Last weekend I went to check out, and photograph, the Rock Vegas Festival, a 2 day concert at the Mandalay Bay Resort. I ended up with over 1100 images, so I had to cut that back a bit. This post will cover some of the Day 1 bands I shot, and you can find the Day 2 post here.
Last year I hit Vegas to photograph the 48 Hours Festival, and it was a blast! So, when I heard about the Rock Vegas Festival this year, I had to go. Two days of rock, and lots of photographs. I knew this year was going to be different however. The 48 Hours Festival had both the Main stage and Second stage outside, in a festival style atmosphere. The Rock Vegas Festival’s second stage was outside in the Mandalay Bay parking lot, but the Main stage was the actual Mandalay Bay Events Center. That meant the daytime acts had that festival feel, while the night acts would be a sit down concert.
I was only planning on shooting the main night acts, but while checking in for my photo pass I was told there were a few bands I should catch, and I’m glad I did. There was one band that had all the photographer talking. I didn’t shoot every band, but below are a few of the images from the first day of bands.
Based on the mask you might guess that he used to be with Hollywood Undead. You would be correct. The set even started off with a Hollywood Undead number. He even takes the mask off after a few songs – like HU. Hmm. Still, while he sounded like… Hollywood Undead, he did sound very good.
This was the band we were all talking about. When I checked in I was told this band was the project of WWE’s Chris Jerico, and I actually had ask if I heard that right. Had to see it, right? Well, it was the surprise of the day. They were just plan great, and a blast to watch. They seemed to be having so much fun on stage it was infectious. One of the other photographers summed it up well… “I would pay to see them”. I hope to photograph them again sometime soon. (Got that Chris? Laminate pass, on stage shooting?)
Fozzy had this crowd in the palm of their hands.
The Fozzy guitarist Rich Ward was fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, I could say that about the rest of the band too, but this guy jumped into the crowd to play twice. He took that guys hat, sat in the crowd and jammed. It worked.
This was the one outside band I had to see and shoot. I am a fan, and they delivered. If you ever get the chance to see these guys… do it. I still think they should have been on the inside stage.
This guitar was effin’ awesome!
I was able to shoot Godsmack last year at the 48 Hours Festival. This is another must see band.
Well, that is a sample of the 1100 photos I took. There is a ton more, but at this point I am not even sure this page will load!
Overall, I think the concert was a huge success for the fans – and that is all that matters. As a photographer… I preferred last year’s format. With the festival format we were able to walk around and shoot, or wait around the media area for photos of the bands backstage. The indoor format required us to have an escort to the arena, and then we waited in a small conference room. For each band we were escorted to the photo pit for the customary 3 songs, and then back to the room. For the early bands that was not a big deal, but as the night moved to headliners with longer sets, it meant we were waiting a long time. We could have gone to watch, but without our gear, and it’s tough to leave your camera gear behind. The longest wait was on Day 2, so click here for the Day 2 story, and photos.
If you went, or have seen any of these bands, comment below.