The Birthday Massacre

April 27, 2009 – The band needed no long winded introduction and no warm up – moving straight into pounding synth lines and blistering guitar riffs just seconds after taking the stage, The Birthday Massacre began how most bands finish (and went to eleven from there). The show included bow displacing power noogies, hysterical screaming, spitting, crowd surfing, kisses and fans openly weeping and I’m only talking about the first three songs. Be sure to check out the full set of thumbnails below – there were just too many cool shots to post!

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Photographer’s Notes

Shooting The Birthday Massacre without a photo pit is the messiest gig I’ve shot recently – it was also one of the most enjoyable. Unlike most bands where the lead singer is the clear focal point, nearly every member of The Birthday Massacre is a moving target worth following for an entire show. Even though I’ve been a fan for a while, this was my first concert. I had some idea of what was in store for me but the actual experience was quite a shock – (I never thought I’d say it, but sometimes 14mm just isn’t enough).

I was situated house right of center in the front row. This put my in great position for shots of Chibi, O.E. and Rainbow. Due to the abnormally wide stage at Highline Ballroom, I was only able to catch the other members of the band when they wandered front and center. I’ll definitely have to switch sides of the stage to get better angles on Falcore, Rimm and O-En next show.

I shot almost exclusively on the wide end of the Nikon 14-24mm. Most of the photos in this set include fill flash from a single SB-900 speedlight mounted on-camera. My ISO stayed around 2000 while my shutter speed and aperture varied wildly depending on the ambient lighting.

End Notes

A huge thanks to the entire band for putting on such a rocking set. An equally massive thanks to Shannon for coordinating my credentials! Additional thanks to Vinny and Robert for the hookup at doors.

  1. New blog post: The Birthday Massacre —

  2. nice action shots Chris, looks like a scene out of Batman with the Joker in mid air in shot one!

  3. @tbmassacre – Photos from your show in NYC just posted to my blog! —

  4. I had already seen and commented the preview photo you posted on your blog and flickr.

    And as we can see for the rest of the set, they’re perfect for great, dynamic shots.

    Love the 9th and 13th shots, particularly.


  5. Rachel

    Amazing shots! :D
    I was here, and it was a fantastic night.
    I’m just wondering, was it you who took the picture of the semi crying girl hugging Chibi after the show?

  6. Rachel

    That was me. XD I would really like to see the picture if you do have it, although it’s probably embarrassing. haha

  7. Nice set Chris.

    Really like the third one. that’s where we can see that taking picture from the crowd is not ease.
    At least I will have a photo pit when I will photography them next month at the Goth Fest hee in Belgium ;-)

    May I ask you why so high ISO and not having plyed with the second curtain and in manual mode?

    Anyway, great set!


  8. Thanks Paul. I’m kicking myself for not getting more shots of Michael Falcore (The Joker). Alas, it was impossible. I was too busy trying not to get crushed by the crowd to even think of giving up my spot.

  9. Hi Rachel,

    The show WAS amazing. Yes, that was me who took the photo of semi crying girl hugging Chibi. Was that you? Someone you know? I’m not sure if the photo turned out, but I can check.

  10. Rachel

    I know I’ve asked you before, but did you ever check to see if you have the picture of Chibi and I?

  11. Hi Ollie,

    Thanks for the comment. The reason I don’t use second curtain flash is because of the delay until the subject is exposed by the flash. Sometimes the delay is too long and the moment I wanted to capture has passed. The simple answer is I’m bad at it!

    There are very few shows I shoot with flash. I just need more practice.

    Thanks, VERY good question.