Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2019 was one of the best Tuska parties I can remember. I got to hang with some old friends, made some new friends, and of course I drank my weight in beer! The people really did it for me this year and I want to thank everyone who spent some time enjoying metal with me on a few long summer days here in Helsinki, Finland.
I wanted to put together a post that shares some of my favorite photos from the three-day festival. I experience Tuska in person and share the party by what I capture through a lens. At the bottom of this post you’ll find a link to all the photo galleries I’ve published for Tuska 2019, but the photos below are some of my personal favorites from the event. Enjoy.
Anthrax is always exciting to see live and they’re becoming a more common appearance at Tuska having been there now in 2019, 2016 and 2014. Joey Belladonna has been a little tired-looking in previous years and this time around there was some vitality to the legendary frontman. He felt stronger to me this time than in the past and looking at this photograph I can feel that energy as if I was still there.
Full Anthrax Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/anthrax-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Cult Of Luna
It’s not often you get to see lighting done well with drummers, but when it happens it can be spectacular for the camera. Cult Of Luna‘s Thomas Hedlund had some of that special lighting and it made for several great pictures.
Full Cult Of Luna Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/cult-of-luna-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
You know that look you get when someone is about to fall right into a prank you set up? That’s a moment I caught with Dimmu Borgir‘s Gerlioz (Geir Bratland) during their main stage performance. I was able to capture several good photos of the key-master but I just get a kick out of this one every time I see it and I wanted to share it with all of you.
Full Dimmu Borgir Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/dimmu-borgir-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Power Trip put on a very aggressive performance and during the set I didn’t really have a lot of time to review any of the photos I was taking in real time. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized I had caught a true rock star moment from bassist Chris Whetzel. This one is special because there’s a general rawness to the image that I like a lot and a sort of natural authenticity to it. Lens flair, noise, and metal, all captured in one image.
Full Power Trip Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/power-trip-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Color explosion! Delain had some really great lighting so it was pretty easy to photograph them but there were a few moments where the lights played well with the camera and this was one of those times. The smile on Charlotte Wessels’ face is pretty much how everyone was feeling the entire Tuska festival.
Full Delain Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/delain-live-photos-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Sick Of It All
Sick Of It All put on a set that had more energy than bands half their age, and even Slayer‘s Tom Araya was on the side watching while the New York City hardcore legends destroyed the place. Pete Koller was flying pretty much the whole time and so was the audience. This was an aggressive set, just as it should be, more than 30 years after the band started it all.
Full Sick Of It All Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/sick-of-it-all-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Kvelertak was another band that brought seemingly endless energy and aggression to Tuska. New frontman Ivar Nikolaisen left absolutely nothing to be questioned about his abilities and even went for a swim in the audience. There’s a series of photos from that which I love, and this is the kind of metal experience that I live for. It’s in your face, literally, and bringing joy to metalheads in the process. It’s a fucking beautiful metal moment.
Full Kvelertak Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/kvelertak-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
I was able to shoot Stam1na back in 2016 and the stage was filled with more smoke than any band I had ever seen before. This time around I was able to snap a whole gallery of photos I’m really proud of. I think their lighting person is new or just got better (or maybe the band’s opinion of what the stage should look like has evolved) but it made for some excellent pictures. I chose to share this photo of Kai-Pekka Kangasmäki because I always love those pictures where the person doesn’t look like they are moving but the hair tells otherwise.
Full Stam1na Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/stam1na-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
In what could be the very last time I will ever see Slayer, Tom Araya was there with his signature smile, showing all of us what metal is truly about: playing loud, aggressive music, and having a fucking good time. And that smile was definitely contagious, as even in the photo pit you could see all us photographers scrambling around with big-ass grins on our faces. All the pictures I took turned out really nice from the Slayer set. It was an epic performance from a legendary band and I’m really proud of the whole photo gallery.
Full Slayer Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/slayer-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Behemoth is one of my favorite bands in the world and they were my personal headliner. After I was done taking pictures you could find me in the pit for the rest of their amazing performance. The guys are known for their theatrics, and their fire, which makes for some awesome photos.
I decided to share two Behemoth photos because I am biased, and also I couldn’t pick which Nergal photo I wanted to use. To be honest, there are some photos of each of the guys in the gallery I am really excited about and will probably print for my personal collection. The Behemoth gallery from Tuska is the largest number of overall photos and my favorite set from the whole festival. Enjoy.
Full Behemoth Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/behemoth-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Because you need to teach your kids about metal at a very young age, Hevisaurus needs to be included here. The lighting wasn’t that great for their set but it’s also a performance designed for little kids, so I had to use quite a bit of Lightroom magic to make some of the pictures look like something. This particular photo came out nicely with minimal effort. If you have kids, share the photo gallery with them, then fire up some Hevisaurus on Spotify!
Full Hevisaurus Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/hevisaurus-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
The I Revolt set had terrible lighting and I’m really disappointed about it. The guys had so much energy and it was hard to capture it in the moment because we were basically watching the guys perform in a dark room. That said, I caught several great pictures of Olli Laitio when the lights were in exactly the right place at the right time. There are a couple of other decent shots of the guys, but I’m looking forward to seeing them on a stage with better lighting so I can snap some better pictures next time.
Full I Revolt Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/i-revolt-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Every time I see Rytmihaäiriö I feel like I’m watching everyone’s favorite underground legends here in Finland. If there was a proper underground scene here (which there is not) these guys would easily be the kings of it. Having started in 1988, these guys created a scene around them that is die-hard, the music is aggressive and punk, and the guys perform it as if they personally embody the spirit of the music they are playing. This picture of Antti Kiiski is a perfect example of the feeling. It’s a fantastic set every time and I highly recommend catching these guys live if you ever get the chance.
Full Rytmihäiriö Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/rytmihairio-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Everyone has been talking about Jinjer the past year or so. I hadn’t really given them a listen because I heard it was deathcore, which isn’t my thing. I have to tell you the whole band is actually super-talented and execute very well live. Being a bassist myself, I was super-impressed by Eugene Abdiukhanov‘s performance, both from the musical execution and entertainment perspectives. I have a lot of great photos of the whole band in the full gallery. I’m not an expert on deathcore, but if you like really talented musicians, I can certainly recommend Jinjer in that genre. Enjoy the gallery.
Full Jinjer Gallery: https://skullsnbones.com/jinjer-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
All Photo Galleries From Tuska 2019
Alien Weaponry: https://skullsnbones.com/alien-weaponry-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Cult Of Luna: https://skullsnbones.com/cult-of-luna-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Dimmu Borgir: https://skullsnbones.com/dimmu-borgir-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Pahan Ikoni: https://skullsnbones.com/pahan-ikoni-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Power Trip: https://skullsnbones.com/power-trip-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
Sick Of It All: https://skullsnbones.com/sick-of-it-all-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
I Revolt: https://skullsnbones.com/i-revolt-live-photos-from-tuska-open-air-metal-festival-2019/
I would like to extend a special thank you to Tuska Open Air Metal Festival for allowing SkullsNBones to photograph the bands and enjoy the festival again this year. This is a special event for us each year and we’re thankful to be able to share some of the history of it with the world. #respect
Follow Tuska Open Air Metal Festival
Official Tuska Website: tuska-festival.fi
Official Tuska Facebook Page: facebook.com/TuskaOpenAir
Official Tuska Twitter: twitter.com/tuskafestival
Official Tuska Instagram: instagram.com/tuskafestival