Russell Allen and Mike Orlando

December 18, 2008 – Mike Orlando’s Sonic Stomp put a big steel-toed bootprint on the marquee of The Blender Theater. With fingers flying across the fret board of his Vigier Excalibur, Orlando melted faces like a rock’n’roll snowball at the gates of hell. (And this was before Symphony X frontman Russell Allen showed up.)

What you get when you cross  Orlando, a Top Ten Finalist in  Guitar Player Magazine’s Guitar Superstar Competition,  with Allen, one of the biggest frontmen in prog metal, is sheer mayhem folks.

Russell Allen and Mike Orlando Mike Orlando Mike Orlando Russell Allen (Symphony X) Mike Orlando Mike Orlando and Russell Allen Russell Allen (Symphony X) Mike Orlando Russell Allen and Mike Orlando Mike Orlando Mike Orlando

Photographer’s Notes

When you’re hanging downstairs drinking PBR with The Energy and you hear guitar work as good as Mike Orlando’s coming through the floor boards – there’s only one thing to do – run upstairs and throw up the horns.

Thanks to the visual genius that runs the Blender Theater system of Vari-Lites, the lighting for this set was both gorgeous and ample. If there is any scene that justifies breaking out the 14mm lens, it’s that of a guitar playing champion with his steel-toe up on an ego box.

I only shot a couple of songs of this set but the results were great. I shot mostly with het Nikon 24-70mm when Russell Allen took the stage but relied heavily on the Nikon 14-24mm for Mike Orlando’s guitar hero antics.

The final photo was taken with with the 24-70mm on the Nikon D3 using an undiffused Nikon SB-900 speedlight on a SC-28 off-camera TTL cable. The background exposure was calculted manually and the flash was left on TTL using spot metering.

End Notes

A huge thanks to Mike and Russell for being such nice guys and such amazing subjects.

  1. Oh Blender , what R n R lighting bliss you are…

    great shots Chris

  2. New blog post: Photos of one of the best shred guitarists in the world.

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  4. Jack Hanstein

    Is this the Russel Allen that graduated from Poly High in 1956??