After an AWESOME! St Pattys day parade and cook-out at my house, I drove down solo to Wallingford, CT.
The Oakdale, is a fully seated theater… but they set up the stage in the massive lobby (apparently for the second time ever.. the first being for Dropkick Murphys) – so it was pretty cool. The lighting Killswitch brought with them – MADE the show. The stage wasnt as wide or the lights were just placed closer, so the lighting was a bit brighter with the side lights, but the side lighting is awesome because I use split lighting often for photo shoots... however, there was a bit less on back lighting then the night before, but a completely different stage set, which was cool because the photos would not look the same as the night before. The LED panels behind the band were separated rather then together.
Anyway, Dark Tranquility went on, and I ended up shooting both with out flash and with flash. My flash blend settings for DT were F8 at a 20th or 30th (white light was a 30th, colored lighting was a 15th-20th) - my natural lighting settings were F2.8 at a 160th-250th - I shot this set with the 16-35 and fisheye.
The Devil Wears Prada was up next and were HEAVY! Heavier then I have ever seen them in my entire career. Their lighting was a bit darker, with much more red saturation, so I used a bit more flash with this set, until the end of the third song when they flooded the stage with whites, and I got the best shots of them that set.
Now... time for the second night of Killswitch or... Philswitch.
The lighting was much better tonite, so I rolled with more natural lit shots as there was MUCH more white flooding. I only used the flash when the entire song seemed to be red, blue, or dark toned.
Again, the lighting was much stronger so my settings went up - I shot mostly fisheye for this one, but my settings with flash were F9.5 at a 30th and 45th - with out flash my settings were F4.0-8.0 at a 125th - 500th - as the closer to the side of the stage the subject was, the brighter they were.
The stage was about chest height so I could get alot of cool shots by getting a little lower and using the floor as a reflective surface for the lighting they had.
After a few songs, it came time for the surprise! The stage went black, and “My Last Serenade” kicked in as Jesse exploded onto the stage! He seemed to have twice the energy as the night before, which was awesome for the photos, much more to capture.
Phil came back on, as Adam announced “There is a concession stand, I want SOMEONE to buy twizzlers and crowd surf them to me!”
“If twizzlers, starburst, and tootsie rolls got into a knife fight, I think that twizzlers would win!” – Adam D
For the “end” of the set, like the night before, “The End of Heartache” was a massive sing along. I wanted to get a good angle of phil on top of the crowd but I REAAAALLY wanted to get a shot of Adam close to the crowd with phil on top of the crowd in the background with even lighting.. I took out the flash for this one - and MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
The stage went black as the “one more song” chant started up. Adam came on stage and again said “You’re getting another song! Its gunna get WEIRD!”
He jumped behind the drum kit, and the original Killswitch line up hit the stage for the last time on the tour. Jesse went all out on these songs, and had more energy then I have ever seen him have on stage with KSE back in the day.
Then it came… the bittersweet end of the show, end of the tour, last song, last note, etc. Phil jumped on stage for the last few parts of the song, and then everyone hugged everyone to say thank you, and so on.
For those who couldn’t be there at these impressive shows with both Phil and Jesse… the only thing I can say is… There is no place, on earth, better then living in Western Mass!
also check out - http://www.metalarmyamerica.com - for a longer blog (less photo related) about my two days with the dudes. (should be up by march 23rd)