John Mellencamp @ Farm Aid

John Mellencamp performing at Farm Aid 2009

After a day of heartfelt but somewhat mellow performances, I have to admit that I was surprised when John Mellencamp took the stage and Farm Aid 2009 turned into a no-holds-bar rock fest.

Truly, there were points during his set I wanted to throw up the bull horns, and for this music photographer, John Cougar gave Farm Aid the biggest dose of the rock show the 2009 event saw.

John Mellencamp performing at Farm Aid 2009

John Mellencamp performing at Farm Aid 2009

John Mellencamp performing at Farm Aid 2009

John Mellencamp performing at Farm Aid 2009

John Mellencamp performing at Farm Aid 2009

Photographer's Notes:

Mellencamp and his band dominated the stage during their performance, and from a photography standpoint, their energy-filled set was one of the most fun to photograph of the night.

I shot this set primarily with the Nikon D3 and 70-200mm f/2.8, though the 24-70mm came into play as well on the Nikon D700.

Aside from a great vibe, the lighting during Mellencamp's performance was also among the the most interesting of the day, with a nice mix of spotlight and accent effects.

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.