The United Tour
Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman
April 2, 2009, 7:30PM
France-Merrick Performing Arts Center (Hippodrome Theatre)
Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman are two Christian music veterans. Together, MWS & SCC have eight GRAMMY awards, 96 Dove Awards, 78 #1 singles, and more than 30 gold and platinum albums. Their music has impacted millions of lives over 20+ years. The United Tour made its stop in Baltimore's historic 95 year old Hippodrome Theater and MWS & SCC played to a sold out crowd of super fans. Earlier in the evening, there was a backstage opportunity for members of Michael W. Smith's fan club to meet Michael. I had just arrived at the Hippodrome and was making my way back to the backstage area when I came across the fan club. Many of the fans recognized me so I stopped to chat and I decided to stick around to help them get personal pictures and keep the line moving. When Michael arrived, the group went nuts! Grown women were screaming, and I honestly thought one woman was going to faint. I think they would have eaten Michael alive if his handlers and our stage crew weren't there!
The concert was nothing short of spectacular. There's something about seeing 2300 people joining together in worship and singing along. Perhaps it's because I'm so intimately involved in the event, but I was just overwhelmed by the atmosphere of the night. MWS and SCC pulled out the favorites (and those are hard to choose when they have 78 #1 singles combined) and introduced the crowd to new songs, which the crowd warmly welcomed and sang along. Photographing the night was a bit of challenge. MWS & SCC were on the stage together during the first 3 songs of the night and that's all I was given to shoot. There was no room at the front of the stage and the aisles very slim, so it was very challenging. I used my 70-200 f/2.8L for everything as I needed the length. I stayed on the right side of the theatre for most of the shooting since it would have taken too long to get to the left side. Their was an intense, harsh, white spotlight on both MWS and SCC, while mostly blue and green spotlights lit the back.