Shooting officially at a Guns N’ Roses concert is indeed an honour and a treasured privilege. We catch up with international award-winning rock photographer Eddie Sung who was granted this rare pleasure on 25th February 2017.
Congratulations to getting to shoot officially for the Guns N’ Roses gig. Are you a big fan?
To be honest, I wasn’t into Gun N’ Roses or the big hair bands in the 80’s. I was hooked only when Slash played Paradise City and Welcome to The Jungle at his solo tours. The songs really sounded great when played live. I became a fan after that. And bought all their great albums.
How did you land the gig to shoot ?
Two days before the concert, I asked the promoter whether I could shoot the concert. I shot LAMC concerts since 2004 with their Steve Vai concert. I later learned that only five official photography passes were handed out by Gun N’ Roses management. I was one of the lucky ones!
Whilst backstage I came across this interesting flight case with roses. No guns were seen anywhere.
I love the Gun N’ Roses T-shirts especially printed for the Singapore show. I bought two Singapore T-shirts (Merlion and the Skull designs) and a tour program.
The band even took the trouble to have customised Gun N’ Roses logos on the giant screens during the show.
Which camera and lens were you using for this concert?
The official photographers were allotted a barricaded space in between the VIP and A pens for the first three songs. I used my trusty super-fast EOS 5D Mark IV camera and EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens.
Oh, the weather was threatening to have thunderstorms that day and night, according to the weather report between 1pm and 10pm.
Well, it’s reassuring to note that my camera and lens are weather sealed and protected. Luckily, it didn’t rain at all. Perhaps it wasn’t November yet. Haha. I was happy not to be forced to test out this feature.
Who’s your favorite Gunner, if any? Axl, Slash or Duff?
Since I’ve previously photographed the photogenic Slash numerous times before when he performed here with his band, and the fact that we were only allowed the usual three songs to shoot, I focused more on Axl.
One could say that I was gunning only for the Rose. Axl, Slash and Duff were each focused on their own craft, at least during the first three songs. In any case, Axl was the only one engaging with my lens.
Was he anything like the Axl of the 80’s?
Well, he’s put on a few pounds. But then again, who hasn’t. I know I have. Haha.
I’m just honoured to be able to watch the show, but also to shoot the show is a really “out of this world” treat.
As the rock stars would often ask you after a show, “Managed to shoot any good stuff?”
With a great rock photography arsenal – EOS 5D Mark IV camera (great low-light and sniper-fast focusing) and telephoto zoom lens (quick focusing and tack-sharp) – I was able to capture my “one shot/óne kill” shots.
Without further adieu, I’ll let my images speak for themselves. I really just wanted to share some images with Gun N’ Roses fans that couldn’t make it to the gig.
Slash preferred to remain in the background, happy to let Axl be the song & dance man.
Duff and Richard too preferred to focus on their own unique sound. Also happy to let Axl be the front man.
After 2 hours and 45 minutes, I can finally tell people in my lifetime that I attended and even photographed a far-out, phenomenal Gun N’ Roses concert.
Read also Eddie’s write-up on the recent Metallica concert.
Check out Eddie Sung’s other Guns N’ Roses rock images at www.eddie-sung.com