Killswitch Engage was my favorite band of the night. That might be a racy thing to say when they were up against legends Slayer, but I just had fun shooting Killswitch. Of all the bands at Mayhem, they seemed to interact with the audience the most, and seemed to be enjoying themselves the most. Vocalist Howard Jones even grabbed a photographer’s camera and tried to take pictures of the crowd – right in the middle of a song. Mix that in with the crazy matching tux t-shirts, and the running around from side to side of the stage, and it was a blast. They were the only band that totally kept me guessing.
Killswitch had the best light of the night too. Lots of white front light with colored backlight. The band favored the front of the stage, unlike Bullet For My Valentine, so it was a breeze getting some full body shots. Killswitch also had a ramp at the back of the stage, where Jones hung out for a good part of a song. If you’re shooting this set, definitely make sure you have a 70-200mm (or similarly long tele) so that you can get some shots of Jones while he’s on the ramp. Other than that, no tricks or surprises for this set. The hardest part was stopping after three songs!
Also, as a side note – I’m a huge fan of flare, I love the atmosphere it gives shots – but if you don’t like flare, be careful while shooting Killswitch. At least at my venue, the lights were at such an angle that they were shining directly into the lens, for this set especially.