Archive for Metallica

The Many Faces Of Metallica : 2008 James Hetfield

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2009 by Kevin Estrada

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Metallica
Los Angeles Forum
Inglewood, CA
December 17, 2008

Metallica was back.  And they were back in a big way.  The release of Death Magnetic proved that life after death does indeed exist.  2008’s Death Magnetic cd is undoubtably the strongest and truest cd Metallica has created since …And Justice For All or, as some may argue, The Black Album.  Regardless, Metallica, proved once again that they were still the greatest and biggest rock band in the world.

As Metallica readied for The World Magnetic Tour, I got a taste of it early as I shot the first two warm-up gigs before the tour officially kicked off.  These shows were great, but nothing like the actual Magnetic shows that are still rolling across the globe.

As they did on their last tour, Metallica chose to play in the round, giving the fans an equal chance at seeing the band up close and from all angles.  I knew I was going to be doing a lot of running and chasing again, so I staked out my starting point and readied for the band.  As the lights dropped out and their intro music rang, my hands immediately got clammy and wet…just like the old days.  This was a good sign, I was excited, focused.

The band hit the stage and tore into That Was Just Your Life.  Lasers shot everywhere, but the stage remained dark.  There was no way to shoot, I could only see the band when the blue lasers would hit or hang on them.  This was not good, at least not for me, but the crowd loved it.  At last the lights sprang up as the band broke into The End Of The Line.  Now I could get to work.  The band was so driven, pushing each other and challenging each other’s energy.

As the opening notes of Creeping Death blared through the arena, massive, white caskets dropped over the band from overhead.  It was eerie, yet beautiful.  Metallica’s vision was crystal clear and it was all connecting with their fans.  I never stopped moving and running around that stage, chasing down each member of the band.

This shot of James Hetfield really seems to capture the power and angst that makes Metallica who they are.

Photographed with my Nikon D300 and a Nikon 24mm-70mm lens.

Personal Historical Note:  This was the debut of my gradual switch from Canon to Nikon.
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The Many Faces Of Metallica : 2004 Lars Ulrich

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2009 by Kevin Estrada

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Metallica
Arrowhead Pond
Anaheim, CA
November 27, 2004

When Metallica rolled through Southern California on this leg of The Madly In Anger Tour, they hit Anaheim’s Arrowhead Pond for the first time – a very large and beautifully kept venue- right in the backyard of their original stomping grounds.

Despite mixed reviews and dispersed disappointment over the St. Anger cd, Metallica was back and they were still the biggest hard rock band in the world.  The band had thrown away the eyeliner, got rid of the designer clothing and got their edge back.

This shoot presented a bit of a challenge for me – Metallica was now playing in the round, and I was going to have be quick on my feet to keep up with the band.  Not only was the stage round allowing each member to run from side to side, from front to back, to face the audience on all sides of the arena, but the drum riser was also rotating on its own.  So as the band was constantly moving, so was Lars.

I never ran so much shooting a show in my life.  The band opened with Blackened, ripping everyone’s heads off.  Their energy was incredible and I knew I had to put a game plan together if I wanted to get the shots I needed.  For the next two songs – Fuel and The Four Horsemen – I decided to concentrate on one guy at a time – first Lars, then James, etc, while making sure to hit Kirk on all the solos.  Wherever my target moved, I would follow – no matter what.

I was tired, hot and sweaty, but my planned worked…I got it all.  I even got my face heated up pretty badly by the flame shooters at the base of the stage.

I always liked this shot of Lars, I felt that it really captured the excitement and energy that Metallica was giving to the audience that night.

Photographed with a Canon 1D and a Canon 70mm-200mm lens.

Historical Note:  Metallica’s first show ever was also in Anaheim, CA at Radio City on March 14, 1982.
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The Many Faces Of Metallica: 2003 Rob Trujillo

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2009 by Kevin Estrada

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Metallica
Summer Sanitarium
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles, Ca
August 9, 2003

Metallica had just released the St. Anger CD about 8 weeks before this tour came through Los Angeles.  There were a number of notable changes this time around: the band was growing their hair out a bit; black t-shirts and jeans were brought back into the mix; and for the first time, a conscious decision was made by the band to give up alcohol.  But the band had one more trick up their sleeves, a secret weapon – new bass player Rob Trujillo.

As I popped off photos that night, I remember feeling the energy that Trujillo was giving off.  He was so powerful that the rest of the band had no choice but to try to keep up with Trujillo as he set the tone and pushed the band song after song.  It was the first time I felt true, pissed off energy from Metallica in years.  St. Anger may not have been the right choice, but Rob Trujillo definitely was.

One strange note worthy of mentioning: as I was in the photo pit that night, dodging crowd surfers that fall from the crowd into my tiny world, you will never guess who fell in.  Quentin Tarantino – sporting a $120 Metallica hockey jersey.  As security guards escorted him out, Quentin high fived me after experiencing his very first taste of crowd surfing.  He was on a natural high with a smile a mile wide.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-1 and a f5.6 Canon 80-300mm  lens.  Shot on Fujichrome film.

The Many Faces Of Metallica : 1996 Kirk Hammet

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 4, 2009 by Kevin Estrada

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Metallica
Lollapalooza ’96
Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
Laguna Hills, CA
August 4, 1996

To put things lightly – a lot had changed.  Metallica were now a corporate giant and were pulling in big enough numbers to headline the once-alternative Lollapalooza Tour. Load had just been released not too long before this gig and it was the first time they rolled through town in support of the new CD.  I had seen a handful of photos showcasing Metallica’s new image.  To be honest, I thought it was some sort of joke or publicity stunt, or at least something that wouldn’t last.

As Metallica took the stage that summer evening, I stood there – stunned.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing through my lens.  Short hair, designer clothing, nicely trimmed facial hair, facial piercings and (it still keeps me up at night) eyeliner.  It was at this point that I realized that Metallica was no longer influencing bands…they were now being influenced.

One of my favorite moments in Metallica history was when Hettfield barked at the 1984 Donnington crowd, “If you came here to see spandex, eye makeup, and the words ‘Oh baby’ in every fuckin’ song, this ain’t the fuckin’ band.”  Now, it looked like I might be seeing that band.

Photographed with my Canon EOS-1 and a Canon f5.6 80-300mm lens.  Shot on Fujichrome film.
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The Many Faces Of Metallica : 1989 James Hetfield

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 13, 2009 by Kevin Estrada

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Metallica
Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
Laguna Hills, CA
September 22, 1989

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(This photo and many others now available for sale.  Email: IamKevin@fairwarning.com)

Not too much had changed visually with the band from 1988 to 1989.  Sure there was a little more facial hair but the band was still outfitted in jeans and t-shirts.  The big difference, however, was that by the time Metallica rolled through town on the second leg of The Damaged Justice Tour, they were the biggest band in the world.

Metallica was now accepted by the main stream and were becoming a household name.  Music videos and televised awards performances became the norm.  Our little band was all grown up.  The Justice LP was an epic creation, as was the stage show.

This gig holds a very special moment in my heart.  It was the first time I shared the photo pit with fellow rock photographer Ross Halfin.  I had admired his work throughout my teen years and to be snapping next to him was something that I never thought would happen.  Unfortunately, Ross was a complete prick to me that night.  I later came to realize that Ross is a complete prick to everyone.

…And Photos For All

Photographed in the photo pit with my old Canon F1 and a cheap, no name 80-200mm f5.6 lens.  Shot on Kodak transparency film.

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The Many Faces Of Metallica : 1988 James Hetfield

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 6, 2009 by Kevin Estrada

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Metallica
Monsters Of Rock Festival
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
July 24, 1988

Van Halen, The Scorpions, Dokken…in 1988 these were some of the biggest names in Rock.  But it was a little band named Metallica that stole the show…night after night.  Armed only with denim jeans, worn out t-shirts and wrist bands, Metallica proved to be the next big thing.

At the time, Metallica and its fans had a connection that none of the other bands on the bill had.  At the show I attended in Los Angeles, before and after Metallica hit the stage, you could hear the chants – Metallica, Metallica.  And during their set it was pure mayhem as all of us tore out our seats and tossed them in the air toward the stage.  This interaction with the fans fueled Metallica…and the Monster was created.

This photo shows what Metallica was made of – no frills, no glitz, no b.s.   This is the band that took Metal to the next level.

Photographed with my smuggled in Canon AE1 Program and a no name 80-200mm lens with a 2X teleconverter

That’s So Raven

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Raven
Safari Sam’s
Hollywood, CA
August 23, 2008

It wasn’t exactly 1983’s Kill ‘Em All For One Tour, but as I mentioned in my previous post (see Hirax: True Age Of Terror), it sure looked like it outside the club. Raven’s one night stand in L.A. with Hirax was an event. Mark and John Gallagher have given up the “athletic” side of their live shows – no more football helmets, shoulder pads, or catchers masks crashing down on their cymbals and guitar necks – although Mark was sporting some catcher’s knee pads that night.

It was obvious that the new generation of fans in the audience that night had done their homework on the band. They were all aware of how influential this band was and the history that is Raven – Metallica was the opening act for Raven in ’83…that is how big they were. Raven was a key element in helping bands like Metallica and Anthrax make their move from the indies to the majors.

The highlight of the night for me was watching Raven arrive to the venue at the very last second. Katon from Hirax had told me that he thought they might have been partying too hard after the show the night before in San Francisco. With just moments to spare, Raven’s van skidded in to the parking lot and the band hurried into the small venue through the front door. It was hilarious, all three guys were rolling their suitcases behind them, doing their best to squeeze through the kids in line. It was like a bad Samsonite commercial.

True Age Of Terror

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Hirax
Safari Sam’s
Hollywood, CA
August 23, 2008

If I didn’t see kids texting on their cell phones, I would have had no idea that it was still 2008. Denim vests, patches, leather, spiked wristbands, miniskirts…I thought I died and was sent back to 1983. This is what happens when Hirax and Raven come to town. For those of you who don’t know, along with Metallica and Slayer, Hirax was one of the Southern California originators of Speed and Thrash Metal in the early 1980’s. Twenty some years later Katon DePena and Hirax are still going for it.

Before the show, I hung out with Katon in the dressing room…this guy still has Metal pouring through his veins. He was just as cool, just as pumped and just as motivated as he was in 1985 when their first LP was released on Metal Blade Records. As he and I chatted, I couldn’t help but wonder and appreciate what mountains he must have climbed to gain the respect that he has achieved in a genre of music that is predominantly white. Katon and the band brought it all to the stage – bullet belts, leather, smoke. It is shows like this that truly keep metal alive. A whole new generation of metal kids have the chance to get a glimpse of what the glory days of metal were like.

I will throw up some shots of metal godfathers Raven in my next post.

Photographed with my Canon 5D, a Canon 70mm-200mm f2.8 lens and a Canon 580 EX flash. All shot on Manual Modes.

MegaLate

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Megadeth
Pacific Amphitheatre
Costa Mesa, CA
May 25, 1991

Megadeth is one of the few true Metal bands that pushed the envelope and helped heavy metal music expand – they did what very few bands could. Because of this, Megadeth is part of an elite few that will go down in Metal History. So why did I not really get into the band when they emerged out of the early Thrash scene in the mid-eighties? Why was I so late to discover how amazing Megadeth’s debut album is? I’ll tell you why.

I was a teen when Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good! was released in 1985. It wasn’t a matter of just being able to pick up the LP and throw it in with the rest of your metal albums at home. This was a very unique situation. We, as metal fans, had to make a choice. You had to choose sides and stick with your decision. It was Megadeth or Metallica. Once that choice was made, there was no going back…this was serious. I chose Metallica.

The battle between Megadeth’s Mechanix and Metallica’s The Four Horsemen seems worth investigating. Why would each band allow the other to record nearly the exact same song with no lawsuit or legal action taken by either side? If this happened today, I assure you that it would be impossible for another band to mimic a single verse recorded by Metallica let alone an entire song.

Nowadays, it seems crazy to have to make a lifetime musical choice like that, but it happened more than you think. Van Halen or David Lee Roth, Ozzy or Dio, UFO or MSG. Today, people are a lot more open-minded when it comes to music. Fortunately, it was not too late for me to discover what a solid album Dave Mustaine created after being booted out of Metallica back in 1983.

Photographed with my Canon EOS1 and a Canon 80mm-200mm 5.6f lens. Shot on Kodak Negative film.

Beat On The Brat With A Photo Pass…Oh Yeah!

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

The Ramones
Hollywood Palladium
June 2, 1989

This was a big night for me. It was a new beginning, bringing an end to duct tape and cameras stuck on my back as I entered a concert. This was the night that I had my first official/legit photo pass to shoot a huge, legendary band. I knew that night that I would never have to smuggle my camera into a show again.

I had received a number of photo passes previous to The Ramones, but none of those bands had the history or status that came with The Ramones. The closest I had come was Jane’s Addiction, but even that pass was not meant for me (that story coming soon). This was The Ramones, the band that arguably created the Punk Rock Movement. Saying that I was excited to shoot this show is a huge understatement.

I cherished every moment in that barricade that night at the Palladium. I felt like I was floating as I snapped away – it was completely euphoric. Marky had recently rejoined and the band was on fire again. Joey was going through a heavy Metallica stage at the time, he told me how he couldn’t stop listening to In Justice For All.

This night was also a turning point for me because I befriended the band backstage after the show. To my surprise, they asked me to shoot them again the following night at their show in Long Beach.

This is the first photo I shot that night. Look at Joey – he is focused and driven. And if you look closely, he is wearing a Metallica Justice shirt – killer!

Photographed with my formerly smuggled Canon AE1 Program and a cheap, no name 70mm-210mm f5.6 lens. Shot on Kodak Ektachrome film.