Pink Floyd
Concert Photos

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PINK FLOYD, 15 SEPTEMBER 1994, STADIO FRIULI, UDINE, ITALY

15 September 1994 marks the very first concert I ever photographed, and it happened to be my favorite group Pink Floyd! It was a turning point in my photographic career. I learned a lot from this concert to include that I needed better equipment, a better knowledge of concert photography, better knowledge of concert lighting, film, lenses, what to expect in the "pit," how much time one has to photograph, and so on. So when you view my Pink Floyd concert photos please remember that this was my very FIRST concert.

I'll never forget that day for two reasons. One, I was going to photograph my favorite group, and two the day was not promising. It was raining all day but, I was not giving up until the concert was officially called off.

I convinced a group of friends to go see the concert no matter what. I told them they will never see another concert similar to a Pink Floyd concert! I had to convince a friend of mine that had a slight fever, Bob was not feeling good. We all jumped into my Ford 150 long bed Econoline van, equipped with 8 tweeters, 8 mid-range speakers, and two 16 inch subwoofers with a crystal clear 280 watts per channel stereo, and drove off to the stadium.

We arrived at the stadium but the weather still did not let up. It was still raining, and worse yet there was lightning and thunder all around the stadium. Not a good sign for a concert that depends on thousands of watts of power! I had to separate from my friends and wife to go to the press box and get my credentials. The press area was "chic" and the treatment was first class. I was impressed and excited at the same time. Remember, this was my first professional concert. I was a little nervous because I really did not know what to expect. I hung around for a while in the nice dry press rooms but, felt guilty that my wife and friends were outside on the "floor" getting wet. So I decided to leave the press rooms and go outside where the real people were.

As I walked out the press booth I immediately was facing the grounds with the stage to the far right. All I can see was a bunch of people in rain coats, umbrellas, and a dark rainy sky. Could it be that I would never get a chance to photograph and see my favorite band? Things just didn't look good at all. I was suddenly hit with a feeling of despair. So, I took a deep breath, and convinced myself to think positively. Somehow I had to believe the rain would stop and everything would be OK.

I proceeded to walk down the stairs from the press booth and walk on to the "floor." I was wearing my press pass around my neck, and realized I was being treated with respect by security and they opened the gate for me. I had the liberty to walk wherever I wanted. What a difference from my normal concert days. I began to look for my wife and friends which I found getting wet and drinking some beer while passing some doobies. Everyone joked about how important I looked with the Pink Floyd press pass and how they said they weren't used to being with a big shot. We all talked about the weather and most of us thought that the concert was not going to take place. If this was to be our last moments at this venue I commented that I was going to walk around and get some shots of the stage and other things .

I walked around Stadio Friuli and was impressed how many people showed up despite the weather. Yes, it was rainy and wet with lighting and thunder but Pink Floyd is Pink Floyd. These are die hard Pink Floyd fans and I assume anyone who is a fan is die hard when it comes to Pink Floyd. Despite the weather, people were in the stands and crowding the floor. Security was in check and wearing their plastic see through rain coats. There was an air of anticipation and positive vibes concerning this concert. Don't know how to explain it but, at that moment I knew the "show must go on" no matter what! As I was standing in what I though was going to be the pit area (more about that later) looking over the shoulders of security I then turned around to face the stage. It was immense! I looked at the covered equipment and the round screen ( in its "up" position) that Pink Floyd made so popular. This was the biggest stage I have ever seen. The cover of the stage in a half moon shape was enormous. It was breath taking.

To the sides of the stage were two huge speaker towers with some sort of canvas hut over them (latter on we discovered the hut hid pigs in them that came out when Pink Floyd played pieces from their Animals album). The towers were huge and again breath taking.I then walked to the back of the stage and again was left in awe. This was not your typical concert stage and fans know that. If I'm not mistaken the stage and equipment need fifteen 18 wheelers to transport everything! There was even a bigger surprise to see. That was what I call "the mother of all mixers." In the center of the field was this long caterpillar looking gray thing that must have been at least 15-25 yards long! It must have been the mixing center for all the effects that the concert was going to show us. I never saw a mixing center like that. I was used to seeing maybe a scaffold type of mixing center about 5 yards wide and maybe 10 feet high to fix a spot light or two but, nothing like this. Just the Pink Floyd equipment and apparatus was stunning to say the least.

Well time was pressing on and the weather still was not favorable. But, I had my first experience of "free" roaming the grounds, and it felt good.

The rain slowed down to a drizzle but things were still wet. The word out was that David Gilmour was gong to at least try to play something, and if the rain continued the concert was going to be cancelled. It was about a half hour before show time. I decided to walk back to my wife and friends. We met up and again we were just saying "let's hope." I told them I had to be back to the press booth because the public relations people were going to escort us out to the pit when it was time. So, I walked back to the press room and crossed my fingers hoping the show would go on.

The time came. The public relations people for Pink Floyd made us sign some papers that stated we would not sell our photos to companies for commercial use. The photographers lined up and we were escorted outside. To my surprise we were escorted to the front of the mixing center. That put us approximately 40 yards away from the stage! That was not good! In order to get any photos of the band members one would need a $10,000.00 400mm telephoto lens, something few photographers have. Boy, I was dumbfounded. What was I going to do? I had a 35-70mm and a 70-150mm zoom. I was doomed! But, I thought positively. I was going to get stage shots and that was all one could expect after being thrown this surprise "pit stop."

Waiting with anticipation and still feeling drizzle the crowd started to clap and chant Pink Floyd, Pink Floyd, Pink Floyd.... I checked my camera, film, and lenses. I was using Kodak 200 Ekatchrome slide film and made sure to push process at ISO 1600. I was ready as I could be. All of a sudden the lights popped of and there was darkness and a roar from the crowd. Three cords were played to Wish You Were Here, lights went on into the crowd and like magic, and this is no bullshit, the rain stopped, the clouds started to disperse and the moon appeared above the stage. I swear that this is how it went. All that were there will testify. It was chilling and surreal! And that was the very first shot I took of the concert (SLIDE D). The moon appears as a small orange oval but, that is the moon!

From that moment on the weather was perfect and the concert was fantastic. This was my third (Modena, and Venice previously) Pink Floyd concert, and though I prefer the sound equipment they used during their Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour (the bass was much more "thicker") this Division Bell World Tour was just as exhilarating. My wife and friends for whom this was their first Pink Floyd concert were all in awe at the end of the concert. Bob thanked me 3 or 4 times for getting him out of his "sick bed" and said it was worth seeing even with a slight fever and full of antibiotics.

It was unbelievable, especially how the weather changed right at the moment Gilmour played his first chords of Wish You Were Here. 'Till today it is hard to explain this story and the events of the weather without someone saying "Yeah, sure, and I'm Roger Waters." It was TRUE AND IT WAS A GREAT CONCERT!

I know the experience was subjective and, that this was my first photographed concert. However, I believe I was able to capture these emotions one way or another in the following photographs. I hope you enjoy them.


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