This proved to be a difficult gig to get judging by the amount of photographers who were patiently waiting for our contact from Live Nation to brief us on the evening’s plans. I was originally pencilled in to shoot this gig for another publication who were granted access to the gig in Brisbane but not in Melbourne. Just as I was to give up hope, I was approached by my new editors who run Silver Tiger Media and asked if I could shoot the gig for them. A last minute reprieve only days before the gig I certainly considered myself very lucky to score this opportunity.
At 7pm sharp, Dion from Live Nation met up with all the photographers and passed us our photo passes for the night. All of us would be shooting all three bands on the bill… In Heart’s Wake, Lamb Of God and Slipknot.
I have covered Lamb Of God several times over the years and tonight would be my second encounter with Slipknot. The first being back in 2012 again at this very same venue.
We were collectively escorted into the arena and walked through the halls were all the Slipknot production team were ensembled. I always get a buzz seeing the mechanics of a Rock show in full effect and this floor of Rod Laver was a hive of activity.
Opening proceedings were Australian band In Heart’s Wake. From the outset, I am not a fan and I (and many punters) felt like they were the wrong choice for such a bill. With a plethora of Australian Metal bands to choose from who would be champing at the bit to play on such a bill, I remained perplexed at why these guys were on the bill. Very confusing selection and I found most of their set to be lacking any real substance whatsoever. Dressed as cricketers on this Halloween eve, it all felt rather lame.
So yeah, I can assure you I was now hanging for the real stuff and awaiting Lamb Of God’s take to the stage! I’ve seen these guys many times over the years and photographed them plenty. Tonight, was majorly disappointing. They were affored very little lighting so it proved to be a challenge for all of the photographers to get some decent shots. My colleague said to me just how much of a difficult shoot that proved to be and I agreed with him wholeheartedly.
About the only ‘decent’ shot I got of Lamb Of God all night…
The security in tonight’s photo pit was plentiful. Never have I seen a pit so crammed like this. With only half a dozen photographers there must have been an additional 40 security goons at the ready. Add to the fact that the barrier was also pushed a little forward, it proved to be one of the most claustrophobic pits I’ve worked in when it comes to Rod Laver Arena.
Slipknot were superb. They always are and always bring it to the table even if they were one man down tonight (and for the remaining few dates of the tour). Clown (Shaun Crahan) had to fly back home due to the death of his father-in-law but that did not stop the rest of the ensemble making up for his absence.
You pretty much know what you are going to get from the outset with a Slipknot show. I have seen them a few times over the past few years and it is pretty much the same show year in year out. It is not so much the stage show per se with these guys but each individual member themselves that ARE the show. New members drummer Jay Weinberg and bassist Alessandro Venturella put in a stellar job replacing Joey and the deceased Paul Gray. Weinberg in particular proving to be an incredible drummer in his own right coming from fine stock as the son of legendary drummer Max Weinberg.
With thanks to Live Nation and Silver Tiger Media. To view full gallery, please visit the Silver Tiger Media website.