Anvil!

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

In a triumphant performance played with uncontainable zeal, Canadian heavy metal band Anvil rocked a rabid and earnestly appreciative crowd at the Pageant on the Anvil Experience Tour. For this music photographer, it felt like an honor to photograph these rock legends, and I had a blast.

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

Photographer's Notes:

I loved photographing Anvil at this concert. There's something entirely refreshing about photographing a band with decades of history who are still so obviously relishing every single second on stage. And for anyone familiar with the Story of Anvil, it's clear why: Lips, Robb, and Glenn are just living the dream.

While the 2,000-capacity Pageant was far from sold out, what the crowd lacked in quantity it more than made up for in quality. Fans threw up the metal fist and sang along with every word, thrashing along with every double-bass kick Robb launched at them.

There was a very narrow pit for this concert, and it was so close to the stage, in fact, that I was relieved to see that the mic stands for Lips and Glenn Five were set back about a meter from the front. Had the two musicians been set up right at the front of the stage, the acute shooting angle combined with the pair of monitors at each station would have made for a much tougher situation.

On the flipside, drummer Robb Reiner was relatively far back from the front of the stage, and, behind his kit, was the most difficult subject of the trio. In addition to the far position, Robb's other obstacle for clean photography came with a relative lack of light at the back of the stage.

Overall, lighting for this show wasn't terribly bright, but neither was it unmanageable by any means. Treatments largely consisted of hazy color backlighting and dimmer warm incandescent light from in front of the stage.

My exposure for much of the set hovered around 1/80 and ISO 3200 to 4000 at f/2.8.

I used all three of my f/2.8 zooms – the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, and 70-200mm f/2.8.

With a crowd full of dedicated and enthusiastic fans, this show was ripe for catchflash in many respects. Here's one example of Lips getting the benefit of flash from a P&S in the crowd.

Heavy metal band Anvil live at the Pageant – January 29, 2010

While I could have used flash for this show, I preferred the look of the stage lighting. There was no shooting limit for this concert, so I snapped away quite happily with the stage lighting and enjoyed this rare luxury.

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon D850:
I use two Nikon D850 for my live music photography. A true do-it-all DSLR with amazing AF, fast response, and no shortage of resolution.
nikon-24-70mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 24-70mm f/2.8:
For most gigs, the 24-70mm is my go-to lens. Exceptional image quality at wide apertures and super-functional range.
Nikon-70-200-squareNikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR:
A perfect pair to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I can basically shoot any job with the midrange and this lens. Superb image quality.
nikon-14-24mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 14-24mm f/2.8:
Ultra-wide perspective, ridiculously sharp even wide open at f/2.8. I love using this lens up-close and personal, where it excels.
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