then whatever the camera is not looking at can be total darkness. If what the camcorder sees is a tiny dot of a subject, then that could be a problem, but if it is at least a "reasonably" large image of the brightly lit subject - full height or better fitting in the frame top to bottom, the captured video should be fine.

If EVERYTHING is a low-light environment, that is when most consumer camcorders will get into trouble.

While we can't see what you see, I *think* I understand the lighting environment having shot a few bands at local venues. I *think* you'll probably be fine starting in the prosumer environments - assuming you don't stray from the lighting description. But... as far as I know, the least expensive high definition camcorder with XLR connectors with large enough lenses (and using miniDV tape) will be the Canon XHA1. The Sony HDR-FX7 will work, but you'll need an XLR adapter (juicedLink, BeachTek, among others). The HDR-FX1000 will work well - even in a little lower lighting - but it will need an XLR adapter, too. There are some AVCHD cams in the Panasonic ACCAM line, but they have their own challenges and a poorly defined process flow (especially the archiving step). The Sony HVR-A1 has small lenses and *might* not get the lighting coverage you want.

A wireless lav will probably be best (Sennheiser, Audio Technica)... I would use a half decent condenser mic (Audio Technica) rather than a boundary mic for room ambiance...