When you are doing some concert photography, there are some bands that you are shooting several times a year. And there are some bands that you see once every 25 years. Seeing Mercyful Fate at Place Bell was the latter. Their last concert in Montreal was in 1999. It is not a surprise to say that people were really happy to see them on stage! I did not know them but I was really happy because the concert was really good from a musical point of view, but also from a photographer’s point of view.
Mercyful Fate was not alone, they were supported by Midnight and Kreator (a classic old-school thrash band from Germany). Sadly I was not allowed to shoot for Midnight, I only got accreditated for Kreator and Mercyful Fate. Here are my photos!
Kreator at Place Bell
Mercyful Fate at Place Bell
If you are shooting Kreator, be prepared for a bit of lack of light. I would not say that they were playing in dark. But it was kind of hard to have good light even if they seemed to have a lot of big spots on stage. The other issue is that a large part of their light is plain red, which is kind of a nightmare for photographers.
So I would recommend having high iso and F/1.4 if you can, I am still at F/4 so I got some good shot that was far too dark and most of the shots I am showing here are at 3200 isos with a bit too much noise for my taste.
The band has some CO2 Jet on stage which is kind of nice but I was not able to create a good composition with them. I preferred to take advantage of the beautiful, and a bit creepy, background with hanging dolls.
For Mercyful Fate, it was another game! The stage is really beautiful with a lot of elements. Their lighting is pretty strong. It was a real pleasure to shoot. Also, King Diamond has amazing makeup and costume and is doing a lot of faces and moves that will allow you to let go of your creativity.
For me, the only bad part of their lighting is that they are mixing too many lights of different colors, which can feel weird in photos. I also think that musicians, except Kind Diamond, are not really moving enough on stage, but with all the rest it is only a minor issue.
If you have the opportunity, go photograph them, it will be a really fun 3 songs.
Gear used for Mercyful Fate at Place Bell:
I am now using a two-bodies setup, which is far more efficient compared to having to change lenses during the songs. More on the switch in a future article.
My gear for Mercyful Fate at Place Bell:
Thank Thorium Mag, who allowed me to get to Place Bell to shoot the event.
Let me know what you think about the photos!
You can find the rest of the gallery here.
For a full review of the show (in French) by the amazing Maxime, you can find it here¸.
Have a good day.