15 Favorite Live Photos From Tuska Open Air Metal Festival By Sam Roon


15 Favorite Live Photos From Tuska Open Air Metal Festival By Sam Roon

Every year I try to take pictures of the bands performing at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival with some sort of mission in mind.  At the end of the day I will end up with a bunch of band photo galleries and the people viewing them will have very little context for that mission, but in the back of my mind it’s always there.

The general priority for me when shooting bands is first to make sure I get everybody, and then second, to capture some moments I think will be interesting.  This year at Tuska I feel I had a lot of opportunity to capture some special moments and I’m really excited to share a few of them with you.

You can view every live gallery from Tuska 2018 here: https://skullsnbones.com/tag/tuska-2018/

Please enjoy my 15 favorite live photos of Tuska 2018, and if you want to view the full gallery of the band, just click the photo or the link in the text.

15 Favorite Live Photos From Tuska Open Air Metal Festival By Sam Roon

15. Body Count: Dave Lombardo

Dave Lombardo came out to perform part of “Raining Blood” which took it one step further than a cover of the iconic Slayer song.  It was a really cool moment for fans and I remember feeling really happy I was there to see it.

Full Body Count Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/body-count-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Body Count Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

14. Emperor: Samoth

Samoth came out in the sun wearing a sweatshirt and an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude.  It felt like even the sun was intimidated.  The guy is a total badass and while the whole band was easy to shoot, Samoth just seemed to take some great pictures.

Full Emperor Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/emperor-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Emperor Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

13. Gojira: Fire!

Gojira put on an amazing show as you would expect.  The whole band was on point and of all the photo galleries from this year’s Tuska, I’m particularly proud of this one.  One of my favorite moments from their set was this barrage of pyro that just kept coming and coming.  (Who doesn’t love good pyro?!)  During this part there was some problem with the drums and the drum tech needed to run back and forth across a burning stage to fix something.  You can see him in this photo standing to the left of the drum riser.  It added a lot to the intensity of the moment.

Full Gojira Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/gojira-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Gojira Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

12. Moonsorrow: Markus Eurén

I love this photo simply because it looks like Markus got zapped by lightning and is standing there, stunned, and sizzling from the lightning strike.  There is smoke around him and his position against the backdrop made for a perfect moment.  It’s not the best quality, which kind of ads to its comic value.  Regardless, this is one of my favorite pictures in a long time.

Full Moonsorrow Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/moonsorrow-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Moonsorrow Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

11. Body Count: Ice-T & Little Ice

Yep, Body Count makes my list twice.  The reason I love metal is because its culture promotes respect, family, community and rallying around one another.  Ice-T added his son, Little Ice, to the Body Count lineup back in 2016.  He had no shame in sharing the stage with his son and showing how proud he is of him.  I thought it was really special to see father & son performing music together and that’s why I like this photo so much.

Full Body Count Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/body-count-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Body Count Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

10: Moonsorrow: Janne Perttilä

So while I’m on the kick of sharing more than one image from a gallery, I’m going to add this bad-ass, rockstar moment of Janne Perttilä.  I’ve seen Janne perform in at least 3 bands that I can remember and many, many times with each of those acts.  He generally approaches his performances with a sense of humor that makes him really entertaining to watch.  That’s why this moment felt more powerful to me.  In this photo Janne seems to have this epic moment of rock-stardom, and I love it.  It’s a bit out of character but still fits his personality really well at the same time.  I’m really glad I was in the right place at the right time to capture the moment.

Full Moonsorrow Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/moonsorrow-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Moonsorrow Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

9. Tribulation: Jonathan Hultén

Tribulation‘s set was clearly the highlight for a lot of people at Tuska this year.  Their performance was solid but for me the stage belonged to Jonathan Hultén.  The flamboyant performance was matched with fantastic musical execution and the whole package just kind of blew my mind.  Plus, he had better makeup than a lot of the girls at Tuska.

Full Tribulation Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/tribulation-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Tribulation Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

8. Dead Cross: Mike Patton

Mike Patton is one of those people who needs no introduction.  He’s one of the most comfortable people on stage I’ve ever seen so it’s no wonder why you can catch him having a good time messing with his friends in Dead Cross.  I didn’t realize I had captured this expression until I got back home and looked through the material.  This picture is meme-worthy.  It was a fun set to watch and the look on Mike‘s face here really says it all about the dynamics of the band.

Full Dead Cross Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/dead-cross-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Dead Cross Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

7. Mantar: Hanno Klänhardt

I’ve seen Mantar a couple of times now and they’ve got me convinced.  I’m a fan of these guys and I look forward to seeing them play again.  Their lighting and smoke, on the other hand, make it very difficult to snap good photos.  I find myself waiting for smoke to clear and of course when it does the whole stage is so dark you need to make some fast adjustments.  By the time you adjust the whole place is filled with smoke again.  It’s awesome to watch but a pain in the ass to shoot.  This image of Hanno Klänhardt is only edited lightly for exposure and dehazed a touch.  The colors are real in pretty much all the photos I take because I like to show people what I saw in the moment.  I love this picture because Hanno is just raw and aggressive, like Mantar‘s music, and the image feels the same.  Grainy, smokey, and metal as fuck.

Full Mantar Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/mantar-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Mantar Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

6. Black Royal: Riku Niemelä

Black Royal is a newer band from Finland that has a fantastic sound and great songs.  I had the chance to do a few shows on the road with these guys earlier in the year and I can tell you first-hand they are a really great group of guys.  Riku is funny as hell but takes his music seriously, and he’s not afraid to teach you some satanic shit from the stage.  That’s why I find it very fitting that his eyes just kind of blacked out in this photo.  That’s not edited, and his eyes are open.  He’s not wearing contacts as you’ll see in other pictures from this gallery.  This is just Riku channeling the dark lord to the sage on a summer day in Helsinki.

Full Black Royal Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/black-royal-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Black Royal Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

5. Meshuggah: Tomas Haake

Photographing drummers is a special skill that requires patience and luck.  When you’re shooting a festival stage there are several things that need to align to get a good shot. You need a good starting angle, very little smoke, a lot of light in the back of the stage, manual focus so you don’t get the gear instead of the drummer.  You need to shoot through band members jumping around at the front of the stage and all of what I just mentioned needs to happen while the drummer is making a face you actually want to share.  Even though I know all of this and shoot with a 300mm lens, this photo of Tomas Haake is a failure on several of those points.  I focused auto and on the drumset and the lighting made the subject a silhouette.  That said, this is one of my favorite photos of the whole festival and it’s all to do with the backdrop being amazing.  You get the entire feeling of Meshuggah in one picture, and the art that is their music is visualized just behind the band member in a way that just aligns things perfectly.  I love looking at this picture.  It’s a fail that is also a spectacular win.

Full Meshuggah Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/meshuggah-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Meshuggah Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

4. Baest: Mattias Melchiorsen

Ahead of the festival I was researching the bands I didn’t know.  Baest being the young group they are made that research list, of course, and they immediately became the one band I knew I must see.  Tuska does a nice job of putting a good band on to kick off the whole fest, and this year it was these guys.  Baest set the tone for the rest of the three-day festival and it was hard to beat.  Mattias is the aggressive bassist and his performance impressed me with his seemingly never-ending energy.  It was clear he was having a good time and every time I look at this picture I am reminded of that feeling.  If you don’t know Baest you should definitely take a moment to discover them.

Full Baest Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/baest-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Baest Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

3. Clutch: Neil Fallon

I’m actually quite proud of the whole Clutch gallery from Tuska.  This picture in particular came during the first song when Neil Fallon was looking at people in the front rows.  The glare of the lights bounced into the camera lens created this frame on either side of the shot.  It was like this unexpected upgrade to the composition of the shot and that’s the reason I wanted to share it with you.

Full Clutch Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/clutch-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Clutch Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

2. Red Death:Will Wagstaff

The side stage at Tuska this year had a lot of bands whose performances were worthy of the main stage.  Red Death was an unexpected surprise for me and certainly fell into the category of acts who could have owned the larger stage.  Red Death‘s new guitarist, Will Wagstaff, was one of the standouts of this year’s fest.  His performance was fun, energetic and felt a little dangerous, especially for my camera.  It had all the makings for some awesome energy!  This photo really captures the moment for me.  Lights, sound, aggression, and energy, in a single photo.  That’s what I like so much about this one.

Full Red Death Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/red-death-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

Red Death Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

1. At The Gates: Tomas Lindberg

Anyone who’s been to an At The Gates show knows this signature stance from Tomas Lindberg.  I don’t think there’s a band practice I go to where I don’t do this at least one time to channel the energy of the metal gods.  It’s about respect and of course having a good time.  It’s always this moment where I get really excited because I know something special is about to happen.  This photo is that moment.  I get the same feeling now looking at this as I did standing there when it happened.  Like every time I see them, you know something special is gonna go down, and this photo is visual representation of that feeling.  That’s why this photo is so special for me.

Full At The Gates Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/at-the-gates-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2018/

At The Gates Live Photos From Tuska 2018 By Sam Roon

Thanks Tuska!

I’d like to add a special thank you to Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, the organizers and volunteers, and everyone else who makes every year feel like a holiday.  SkullsNBones is honored to be included each time and we really appreciate everything this festival does for metal.

Stalk Tuska Open Air Metal Festival