Helmet @ ((szene))
Helmet is currently on tour for the 20th anniversary of their legendary album "Betty". As such, I had the chance to shoot them at ((szene)). There were no support bands and they started quite early, however the hall was quite full of die-hard Helmet fans and the gig really satisfied their needs!
Chaos Beyond @ ((szene))
For their only show in Vienna in 2014, Chaos Beyond performed a long set with some of their own extra lighting which made it a unique event, not to be missed by fans! Openers for the night were Thesis, Legion of Bokor and The OverAlls:
A minute before Chaos Beyond went on stage, I met with them at the entrance in order to take a quick picture:
...and then of course their gig - it was really a great show, unfortunately I was not able to stay until the end as I had been away from home all week and needed to sleep... getting old I guess...
Cannonball Ride is currently presenting their new album around Austria (all the album photos are by your favourite intrepid photographer) and as such played a set at the Disasterpieces show at ((szene)). Disasterpieces are a Slipknot tribute band that have gone all the way and look and sound as close to the real thing as you're going to get. I will admit that I have never been a Slipknot fan so I guess I was able to listen and watch to Disasterpieces' gig from a neutral position and I have to say they were really impressive. The energy and movement on stage is massive and everyone plays their role perfectly. And the clown scares the crap out of me.
Ignite @ ((szene))
Ignite produced some really awesome music but hasn't really been actively writing for a long time. Seeing them live is an experience for itself and I was glad that I had the chance to meet them for a couple of promo shots before the gig. Unfortunately Zoli (vocals) wasn't really feeling up to it and so we made do with the wall of the parking lot opposite the venue:
The show started off with the most excellent Morphine Pilgrims who I had not heard before. I went on stage before their set to sort out pictures and glanced at their setlist - it seemed really long (14 songs or so) and I asked them how long they would play for. When they replied that it would be about 30 minutes I already knew this was going to be cool - and they didn't disappoint! Excellent and fast hard punk... right up my alley! Download their music here - it's free! Bloodshed Remains and Tigerblood brought more hardcore music to the mix and certainly warmed up the crowd before Ignite hit the stage.
Ignite were just brilliant. Zoli really engaged with the crowd a lot during each song and they played some of my favourites such as Bleeding and Veteran, so there was definitely nothing to complain about except it ending! Loved every minute of it!
I have read countless lists, guides, dos and don'ts and how tos of concert photography and I have to tell you, I'm getting a little sick of them. So I decided to write a short guide on how to write one of the aforementioned guides. Hope it helps.
Basic principle: when you are writing your guide, continue to ask yourself "why or why not?" for every point you make. If the only reasons you can come up with are "that's not the way I learned how to do it" or "that's not good form", you need to expand your horizons rather than trying to limit others'.
1. Don't make your guide into a rant about what is wrong with the scene and then try to hide it by stating "this is not the professional way". An example for this: the amount of photographers complaining about young people with entry level cameras shooting for free is just incredible. So there are loads of people who shoot for free, me included sometimes. Deal with it.
2. When talking about equipment, be open minded. I have read the "don't bring a point and shoot camera into the pit" line so many times but I don't understand - why not? If I have credentials to shoot the show, I can shoot with whatever equipment I damn well please. I have some friends who shoot better pictures with their non-professional non-DSLR equipment than many photographers can hope to achieve.
3. Pit etiquette: simple. Smile, be friendly and think about what you are doing. A little consideration goes a long way. However, please don't list all the "bad" things you don't like other people doing. Sometimes, flash is OK! Raising your camera over your head is OK if it doesn't get in someone else's shot! Climbing the rigging is OK if the band and security are cool with it! The list goes on.
4. Remember that the end result is what counts. You can only decide whether a shot is good or not for yourself. You may not like it, but that slightly out of focus shot with a strange crop and 5 standard Lightroom processing filters could be a hit on Facebook. Being bitter about that isn't going to get you anywhere.
Here's a picture I took at a gig just because I can't have a blog post without one. Faces aren't really visible, there isn't a particular focus point, it's heavily processed and there isn't stage context that makes it immediately recognizable. But I like it. So there.
Virginia Ernst @ Sand In The City
Virginia Ernst is flying high at the moment - on #2 of the OE3 charts for the second week running, performing all over the place and having had multiple television interviews recently. I went to see her sing at Sand In The City in the heart of Vienna and was happy to bring her together with my friends from Archetype Apparel so that she could become part of the Family Of Sirs...
I am really looking forward to seeing more of Virginia - she has an incredible amount of energy and drive, more talent than a person should have, and an infectious smile! Stay tuned for more from her including new promo shots for her upcoming video!
In terms of lighting I was really cursing because they use those red and blue LED batteries of hexagonal lights. I detest those lights. However, they seem to be inexpensive and last long, so I can understand that venue owners invest in them. I guess catering to the live photographer is not their business... apparently the paying audience takes priority!
Virginia Ernst @ Cafe Carina
First of all I need to admit that Gini's music is not exactly my usual fare and I do need a dose of Mastodon to make me feel like my testosterone levels are not dropping too far. However, she does have an absolutely amazing voice and friends of ours saw she would be performing live so I offered to shoot the gig.
It was totally great. I am so impressed with how good her voice sounds live and I can really see why her new single is being played on numerous radio stations and the video is being shown all over the place! Check it out here. Anyway, just LED lighting in red, magenta and blue at the Cafe Carina, so I had to mess about with the levels a lot and convert to black and white to get something useful, but in the end I got some nice shots:
Coronary Releaseshow @ Viper Room
I was asked to shoot Coronary's EP releaseshow and so a dose of death metal was on the cards! My old pals Catastrofear were to open what was a night amongst friends and family with Adamon further warming up the crowd before Coronary came on. Incredible what this three-piece can do with just one guitar and no bass!
OK, OK - I know what you're thinking. Flamenco? Not exactly what Sherv gets up to most of the time... well - there's a first time for everything! La Guita Flamenco - www.flamenco-wien.at - had a performance set up with a Spanish troupe at the Theater am Spittelberg in Vienna and I was asked to take care of capturing it photographically. There were two people making video of the whole thing as well but both had set up straight in front of the very small stage and so were limited in their angles. Luckily I was able to move around. It took me a little while to get into it and understand when to expect exciting movements but once I got the hang of it I think I got some good shots:
What I learned about Flamenco: boy are these dancers fit! And they can make the room shake with the vibrations of their stamping feet! Even though it's not exactly my kind of music I must say I was really impressed.
Dog Eat Dog are currently on tour to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their album All Boro Kings and stopped off at ((szene)) - something I could not miss of course! Opening for them were Time for Pride, Cannonball Ride and No Silence For Sale. I met up with the guys from Cannonball Ride to do some promo before the show and I think we got a couple of good shots around the venue - we used the concert hall and a barricade, the local train station exit and the roof / wall of the backstage area:
They're a great bunch of guys and I really enjoyed working with them and hanging out. I hope to see more of them soon! They were as great live as they had been on the previous occasions I have seen them. Time for Pride also played a great set as always, looks like they are really getting into their new (heavier) direction.
Dog Eat Dog were awesome as always. They played an extra long set and the crowd (quite a lot of people surprisingly for the 1st of May on a beautiful warm evening) just loved it. I had a setlist because there were a couple of songs I was supposed to be ready on stage for specific shots but that all went out the window when John basically let it flow and played things in random order...
In any case it was a wonderful evening once again and I can't wait to see them again next year!
Just a place to log my photographic activities and share some thoughts.