Atmosphere @ the Pageant -- 2009.05.21

May 21, 2009 – On the home stretch of their “When God Gives You Ugly Tour,” it was clear that Atmosphere were in top form. If the band was road weary, it surely didn't show as they rocked a tight performance for their first St. Louis date in nearly three years.

Atmosphere @ the Pageant -- 2009.05.21

Atmosphere @ the Pageant -- 2009.05.21

Atmosphere @ the Pageant -- 2009.05.21

Atmosphere @ the Pageant -- 2009.05.21

Atmosphere @ the Pageant -- 2009.05.21

Atmosphere @ the Pageant -- 2009.05.21

Atmosphere @ the Pageant -- 2009.05.21

Photographer's Notes:

Atmosphere putt on a great show, even if Slug accidently kicks your flash off the stage and breaks it. I honestly think it was more of a love tap – the flash was sitting right at the edge of the stage as it was. Slug apologized both right after the incident and after the show. But I digress, more on the flash later.

Tons of energy in this set. My biggest regret? Focusing almost exclusively on rapper Slug, AKA Sean Daley, which I made as an executive decision given the greater investment of energy I find rappers require for performance shoots.

I used a mix of flash and ambient light for this show and photographed for the first three songs. Three Nikon SB-600s were on the stage, but for the most part I just used one or two of them while shooting.

Three quick songs and we were out of the pit.

End Notes:

In case you were wondering: The SB-600 that was the evening's casualty seems to have made a full recovery.

It looks like the flash landed in such a way that the electrical contacts for two of the AA batteries became smashed down on impact. As a result, the prongs weren't making the necessary contact to the batteries.

I bent the prongs back into place and voilà, the flash turns on again and fires. More testing is necessary, but it seems to be OK.

In other news, I'm looking forward to catching Atmosphere in Chicago at Lollapalooza!

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon Z 7:
I use two Nikon Z 7 for my live music photography. A true do-it-all mirrorless camera with amazing AF, great speed and fantastic resolution.


Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8S:
The 24-70mm is my go-to lens. The range is ideal for stage front photography and the image quality is superb.


Nikon 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 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.

See My Full Kit for Concert Photography

Help Support

If this article or any other content on was helpful to you, please consider supporting this site and grabbing your next photo gear purchase through one of my affiliate links:

Simply clicking through any product links on this site helps me bring you free content like the photography tips and gear reviews regularly posted on, and naturally it doesn't cost you a cent more.