With their zen-like balance of socially conscious hip-hop and gutteral metal vocals, the Los Angeles sextet laided down an ear splitting set that pulled from every corner of their three disc catalog.
Dual frontmen Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda kept the energy high with verse-for-verse vocal exchanges that crisscrossed every inch of the massive stage. Not to be completely outdown, bassist Dave “Phoenix” Farrell and guitarist Brad Delson often shared the spotlight. In contrast with Shinoda’s satisfied grin and Bennington’s contorted visage, Farrell and Delson, laid down their crushing base lines and wailing guitar solos with an almost dispassionate, merciless precision.
High above the fray, drummer Rob Bourdon rained down a rock solid foundation of beats while his partner in crime DJ Joseph Hahn (that’s Mr. Hahn to you) spread on the healthy layer of sonic nuance that is the group’s trademark.
The group’s performance of the massive crowd favorites “One Step Closer,” “Crawling,” and “Somewhere I belong” were positively epic.
If it’s possible for a show to be both technically difficult and insanely fun to shoot at the same time this was it.
The band performed on two sets of metal risers, one at the stage front and one at the rear. The risers allowed the band members to fade in and out of the spotlight while providing photographers with some interesting (and challenging) shooting angles.
Photographically speaking, the added height of the risers effectively revealed whoever was on top while obscuring whoever wasn’t.
Most of the action took place on the frontmost riser where Bennington, Shinoda, Farrell and Delson took turns riling up the crowd. Though they were all but obscured from the pit, the crowd had great sightlines on Bourdon and Hahn who were elevated high above stagelevel on stepped risers similar to what you’d see at the Academy Awards.
The lighting was ample thanks to a massive rig of intelligent atmospherics and two huge spotlights thrown from the back of the venue.
The main challenge of this shoot was simply keeping up with band. Bennington and Shinoda literally ran the length of the stage throughout the entire show. Literally. Ran.
And guess who was gasping for air to keep up wit them?
Yes. This Photographer (and I loved every second of it).
I shot this set exclusively with the Canon 1D Mark III and the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8. Shutter speeds, ISO, and aperture were exactly what you’d expect from a well-lit area-style show.
I get asked a lot if how much I like the band I’m shooting affects how good the photos are.
The answer is nuanced, but it basically holds true that, as long as I don’t hate the band, the photos will be as awesome as I can possibly make them.
What this equation leaves out is what happens to the photography when I’m a huge fan of the band. The photos should be amazing right?
Well, yes – with the exception that if I’m huge fan of the band, I might be cheering when I should be shooting.
Overall, I’m really happy with the shots in this set – almost as happy as I am with my new Linkin Park t-shirt. =)