February 2022 started off with a hard rocking nu-metal party in San Diego as System Of A Down, and KoЯn, along with opening act, Russian Circles tore the roof off of the Viejas Arena. It was a beautiful night in San Diego for a concert. The weather was warm and the crowd was in great spirits. I was just happy to be out shooting a show again after what seemed like forever. It was good to be back shooting with friends.
As you can tell from the photos, this was a soundboard shoot which wouldn’t have been so tough but it was a general admission floor and we were restricted from using monopods or little step stools. This made it impossible for me to use my long lens as it is very heavy and needs the stability of the monopod. It also meant that there was a fair amount of bumping and jostling and numerous smartphones in the air, but each time the lights went down and the band took the stage, all that went away and the sheer joy of shooting some great bands took over.
Mike Sullivan – Guitar
Dave Tumcrantz – Drums
Brian Cook – Bass
I first heard (and saw) KoЯn because of the video for the song Freak on a Leash. I am a huge comic book fan and when the Todd McFarlane directed video came out, I watched it… a lot. I have always enjoyed seeing KoЯn live and this show was no different. The high energy performance and shout outs to San Diego and Ocean beach elicited raucous applause from the full arena. After photographing KoЯn from the photo pit many times over the years, the vantage point from the soundboard gave me a whole new view of their show.
Jonathan Davis – Vocal, Bagpipes
Brian Welch – Lead guitar
James Shaffer – Bass
Ray Luzier – Drums
Ra Diaz – Bass
After a short break, System Of A Down took the stage in a blast of light and sound. That was the start of a 27 song set that kept the crowd on their feet till the show was over. The large stage setup with those huge panels light as background / over stage effects were put to good use keeping the energy high. My only regret was that we could only shoot the first three song as customary as there were some great visuals to go along with the music.
Serj Tankian – Vocals, Keyboards
Daron Malakian – Guitar, Vocals
Shavo Odadjian – Bass, Backing vocals
John Dolmayan – Drums
Alan Hess is a photographer based in San Diego, where he lives with his wife and two rescued boxers.
Alan is currently the house photographer for a large concert and event venue in Southern California where he photographs everything from major musical acts to ice hockey. When he isn’t out taking photographs, he spends his time writing books and is an accomplished photography educator and trainer.
Alan’s images have been published in a variety of places including news papers, magazines, websites, promotional materials, album artwork, and press releases. His clients include The Associated Press, Fox Television, FX Network, USA Network, Hasbro, Framus Guitars, Gibson, The Dead, Picture Group, Photoshop User Magazine, Steel Pulse, Ziggy Marley, and many more.
He is the author of sixteen photography and technology books covering everything from night and low light photography to multiple shot techniques. His books are sold around the world and have been translated in other languages including: Chinese, French, Polish, Japanese, Thai, and Italian.