Gramercy Theater nearly burst at the seams as New Yorkers piled into the oversold venue for a band that is arguably the authority in the Metalcore genre. Supporting their new album Constellations, August Burns Red brought the roof down with wave after wave of odd-meter riffs and skull crushing breakdowns.
Despite the fact that their music most certainly makes babies (and many adults) cry, you’ll be hard pressed to find a nicer or more genuine group of guys than August Burns Red. Having missed the chance to shoot their live show after their BrOwyoungs portrait session this summer, I was very excited to see what all the ABR hype was about. As you can see from the images, the guys did not disappoint.
I photographed the entire set with access to the pit and the stage. Other than dodging the surfers, I quickly learned that the hardest part of photographing an August Burns Red concert is deciding which band member to photograph at any giving moment – why? – because they’re all going completely nuts all the time.
In the end, I decided to chase frontman Jake Luhrs from one end of the stage to the other while grabbing shots of Brent (rhythm guitar), JB ( lead guitar) and Dustin (bass) as light and opportunity allowed. Given the feast-or-famine nature of lighting, this worked out fairly well.
I shot this set mainly with the Nikon 14-24mm zoom lens stopped down to f/4 at ISO 2000. I never thought I’d say this, but 14mm still isn’t enough to capture the brutality this band lays down. At 14mm on the full-frame Nikon D3, I regularly found myself cutting off arms, head stocks and fists (all of the stuff I love to leave in) simply because I didn’t have anywhere else to go.
A series of three speedlights were used throughout the set; an on-camera SB-900 in commander mode and two SB-600 remotes triggered by Nikon CLS. It’s a good thing speedlights can’t scream because I’m 100% sure that all three flash guns were just begging to be put down after this brutal set.
Huge thanks to Josh, Matt, Jake, JB, Brent and Dustin. I hope you guys have as much fun looking at the photos as I had taking them.