Mike Padgett Live Loud Photos Concert PhotographyI grew up in an era when rock music was going through a new renaissance. There was just so much great music being made in the 60’s and 70’s. As a kid I remember hearing the Beatles on the radio and I became an instant fan. Pop radio on WLS in Chicago was my first introduction to music of any kind…and it was a great time. As I got older I began to listen to the harder rock music of Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin.

I don’t know how exactly the music photography passion emerged, but I have a guess that it probably had something to do with my first rock concert back in December of 1978. My first rock show was with a band called Kiss, you may have heard of them. They had very dramatic and theatric shows that completely got my attention. I was in the upper level of the balcony at the old Chicago Stadium and was still able to feel the heat from their fire blasts all the way up there. They had more visual appeal on so many levels that I can only imagine that this was what got me interested in taking photographs of the bands from then on.

Soon afterwards, there was a new wave of music from Great Britain, This new wave of British heavy metal (nwbhm) had bands like Iron Maiden. That was short for New Wave Of British Heavy Metal with bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Motorhead, with many others to follow. This music was loud, exciting, and very visual. Bright flood lights, flash pots, elaborate castle stages, fire blasts, motorcycles, and stage props of all kinds would find their way onto the stage, and the bands never sounded or looked better. It was an Alice Cooper show on steroids.

I think one of my earliest shows that I brought a camera to was for a band called Angel in 1979 at the infamous Aragon Ballroom (or Brawlroom depending on the crowd). I learned quickly how to compose a good photo but also learned how difficult it can be to shoot a subject in limited light with or without a flash. I honed the skills over time. It was also nice to have my friends become interested in a photo or two that I took at the concert. I looked at those pictures as souvenirs to remember the show by, and I was starting to get hooked on bringing the camera every time.

I just kept shooting live concert photos and it stayed as a hobby with very few pictures ever getting reprinted outside of my own personal library. As time went on, the restrictions for cameras became more enforced, and security would confiscate film and camera equipment if caught inside. That made my life as a photographer very limited for the larger shows, but I was still able to get the pictures at the local clubs or out of the Chicago area, at least for a little while longer.

The photos offered here at LiveLoudPhotos.com have never been published anywhere before and are really for the fans. There is a wide variety available from AC/DC to Y&T.

After I printed some of my favorites and framed them onto my music room walls, I realized that there are probably a few of us 80’s music fans around the world that would want to do the same.  We offer these unique photos of some of your favorite bands for your enjoyment and to bring you back to a great musical time of our lives.

Rock On!
Michael Padgett