Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet" and "Endangered Edens."

The proper way to work a stage

Marty’s photo of the day #2250: I will get back to nature photos in a few days, but the X, Blondie, Garbage concert last weekend is an excuse to give them a break. Like at most concerts, high-quality SLR cameras weren’t allowed, so I was stuck using my little pocket Canon. The lens on that camera is slow, so I compensated by taking lots of pictures. In fact, I took 880 of them. And, surprisingly, close to half turned out good.

When I was managing rock and roll bands, I coached my acts to make their movements proportional to the size of the stage and to leave every last bit of energy on stage. I’ve now seen Garbage on a small stage (via a DVD filmed in Denver), and on a large stage (in-person last Friday in Idaho), and they couldn’t have followed the rules any better. Their small vs. large stage shows were quite different but equally impressive. And in Idaho, there was no doubt that they left it all on stage. By the last song, lead singer Shirley Manson was totally spent—both from the 104 degree heat and from working the large stage the proper way. She could barely stand and likely had a horrible headache. Still, you wouldn’t know it from her voice, as she finished the concert, singing on her knees.

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