Shooting Soundgarden & Nine Inch Nails

One of the most intriguing subject matters in photography to me is shooting live performances, whether it be an opera, a play or in this case, a band.  In this case two bands: Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails at the White River Amphitheater.  I blame my brother and our shared fascination with KISS when we were little kids.  The cover of KISS Alive! sticks out as my main influence. All that smoke and colored lights drew me in (even though it was a totally posed shot).

 

Through a friend and business partner I was able get into the show with the task of shooting promos shots for Live Nation (the ticket sellers and promoters).  There was also the outside possibility that I might gain additional "access" (a key word when it comes to photography) and be able to shoot from the pit, which is right down in front.  Obviously the prospect was very exciting and having seen Soundgarden 4 times previously I was even more amped up to shoot one of my favorite bands.  Sadly, and as these things sometimes happen, the access I was so looking forward to was unattainable and any type of hang-around-my-neck pass was out of the question. Also, I was warned that if I was spotted using my camera with my long lens, I'd be asked to take it back to my car, or worse be asked to leave.  So what I had hoped would be a great opportunity to take a collection of shots that might prove fruitful to my re-dedication to a career in photography was looking grim.  I was disappointed but the guys I worked with at Live Nation were very apologetic and accommodating.  It's hard to complain when you have a box seat ticket and VIP access to a NIN /  Soundgarden show!  What I did have in my favor was that I had my camera and I was inside the gates.  All I needed was to muster the courage to pull it out and accept the consequences if caught.  And that's what I did.  As the night progressed I grew more brave and by the time the show was over I wasn't even considering the presence  of security guards.  It's quite possible they were too drawn to what was happening on stage.  Soundgarden was outstanding and sounded better than they had the previous two times I'd seen them.  The sound at White River also impressed me, acoustically it seemed nearly perfect.  What really blew my mind though was Nine Inch Nails.  I know now why people who've been to a NIN show always say they'd go again.  Words can't really describe it so I won't even try.  Suffice it to say that it was an experience I'll never forget and Trent Reznor is a force (as indicated by how many of my shots were centered on him).  In a word, amazing.  I can't thank my friend Dave and the guys at Live Nation enough!

As for the shots I was able to get, there are several that I really like but at the same time I can't help but look at some of them and think "This would have been so much cooler if I were closer.

-Tony