlist, I usually played it whenever I feel listening to OPM/Tunog Kalye tracks on a long drive.
I became more interested with Bamboo when I watched some of his ecstatic live performances in the web. He jumped, he ran, he screamed and his performances were full of emotions, the type of musician that every music photographer preferred to capture. So when I heard that he will be performing in Dubai as part of his World Tour, I immediately reached out to the organizer as early as the time they released their promotion ad and luckily got a consideration days before the event. The pass was not just a normal press pass but an "Official Photographer" pass, a very rare opportunity to have for a music photographer like me. An invitation for the informal media briefing was also given to me a day before the show, I met the musician himself, I was overwhelmed with his good gestures and sense of humor, very kind and friendly person, had a comfortable quick conversation with him.
The wait is over, all my gears were set and ready to roll. I arrived in the venue minutes after the gate was opened, fans already positioned themselves around the catwalk T-shaped stage. Few minutes before the show, stage went pitched black, ticking of the clock can be heard on the background, a heart pumping hint that the show is about to start. And at exactly 9:00 pm, Bamboo kicked off the stage with an opening song "Nothing Like You" from his "Bless This Mess" album.
Crowd went wild, everybody's on their feet, screaming and waving their hands in the air. It's been a while since I witness again this kind of wild crowd on a Filipino music event. I was in the front pit, the tension and excitement of the crowd surrounding the stage can be felt intensely on my spot.
Bamboo's energy burst out from the very start till the end of the show, I ran out of verb to describe every action he did.. he ran, jumped, sat, knelt, laid back.
Bamboo's performance was overwhelming, it was full of energy and excitement, his emotions can be seen in every song he performed. No question why he was dubbed as Philippine's Prince of Rock, he gave an all out performance to satisfy his fans. Bamboo went down the stage several times to reach out to his fans, this gesture definitely turned some of his new audiences and convert them to fans. The set list was a mix of strings from his latest album and classic Rivermaya/Bamboo hits. He performed a continuous set, a 2-hour non-stop adrenaline pumping show, the last string played was "Flower", a cut from Rivermaya's album "Trip". The show ended at exactly 11:00 pm, the satisfaction on the faces of every Filipinos who watched the show can be seen while they head out of the hall whistling and humming songs from the concert. Such a nostalgic night to remember, another remarkable artist entertained the Filipino expatriates in the UAE, a night of reminiscing that surely touches the heart of many homesick Filipinos working so far away from their home.
A great experience to capture the man himself. I appreciate Bamboo's songs better than yesterday, a total performer on stage and a kind person behind the camera. Audience may not completely filled the hall but their number was enough to rock Hall no. 8 of Dubai World Trade Center. The show was guaranteed satisfaction from start to finish, the ticket price is definitely worth the money. The best concert gig I have covered so far, let my images speak for itself. Check out the concert highlight photos HERE.
Since Filipinos love to be photographed, I took the chance of taking their happy faces before the start of the show.
Date: 27 October 2016
Venue : Hall No. 8, Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, UAE
Promoter | Organizer: Spicy Lemon
Photo tips for a compelling Bamboo shots
- Lens. A fast wide lens (lens with an aperture of f/2.8 or less) is a must when you plan to have a photo coverage of Bamboo. He moves so fast and hard to catch. Fast subject on a low light environment is definitely a bad combination for a shoot. Most of the shots I have taken was from 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. Having a wide lens will give you a better chances of getting your subject in the frame.
- Shutter Speed & ISO. A fast shutter speed is necessary to freeze your subject, compensate with your ISO. Better to have a grainy image than a blurry one. There are several soft wares in the market that can help reduce noise. I am using Topaz PS Plug-in for noise reduction.
- Memory Card. Carry with you a sufficient memory cards or you will end up erasing rejected or redundant shots in the middle of the show just to have a free space on your card. Shooting a fast subject rapidly will give you a better chances of getting a decent shots, so it means that you will be shooting more frames per second.
- Research. Check out his previous shows to be familiar with his moves and gestures. I was very particular to catch him in mid-air which he normally do in all of his performances but I always ended up in the wrong spot and at the wrong time during the show. I already did my research but still wasn't good enough.
- Wear comfortable attire. You will be chasing Bamboo from every corner of the stage, having a comfortable attire will make it easy for you to catch him in no sweat. Bring something to hydrate you.
Here are the gear I used:
- Nikon D800
- Nikon D810
- Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D
- Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
- Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED VR
- Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
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- Manfrotto Self Standing Monopod 682b + Benro Head
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