3.27.09 – Scandinavian metal is no joke and Norway’s Satyricon is no exception. With founding members Satyr and Frost in command of a viscous touring band, the four time Norwegian Grammy winners laid down a punishing set of black metal at the Nokia Theater.

Satyricon Satyricon Satyricon Satyricon Satyricon Satyricon Satyricon Satyricon Satyricon Satyricon

Photographer’s Notes

Even though I’m fan of European metal, I haven’t shot a lot of shows. This is mainly because I regard metal shows as poorly lit and generally dangerous for my equipment and my person. This turned out to be true in the latter sense.

Despite getting kicked in the head, Satyricon’s crushing performance had me itching for more.

With the surfers coming like clockwork and as many security guards as there were photographers in the 36 inch pit, I shot almost exclusively from one position with either the 14-24mm or the 24-70mm Nikon zooms on my D3. As you can see from the wide shots, if there is one genre of music that is deserving of the masterpiece that is the Nikon 14-24mm, it’s metal.

The light show was gorgeous but drenched the band in heavy backlighting and made finding the right exposure difficult. I checked my LCD screen and histograms often during this shoot and in most cases, I opted to underexpose slightly.

End Notes

Big shout outs to Jeremy and Amy for hooking me with 11th hour photo credentials. I hope you’re happy with the results!

  1. NICE Chris!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love those wide angels! You were defnitely treated to a different lighting than what I saw when I shot them a few weeks ago..the entire set I shot was a wash of red throughout, having some serious lighting envy here! Right now only the first five are loading for me though so I’ll come back to admire the rest of the set.

  2. Words cannot express how much I love hair flinging. Metal is so much fun to shoot, and you did a great job. You definitely worked the wide angle! A kick to the head is a small price to pay for art, haha.

  3. These are fantastic. You really captured why metal is ridiculously fun to shoot!

    Re hazards to equipment, life and limb: ever shot a metal show with no photo pit? Now THAT’S a good time :)

  4. Great wide angle shots. The lighting is killer. Good stuff.

  5. adam

    Nice shots Chris! You are the master of freezing those hair whips. I love the second to last picture where Satyr is looking right at you. So evil!

  6. Killer set.

  7. Nice set Chris.

    Not exactly a fan of extreme metal bands, but I love the wide angles and the poses (metal bands are very expressive). It’s kind of strange to see Satyr without the usual make-up though.


  8. Savage

    haha i was one of those surfers who was coming in like clockwork lol but great photos. you seriously did an awesome job with them, great concert by the way.

  9. Hi Mary,

    Thanks for the comment! I had asking you about this show on my to-do list before the gig but got too side tracked with work. Lighting envy is a horrible feeling. I most often experience it when I see Todd’s shots of things from The Pageant in STL. I’m glad I was on the other side of things this time!



  10. Haha Tasha, tell that to my skull! I’m glad you like the shots!

  11. Thanks Brandon! I really enjoyed this shoot. The last metal show I shot without a pit was Mastodon. I got beat up.

  12. Oh, ouch. I believe it!

  13. Hi Craig,

    Thanks for stopping by. The 14-24mm is a really wonderful lens. I never thought I would enjoy shooting wide angle but after using it a few times it really grew on me. Glad you like the shots!

  14. Dude, I thought of you while taking these shots. I must shoot more metal.

    (The guy staring me down giving me the double horns is the touring guitarist. Satyr is the tall dude with the slicked hair.)

  15. Thanks a ton Jason! Satyricon is a great band to photograph. I’ll definitely be watching out for their next tour.

  16. Thanks Daniel,

    I lucked out on the Satyr having no make-up I guess. Metal bands are so expressive that I’m going to find it hard to resist shooting them if I have to chose between a metal show or an indie rock show on the same night.

  17. Personal preference: Metal show all the way. :D

    But that comes with the fact that metal is my favourite musical genre.

    And damn, that 14-24 really seems to rock pretty hard.


  18. Hey Savage,

    Might it have been your boot that hit the back of my head? ;-) Glad you like the photos. Personally, I can’t wait until Satyr comes back on a headlining tour.