Kreator, Death Angel Live @ 170 Russell, Melbourne, Australia

Preparing for the show tonight my good friends at Metropolis Touring arranged for me to have an AAA (access all areas) pass to shoot both Death Angel and Kreator for their various social media sites. The aforementioned pass would afford me more liberal access and ensure that I got the shots that would be required.

I had done some work for this tour a few months ago preparing the tour trailer which was so much fun to do and can be seen at the foot of this article.

I literally had to get out of the sick bed to go to the show tonight. I felt like hell and had left the day job early so I could get some rest and try and be at my best for tonight’s gig. I almost pulled the plug, but I would be letting a few people down so ill or not, I made it to 170 Russell (formerly known as Billboard).

I was under the impression that Death Angel wouldn’t be onstage until 8.30, but by the time I had got there, they were already well into their set. Great!

The place was packed to the rafters so it turned out to be quite a struggle to get to the photo pit. Once I got there, the bouncer wouldn’t let me in. I then flashed the AAA at him, and he escorted me straight in. Phew! Lucky. Very lucky.

Let it be known, I am a huge fan of Bay Area Thrash Metal. I never really got into the Euro version of the genre and bands like Kreator, Sodom, Destruction et al, never did it for me so I was super keen to see Death Angel tonight.

If you saw them back in 2009, at the same venue, you’ll remember fondly what a classic gig that was. One of the best I have been to even if it was during a time when I was just starting out this rock and roll photography caper. They were phenomenal that night so I was expecting more of the same tonight.

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Unfortunately, the sound was woeful. Really woeful. In fact, out of the hundreds and hundreds of gigs I have done since 2009, it was the worst I have ever heard. I thought maybe it was just me. After all, I have a head cold from hell and maybe I just couldn’t hear right but the vocals were absolutely non-existent. All I could hear was the stage drums and one guitar.

Death Angel singer Mark Osegueda even commented at one stage that no one could hear his vocals.

Such a shame because the band looked like they were kicking absolute ass. Too band no one could hear it!

As stated, I am not really a fan of Kreator although I do recognise their position as one of the greats of the genre – especially in their native Europe of which they are a freaking huge band. I was excited to be getting the opportunity to shoot them, I just don’t think I knew any of their material.

Photographer’s gripe… Billboard was always a fantastic venue to shoot at. It ranks as one of my faves. They gone and installed these incredible lights which are amazing strong and bright. Only problem, they have the lights facing directly into the audience and not towards the stage (!) – go figure that one out. So what happens when they are switched on is this massive bright white lighting behind the band creating nothing but silhouettes for you to photograph. Add to the fact that Kreator pumped about a gazillion litres of smoke into the venue before they kicked off, and it was nothing but a white glowing haze for the majority of their set.

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They proved to be very hard to shoot which will explain the lack of photos of them here. I did put the AAA to use again and went backstage to get some shots of them from behind.

Still, it was an amazing night with the venue packed to the absolute rafters. An amazing double bill of pure Thrash – Euro and US versions!

With thanks to Frazer Bourke and all at Metropolis Touring.

Kreator, Death Angel Live @ 170 Russell, Melbourne, Australia

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