Virginia Ernst @ ((szene))
((szene)) Wien has a series of summer events called Chill and Grill which utilizes the garden and the outdoor stage. As part of that, Gini Ernst played a set with her band and once again showed why she is one of Austria's favourites at the moment! I went lightly equipped with just the EOS M, the 22mm 2.0 pancake lens and the squishy Lensbaby Spark. It's not always easy to focus quickly but with a bit of practice I think it works quite nicely!
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!
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!
Virginia Ernst CD Cover
Virginia Ernst is a singer / songwriter (check her out at https://www.facebook.com/OfficialVirginiaErnst) who I met while shooting at the Fitfabrik a few weeks back. We got into talking and she asked me whether I would be available for promoshots... guess what my answer was?
So I met up with Virginia to get some shots for her new single "Rockin'" - the song has references to a train and therefore we decided to meet up at a train station to get some shots in on the rails and possibly on the platform. It was a bit overcast so almost ideal for this kind of stuff, and Virginia was happy to walk and jump on the rails - which is what I had initially envisioned as the best place for the CD cover:
I used the trusty 70-200 for this shot and edited it a little bit in Color Efex in order to get the faded look. I tried a different look as well below in order to have it a bit more contrasty and cinematic:
I thought we had some nice stuff here but we also wanted a couple of shots on the platform so we tried that as well - and it turned out to be perfect! There was absolutely nobody there and we were able to use the whole length of the platform. I changed to the 50mm lens though because I wanted to see if I could get good use out of f/2.0:
It was important to get the clock into the shot as there is a reference to 7:30 in the song - the final image had a bit of editing done on the fly by my friend Dani Hofer. I used Color Efex again to get the faded summery look. Anyway the one that made it finally is actually this one which is a little on the soft side but that makes the text stand out perfectly:
Let me know what you think. I'm quite happy with the result.
Devastating Enemy Farewell Show
Devastating Enemy decided to call it quits and of course that meant a special farewell show which I did not want to miss! They were opened for by Eyes in the Void, Emily's Bleeding and Sensylis who all put on great sets. The final performance by Devastating Enemy was something else though. Really glad I got to see it! My favourite shot of the night is the first one, showing them lifting off to go back to their home planet...
The All Austrian Metal Night was brought into existence by a few people highly committed to supporting Austrian music - the idea being to offer a platform for Austrian bands to perform in a party atmosphere. This was the 10th time it was being held and they had a special treat in terms of lineup and location in for us: ((szene)) hosted Fly Ash Return, Aeons of Ashes, Prometheus, Eneera and Black Inhale, which drew quite a crowd!
I hadn't heard of the first two bands yet but was pleasantly surprised by their quality - both presented quite a good set and brought a bunch of people into the concert hall. Prometheus then blew me away once again - their live performance is perfect in every way and is singularly about the music. Eneera powered their way through their set once again and really gave us an aural beatdown before Black Inhale played a brilliant mix of favourites and new songs which they will be recording soon for a CD release later this year.
All in all a great night and I got a couple of keepers...
For my first gig of 2014 I was cordially invited to a quiet evening amongst friends at ((szene)) Vienna, where Mastic Scum would be showing off their new album CTRL. There was quite a turnout for the night, with 4 bands opening: Brewed & Canned, Harmanic, Death Mentality (last show ever!) and Eneera.
And then, the impressive Mastic Scum. Grinding Death Metal powerhousing it at me full tilt! Can you say drums? Well, you can't say it fast enough. For every time you say drums, about a kazillion beats have blasted you and sent you back to the pink tea room you came from. Four relatively innocent looking guys (at least that's what I thought when I went to their dressing room before the show) just blew up ((szene)). Even the building needs time to recover I think!
This year's Dimebash was slightly different than last year's in that the core of the band playing Pantera covers was This Is Riot, a band that was built specifically for these kind of gigs. We still had loads of guests on stage at different points of the magnificent setlist though! Overall, it was a really awesome evening which saw me moving around the place for the entire night. I took some pics backstage and of the crowd while on my way from the photopit to the stage so I think I got a good all-round set of shots!
Two bands warmed up the crowd: Camp Chaos and Earased. I was particularly impressed with the groovy metal sound that Earased provided, I'm definitely going to keep my eyes and ears open for them in the future!
I got my usual band shot from stage right at the end. What a great night it was, can't wait for the 2014 version!!!
A small selection below. Full set of pics here.
I love Iced Earth. I really do. So I was quite a happy chappy when I saw they would be in Vienna again and supporting Volbeat on a huge tour which meant they would be getting to use the big stage they deserve. In addition, my friend Jon Dette is playing drums for them now, so I got to see him too! I met up with him a bit earlier as he is wearing a load of Archetype Apparel gear at the moment - so we got a few shots of him in one of his new shirts just before soundcheck.
Before the show I did a bit of promo with Iced Earth while the first band of the night was playing. It was done behind the stage and unfortunately it was completely dark down there so I had to use my phone to shine some light into Stu's face in order to get a focus point. I messed it up on the first couple of shots where I tried to focus one and then set to manual focus and keep shooting - that wasn't a good idea as it turned out since I must have moved a bit and the first shots were out of focus. The next set of pics worked though as I just kept my phone up with one hand and shot with the other - it also gave the band something to look at in the dark. Here's one that didn't make the final cut - the final pics will be used in press and marketing material.
Lighting info: one 600EX Speedlite as backlight, 1/2 power, two more camera left and right at 1/8 and 1/16 respectively. 35mm, f/4.0 at 1/125. Ambient light: zero.
The show itself was awesome. Iced Earth was really appreciated by the Vienna crowd and played a wonderful set which also included some new stuff from the upcoming album. Of course I didn't actually get to see too much of it because I was running around the venue! I have posted only 10 pictures as the rest may be used in material as preparation for their headlining tour in 2014.
Of course, Volbeat also produced a great show! They started off with a banjo player right at the front of the stage and I was just getting really close with a wide angle lens when the first set of explosives went off right in front of me. I had seen "fire" written on the setlist but I didn't realize where it was going to be! The other photographers in the pit, the security guys and the first five rows of the audience all had a "whoa" look on their face which must have mirrored mine! Full set of the gig here.
Michael from Volbeat is a huge Iced Earth fan (and personally asked Jon Schaffer to do this tour with them) and so it is particularly cool that he plays the song Iced Earth with them every night and then Jon comes on to do Pool of Booze during the Volbeat set. They have great chemistry on stage. All in all a fantastic evening which I thoroughly enjoyed!
Annihilator @ ((szene)) Vienna
A quick excursion into my metal history: I believe it was 1989 or 1990: my Dad took me to visit friends (of his) and they lived in a small apartment. There was an older kid there (he must have been about 16 and I was 13) and as we arrived he was just putting down the headphones and removing an LP from the only stereo in the place which was in the living room - I guess his parents had told him to clear up. So I asked what he was listening to only to get a disdainful "you wouldn't like it" from him. I pressed on. Eventually he told me it was "speed metal" and it's not for me. One more push and he said he would let me listen, obviously hoping for a reaction of horror and disgust.
It was Annihilator's Alice in Hell. And it blew me away. I sat there and listened to the whole record while the social call happened around me. My love for this kind of music was born!
On the 20th February 1991 I went to see Judas Priest at the Bank Austria Zelt in Vienna, the only reason being that Annihilator was opening for them. (On a side note: the other opening band was someone completely unknown... Pantera... they dominated that night, I can tell you that!) Annihilator were awesome - and really I can't believe I haven't gone to see them again since then.
I didn't miss the chance to revisit memory lane last night and it was certainly worth it. Only one original member of Annihilator remains, the rest of the guys could be his sons. A great set of old songs mixed with the ones off the new album provided a filled ((szene)) with some great tunes to thrash to. It really was like the old days, the place was filled with long hair and jeans jackets with patches on them (I wish I could find my jacket, I believe my Mum destroyed it at some point and is now claiming she doesn't know where it is). Oh, and I got a couple of shots as well. Full set here.
Just a place to log my photographic activities and share some thoughts.