May 1, 2009 – For the second year in a row, the Road Recovery Benefit Concert brought together an amazing lineup of rock talent to help young people fight addiction and adversity. This year, the organization honored the legendary Wayne Kramer of MC5 and announced plans to help Kramer bring a Road Recovery program to the inmates of Sing Sing prison in Ossining, New York. The star studded line-up included Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Iggy Pop, Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains), Gilby Clarke (Gun N’ Roses), and many more.

Boots Riley (The Coup)

Matt Pinfield (MTV/VH1)

Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave)


Billy Bragg

Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) and Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard)


Etty Lau Farrell


Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction)


Handsome Dick Manitoba (The Dictators)

Juliet Lewis

Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses)

Steven Van Zandt (Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band)

Wayne Kramer (MC5)


Iggy Pop


The Obligatory Group Shot

Photographer’s Notes

I’ve come to the conclusion that the hardest thing about shooting benefit concerts isn’t the lighting or the shooting time (both are ample). It’s being in the right place at the right time with the right lens on your camera when 1 of 10 world-class rock stars comes forward and has their moment in the spotlight.

With a pit so crowded you can barely move, being in the right place at the right time is mostly a matter of luck. Just like last year, I tried to increase my odds of being front-and-center for the action by shooting just house right of center. This worked well for the most part, especially for shots of Perry Farrell and Tom Morello (two of my favorite artists to photograph).

Having the right lens on the camera is a little bit more difficult. Since I had only one body for this show, I traded between the Nikon 14-24mm and 24-70mm relying heavily on the wide end of the 14-24. Though some shots were too wide and others far too tight, I’m happy with the set as a whole.

The lighting was mostly bright allowing for a generous exposure of around 1/250 at f/3.5 and ISO 2000. I find 2000 to one of the D3’s sweet spots for post production.

End Notes

If you’ve read this far, thank you! Definitely go a little further and check out the extended set of 74 images. There was too much to choose from.

  1. Kenny

    amazing chris!

    i was planning on doing this show, but ended up at Lady Gaga in Philly…wish i would of done this one!

    looks like the lights were great for this as well! i love the nokia…

    how many photogs do you think were in there?

  2. New blog post: Road Recovery Benefit 2009 — http://tinyurl.com/q456qt

  3. Hei Chris,

    Fantastic shots. I love the second one from Iggy and the ones from Juliette Lewis, and the lights seem to have been on the spot.

    Great, as usual!


  4. Great range of musos and images. You’ve got more rock stars in one show than tour here in one year.