The Deftones rolled into St. Louis with strong support from J-rockers Dir en grey and prog-rock, post-hardcore band The Fall of Troy, who started off the night with tight musicianship and high energy.
Photographing the Mukilteo, Washington trio's fast-paced set was a nice challenge, even arriving late during the second song. Frontman Thomas Erak provided plenty of photographic opportunities, with frequent trips to the front of the stage for exhibitionism on the speaker monitors, complete with metal hair-whips.
For all shots of drummer Andrew Forsman, I ended up shooting between the two monitors at the center of the stage. In this shot, they're providing a little physical vignetting at the bottom of the frame.
The Japanese band Dir en grey was greeted to rabidly enthuseastic fans and treated them to a dynamic 45-minute set. Frontman Kyo was especially animated on stage and tested the low-light AF abilities of the Nikon D2X to the limit.
Lighting was limited exclusively to red and blue washes during the first three songs, with more dynamic lighting reserved to the last few songs of the set.
By the time the Deftones came on stage, the crowd was ready for the main event. Unfortunately for myself and the two other photogs in the pit, the lighting was once again a mono-color was for most of the first three songs, with brief punctuation by other lighting toward the back of the stage.
A grid of LEDs formed the backdrop for the set and added some interest to the shots where frontman Chino Moreno wasn't howling at the front of the stage.
While at the front of the stage, Chino was lit with a reddish-orange wash, with some orange highlights provided by lights on the small ramp erected him. While I used the Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 for few shots, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 actuallly saw the most use for the Deftones' set. The fast aperture and range proved most useful, given the low light and Chino's elevated position on the stage.