Vintage Trouble: On Stage in front of 115 000 people!

Vintage Trouble played their biggest gig in front of 115 000 people as support act of AC/DCs “Rock or Bust” Tour 2015 at the Red Bull Ring, Zeltweg, Austria. I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to join Vintage Trouble and work with them directly on stage. It was life changing for me and this event showed me that being a concert photographer is the best job in the world!

Vintage Trouble and the Ottawa Blues Festival

I first got in contact with Vintage Trouble at the Blues Festival in Ottawa, Canada. I was touring with Shantel and the guys from Vintage Trouble had their backstage container next to theirs. They were scheduled to play after Shantel and, as Shantel walked off the stage after their show, I saw 4 guys, dressed in suits, getting ready for their gig. I thought, “Damn, those guys look pretty awesome, I’ve got to get a portrait of them!” So I walked over to one of them and started chatting. He told me that he was originally from Sweden, but had been living in LA for quite a long time. He was the guitarist of the band Vintage Trouble and they said they’d be happy to pose for a portrait photo. 2 minutes later, the portrait shot was done and I went to the photo pit to take some stage shots. They blew me away with their energetic stage performance and the photos turned out great. When I was back from the tour, some weeks later, I got in touch with them again and sent them my photos.

VintageTrouble

Vintage Trouble as support act of AC/DC

Fast forward 2 years and I read that Vintage trouble would be the support band on AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust” tour. Actually, I read it 2 days before they were going to play in Austria! I thought, why not ask the guys from Vintage Trouble if I could work with them again? I got in contact and, 12 hours later, I got a “Yes, let´s do this, we can get you on-stage!” This was one day before the biggest concert in Austria, with more than 100,000 people attending! First of all, I had to figure out how to reach the festival area. It was already too late to get a parking ticket and taking the train and bus route with thousands of AC/DC fans wasn’t really an option either. So I decided to drive my car to the next village and take a taxi from there to reach the concert venue. Although I was there 5 hours before the show started, there was already a traffic jam on the highway where shuttle busses were ferrying AC/DC fans to the venue. I set up a time and a meeting point with their tour manager and we agreed I would give him a call when I arrived. This time, it seemed as if everything was going to work out well, but, all of a sudden, I realized that the cell phone signal in the area was non-existent. Too many people were using or trying to use their cell phones, so there was no chance of reaching him. As I didn´t have backstage access, I had to find a way of solving this problem – quickly! These are the challenges you will face as a music photographer when working with bands. Learn to work with what you’ve got, because it´s already a huge privilege that bands allow you to shoot and work directly with them. A couple of minutes later, I was in the backstage area and finally met up with the guys. The great thing about Vintage Trouble is that they are the friendliest guys I’ve ever met. I have a feeling that they are totally grateful for everything they get from life and love what they do, namely play awesome shows and make music. I was able to shoot in their backstage container and to shoot on-stage with them in front of 115,000 people! I had already shot on-stage for The Prodigy and Shantel in front of 50,000 people, but this was an unreal situation and I guess the guys from Vintage Trouble were also a bit overwhelmed, playing such a large crowd. When I walked on-stage during the first song, I was literally blown away. The funny thing is, when you’re working for bands on-stage, time flies and you just have to concentrate and do the best job you can. I wasn’t frightened or worried, but the adrenaline kick was a biggy, that’s for sure! Everything worked out (almost) perfectly and I’m quite proud of myself for accepting this challenge and getting some awesome shots. Check them out here.

You want to know the best way to start your career as concert photographer? Read on here.


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Show me your best concert photos and post them in the comment section below!

Rock On!

Matthias

 

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  • Budi Susanto

    BRAVO..!!, awesome pics you got dude..!!,

  • Good work you got here. Keep them coming!

  • Marion Fregeac
    • This one is great Marion! Thanks for sharing

    • Jen Gore

      great shot!

    • Nico Dicianu

      what a beauty!!!

  • Ludovic André

    These pictures are really great, bravo! I think I would be a bit stressed being on stage with sooo many people down there, stressed to knock over something on the stage, or disturb the band 🙂 But hey, that’s what it takes to get those pics!

    on my side, here’s one from a band I shot over the week-end

    • Aron Harris

      Here’s a couple I took last weekend:

  • Last week on stage for group photo with Hamo & Tribute 2 Love. It’s not 100k people, but it was still awesome to be there on the stage with the band!

  • Andrea Kash/BabyDrePhotography

    Hope to photograph them again soon!

  • hazel

    Great photos!!! Here are 2 of mine that I took.

    • Carina Fleckner

      Duff McKagan!!! 🙂

    • Kim Baxter

      beautiful shot ~ but Vince looks like he just crawled out of bed & gave up……….

  • Georgina James

    wow, these are incredible, such an aspiration! I’m still very young and very much a beginner but here’s few shots from my most recent low-key gig 🙂

  • Carina Fleckner

    Congratulations, Matthias!!! Here’s one I like…I wasn’t allowed in with my Nikon D5100 and my low light lens suggested by you, but I still like this picture 🙂

  • Sydney Root

    Nice shots! I love following your work and reading your blog. I have a similar background to you, so it would be cool to pick your brain. Here’s a photo of Die Antwoord that I took. Cheers! 🙂

  • Jen Gore

    La Guns & drummer from Newsboys & Guitarist from Christian Kaser

  • Kae Wrenn

    From when I photographed Switchfoot. Not nearly as impressive as yours.

    • Jen Gore

      love it!

    • Kim Baxter

      That’s a really cool shot! You captured some great action…………

    • Flemming Grøn

      Wauv!!!!!

  • Teri

    Old one, but i still like it, mainly because it was one of my first concerts where I was as a photographer 🙂 I should start doing it again, i loved it! And I really love your work, I’m glad I found you. 🙂

  • stefan olsson

    Angus young from Coachella

  • Andreas Schiffmann

    Converge St. Wendel, 2010

  • David Beckmann

    I shot the Experience Hendrix tour in Minneapolis in 2014. Here are a couple pics with Jonny Lang, Doyle Bramhall III, and Tony Franklin

    • Kim Baxter

      The guy with the blue bass looks like Udo from Accept ~ always has that scrunched up constipated look on his face…………

  • John Diva & The Rockets Of Love

  • Alistair Fleming

    Hi Here is 3 pics from small gigs I have been to. My problem is my lens is a Sigma 16mm – 300mm f/3.5-6.4mm. Good lens for day light use, but not any good for gigs.

    alistair.

    Flickr/marinbiker1961

  • Cheri

    Thanks Matthias for all of the inspiration! Love your work! Here is a favorite of mine ~ Butch Walker opening for Ryan Adams ~ Seattle

  • Cheri

    I was pretty far back in the crowd but love this shot of my friend Michael Devin ~ Whitesnake

  • James Hetfield of Metallica.
    Thanks for the platform Matt and for sharing your rockstar moments! Something we are both passionate about. There’s just something about photographing muso’s that feeds my soul.

  • Boris Danielsen

    I’ve been following your work and this blog for a little while now, and I’m very grateful for all the advice and articles here. I’m new to the scene but I had the pleasure and fortune to shoot a few great bands already and a fairly big festival.
    this is a shot from a Kamelot concert, taken from the first row of the crowd.

  • Billy Tziatas

    Nice pics 🙂
    Here is one of Papakonstantinou i took last summer

  • Malaina Hudson

    One of my favorite recent photos – Kyle Sanders (l) and Chad Gray (r) from HELLYEAH kicking off Sangre por Sangre (Blood for Blood) during their Atlanta, Georgia show at The Tabernacle on 28 April. I was shooting from the pit near their feet close enough to get hit by the spray.

  • João Batista

    Matthias Hombauer, I agree with you, concert photographer is the best job in the world!

  • João Batista

    Matthias Hombauer, I agree with you, shoot concert is the best job in the world. I feel the happiest man in the world when I’m on stage with my camera photographing a concert!

  • Brenda Céspedes

    Hey! Huge fan of your work. Here’s one my most recent photos!

    Joel Birch – The Amity Affliction

  • Jackie Salvaggio

    I’m very much a beginner and this was taken in the crowd with only an Olympus SZ-12 as couple years ago, as I can’t quite afford a dslr yet. I’ve since upgraded to a Nikon Coolpix l820 but this is still one of my favorite photos. Taylor Swift and her guitar player, Paul Sidoti.

    • Kim Baxter

      What a gorgeous shot!! She always looks great anyway ~ her guitar, the color & sparkle makes me think of Dorothy’s ruby slippers……………

  • Christoph Graus

    Really nice shots Matthias!

    Here is one of mine from a concert in Innsbruck last week. Shot some good ones from bigger bands too but i think you can see the onstage-passion of the band in this one!

    Greetings from Tyrol,

    Chris

    http://www.gpunkt-art.com

  • Vedran Matica

    Here is one of my favourites. Anna Calvi in Ljubljana.

  • Nice series of photographs. I like the ones taken in the dressing room, you can see some tension in the eyes of the bend members.
    Here’s a shot I took of Mike Portnoy right at the end of a show of The Winery Dogs…

  • Linda Hellbom

    Technically the photo of Slash isn’t my best concert photograph (the camera settings aren’t the best ones and neither was the camera) but it has something to it..

    (I guess my technically best concert photo so far is this one of my spouse: http://lindahellbom.pictures.fi/kuvat/Bands/Selma++ja+Janne/2015_03_21+Papu+Bar/DSC_0074.JPG )

  • Karen pittman

    I took this a few years back of The Jabbawookeez. I thought it was an interesting photo

  • Angela Gutschwager

    Back in March, I photographed a post hardcore/metalcore band “In Hearts Wake” from Australia when they came to the US for their second tour with The Ghost Inside, The Acacia Strain, and Gideon. One of my strongest and proudest shots from their set.

  • Laura Puig Carles

    When The Brew came to my town. I really enjoyed that concert!

  • 5 of mine: Lakis & Achwach (2), Steve Gander (1) and Brixbrothers (2)

  • Maria

    Jana Kramer at Runaway Country in Melbourne FL

  • Michael Lunny

    these are all amazing images, contrags to everyone for a great job ..Here is my images. A St. Jean the Baptiste concert in St. Eustache, Quebec, Canada. The drummer caught my eye, he was having so much fun up there.

  • Here is one from Heavy Montreal last summer. Was excited to see Body Count with ICE-T. Feel like I captured his intensity. Great show!

  • Ryan

    I took this shot at the Seether show this week in Nashville! http://www.revelatorshow.com/revelatorphotos

  • Ryan
  • Gina Tomlinson Backhaus

    Terrence Baker of amazing Atlanta band The Mystery Men?. Love that I caught a crazed drummer in a seemingly still moment. This may not be my best, but it is a favorite.

  • Kim Baxter

    LOVE your new photos of Vintage Trouble ~ what can one say, other than you’re a genious behind the lens and a true inspiration to keep going and not be afraid to try new ideas and just go for it! I’ve been chasing this dream of concert photography by myself for several years and getting better each show that I shoot, whether I have a pass for a huge concert, or being chased around the club, being threatened to be thrown out by the manager, because he doesn’t want anyone with “professional cameras” there. Still got my shots, though, only for my own personal stash. I chose this shot of Matthias Jabs with Rudy Schenker of the Scorpions in the background, because he plays with such emotion, and I think this shot captures that beautifully ~ so this became my favorite immediately. This show was at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, in the mountains outside of Denver, Colorado in June of 2012. My camera at the time was only a Fuji Finepix S4250, a NON DSLR ~ it served me very well before I finally had the money for my beloved Nikon last year. So, this was my favorite concert photo for a very long time, and I think it still is………………Sorry about the long narrative.

  • dhippiechick

    This is a picture that I took five years ago of a Shreveport band called Built For Speed. My skill at capturing stage lights is improving, but I’ve never since captured a jump shot like this one.

  • Cece

    Here’s one of my favorite photos from when a local band played at a college party on campus.

  • Miriam Rieck

    Lindsey Stirling at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin 2014. Shot from the Press Pit.

  • Brent Schroeyens

    I’ve had this one as a background for a long time and still very fond of it. Has a vintage look to i.

  • Markus Schlieper

    My First Pic 2008

    Eins meiner ersten Konzertbilder aus dem Jahre 2008 … Luminous Rat – Germany

  • Mark Moray

    Matt Hill from The Byron Bay Bluesfest

  • Nico Dicianu

    Amazing shots, everyone! Here are a few of my treasures with a touch of experimental spice for the last one. Hope you like them!

  • Iñigo

    Thanks Matthias for your advices! Here I post two of my latest photos of Berri Txarrak Band from Basque Country.
    Regards

  • Emily Hart

    i haven’t quite made it to “photo pass” level yet, so i’m still working from my seat…but here are a few from paramore’s recent show in NYC!

  • Biruta Freimane

    Some of my “YESS!” moments when clicking the shutterbutton.

  • Leo Jimenez, on stage…., during Viña Rock Festival

  • Cécile Lafforgue

    Here is mine ! Some smiling drummer photography from the togolese-french afrofunk group “Vaudou Game” !

  • Terrell Stewart

    Great shots Matthias! Looking through all the pics here, there are some great shots. Heres a couple of mine.
    This Elias Viljanen and Henrik Klingenberg of Sonata Arctica and Nergal of Behemoth.

  • Christian Contreras

    Lazer/Wulf 5/21/2015 raw photo, 35mm lens Nikon D3100 1/60s ISO 100

  • jessebarnett

    I shot a ton of shows at a music conference in Philadelphia last week, but here’s one of my favorites. Leon Bridges.

  • Johnmark Fish Cenfield

    Georgia Chrome – I’m not a fan of shooting bands during daylight, but I do love it when the musicians ham it up for the camera!!

  • Graeme mccubbin

    Love your work Matthias hope you will enjoy some of mine! Gcub

  • Flemming Grøn

    Most places do not allow DSLRs and I have had a lot of trouble with this.
    So now I am using a simple Olympus Superzoom with all its limitations –
    Showing below are Chris Rea in Hamburg – Lenny Kravitz in Oberhausen –
    Danish group Love Shop in my hometown (actually this photo was voted photo of the month by GAFFA magazine) and Robert Plant in Hamburg (shot with my girlfriend’s veeery old Lumix) – exactly one of the eveni gs when they would not allow Spiegelreflex – hope you like ’em anyhow!

  • Kim Baxter

    I think the contest is over, but was sifting through some old photos and forgot about this one. This is my my son’s jazz band playing at the coveted Zoo bar in Lincoln, NE about a year ago, right after I bought my new Nikon D5200 w/AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm kit lens & had no idea how to use it yet ~ I might as well have been blind. The bar top was this red, acrylic shiny material, so set the camera on top of it to get that red reflection effect. My son is the sax player.

  • Michel De Pourcq

    this is one from a few years ago: 2011 Deep Purple’ Roger Glover at Suikerrock, Belgium. Despite it was taken with a Canon 1000d and with a cheap (but great) 55-250 I think it is one of my better gig photo’s. Now I am using an 60D and a 70D / 17-55 / 70-200 2.8 IS II / 10 -18 / and (seldom) my plastic phantastic. One of the funny things at that gig was that the professional photographers had to leave the scene after 3 songs, they had their spot in a safety way between the audience. And I could keep on taking pix while I even had a better spot than them (and I could walk freely)

  • Greg Scranton

    The Flaming Lips 7/15/13
    http://gregscranton.com/

  • John Hayhurst

    Seen VT so many times and this one I took at Glastonbury this year!