Guardians Of Asgaard
I’ve lost track of the number of gigs I have seen throughout the course of 2009. Trust me, there has been a few. One of the perks of shooting live music is that you get to see the gig for free so with that in mind, one does become a little complacent. It seems, at times, that one gig just rolls into the other and at the end of the day – it can get all rather stale.
Not tonight. Not tonight boys and girls. Amon Amarth were simply fucking phenomenal. For me, this was the gig of the year such was the power and ferocity that these guys utterly impressed and blew me away!
Rocking up to Billboard half an hour before the band was to hit the stage, I was told there weren’t any photo passes left but for me to just relay that info to the bouncers. Great, I was to wade through the gathered throng and make my way to the front of the venue with no pass to speak of. Once I got to the pit I said to the bouncer, “Is it a three song limit tonight?” Before he could even answer, I was in the pit and my minor problem of being without a pass – was solved.
You could certainly feel the electricity in the room tonight. So much so that another bouncer approached me and said, “It looks like it is going to get nuts from the get-go. You’ve got one song and one song only to photograph!”
I felt a little devastated and quickly devised a strategy in my head to try and shoot as much as I could in that one song. I told him I had been promised three and that I would do my best to keep out of his way – but he was to have none of it. He then said I could stand on the side of stage left and shoot away for the rest of the night.
In the end, he was correct. There were bodies flying almost immediately and the crowd was matching the frenzy of the most awesome, mind-blowing Power Metal that was pouring off the stage.
In a moment of levity, before the band hit the stage I noticed that one of the band’s roadies was signalling with his torch the top of a doorway. Now why would he be doing that? It looked the size of a normal doorway and nothing to concern himself over. And then it hit me, when I saw the size of lead singer Johan Hegg – a throwback to when Northern European men were indeed vikings (!) – it all made sense!
Billboard was just re-splendid tonight! Easy to see why the ole girl is one of my fave venues to shoot in. Tonight, the backline had been moved way back and the stage looked huge. The band had some gorgeous backdrops which just added to the whole Metal feel of it all and the band used the stage like the seasoned pros that they are.
Fuck man, I was simply blown away. You just could not wipe the smile off my face as I was enjoying these guys so much and having a wonderful time shooting them.
Personally, I felt as if I took some of my best shots to date as I totally felt it tonight. In the zone with the camera and riding every bump with the band. Beautifully lit and willingly posing for shots throughout the course of the night.
What a fun night this was. What an amazing live band they truly are!