So like a line of grumbling sheep we were marched into the photo pit. Where we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited....and waited. Finally, after all the instruments, stage settings, lights, sound, curtains, cameras, bouncers were in place, a PR person rushed through the line of lens, whispering in their ears, until she was rasping into mine (it wasn't much like a whisper after all).
"They've given you two songs," she hissed, making a thumbs up sign and flashing me that winning smile. I could hear the tension wearing down. The taut tight noose was now a comfortable lasso. Two songs to photograph Beyonce. That's like an eternity compared to 50 seconds. So we all stood and waited.
Until someone else came a-whispering. Only this time, to our dismay we had to move OUT of the photo pit. "To where??" many puzzled faces enquired. To the sound booth, in the back of the first section of the audience, with a good 20 rows of people between us and the stage. Ah. Nice. Thank you so much.
All this is well and good when you, like the Reuters guys have a monstrous telephoto that looks like some weapon Arnie would be packing. Otherwise you stand shoulder to shoulder with our nation's fine press and wonder how the hell you're going to get a clear shot of Beyonce.
So I broke free. Ran into the audience, squeezing, excusing myself and tramping on few toes (sorry :S) until I was 4-5 rows away from the stage. That's when the Beyonce burst happened with Crazy In Love. I was lost, oblivious to anything other than my camera. A little shift to the left and one to the right. Two songs went by in a burst of skin, colour, notes and lights.
I don't really listen to Beyonce's music but I have to admit that the show was SPOT ON. Her singing was powerful, seductive and soulful all at once. The production was huge, astronomical. And there were all those beautiful people - the dancers and the all-woman band of incredible musicians. I didn't stay for long but what I saw blew my socks off.
And there was Beyonce. Mere words won't suffice to describe a Goddess. Phew. Sigh. Gasp. Gurgle. Swoon. There was a guy in the front row, who had on a cheesy, hastily painted sweatshirt that said, "Beyonce