The Death Set @ the Gargoyle — 2007.11.09

The Death Set @ the Pageant -- 2007.11.09

The Death Set opened for Girl Talk at the Gargoyle, playing a short but energetic set that culminated in a display of what may be the only and greatest recreation of Master Blaster occurring in music today.

Johnny Siera and friends brought the party early, bringing a rowdy set of dance punk madness that found the frontman just as likely to be on the floor among the crowd as he was on the stage.

The Death Set @ the Pageant -- 2007.11.09

The Death Set @ the Pageant -- 2007.11.09

The Death Set @ the Pageant -- 2007.11.09

The Death Set @ the Pageant -- 2007.11.09

Shooting notes:

With no photo pit in the small venue, I crushed up against the stage along with the rest of the crowd, a decision that found me up close and personal to guitarist/singer Johnny Seira and bassist Matt Papich. In between ducking the swinging headstocks from their instruments, photographing these two made for good practice of the next and final set of the evening.


The lighting for this show was actually quite bright for the most part and saw the Gargoyle turning on all the stage lights. The yellow and green lights dominated the color mix and generally made for a warm, dirty cast for the performance.


Surprisingly, there was enough light to shoot at f/4 and ISO 1600 without having to use entirely marginal shutter speeds, which hovered around 1/100 second in the brightest light.


As with the following performance by Girl Talk, the close proximity of the performers made the Tokina 12-24mm f/4's range perfect for simultaneously taking in a wide field of view and pushing the performers back. At 12mm, the ultra wide angle allowed me to photograph both Seira and Papich with their instruments, all without cutting off the stocks splaying in opposing directions.

While the f/2.8 aperture of the Nikon 17-55 would have allowed for faster shutter speeds, the added cover of the Tokina was invaluable for this short and furious set.

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.