If anybody told me that in 2010 I would be the official photographer for one of my favorite bands, I wouldn’t have believed him. Their music have stayed with me for so long, that what was about to happen was no more, no less, than a dream come true.
I’ve got a lot of memories with them ever since I was 15 years old. I practically grew up listening to their music on cassettes.
I’ve been to their concert back in 2008 and it was epic. In 2010 the stars aligned and Liviu along with Iconica, Emagic, Imagistica and others managed to have the band deviate from their traditional tour, through Cluj. It was a unique opportunity.
I know Liviu since 2008 and we share a special relationship. We don’t talk much, both of us function in a military state of mind and we understand each other just by exchanging looks. I always respected how much weight he can carry without losing control, the extreme conditions he can function in, his adaptability and disposition to reach a goal sometimes self-destructing along the way. Pure stubbornness.
Maybe that’s why we get along just fine.
When he showed up to let us know that Iron Maiden is coming to Cluj, we had a short conversation:
“So, they need a photographer, right?” (twink, twink)
“Hehe, m**********r!”, laughing.
After pausing a moment:
Two months go by and the organizational stress starts to show up. As with any large event, you announce it, spread the word, promote it, but you get feedback only in the final stages. Especially because people tend to buy tickets at the last minute. Until then, you are prey to doubt, pressure and risk. It’s a hard road, with no return, which many cannot attempt. Once you have made the first step, you keep your fists clenched and hope for the best.
Short before the stage was to be set up I receive the news of being accredited as official photographer. That was pure ecstasy. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like being chosen. That was in my heart then.
It was one of those moments.
One epic week followed. The week before the concert.
/ this is a long post, so bear with me on this one /
During the first day the VIP lounge was set in place. It just appeared there out of thin air. It’s amazing how well and without pause the guys worked, considering that it all began at 2 pm and by sunset a 1000+ seat lounge had been installed. I would enjoy being a part of such team anytime. They all knew each other and knew exactly what they had to do.
The second day the stage was set up. Started at noon and already taking shape in a few hours. From a bunch of trucks with the required parts they had the main wire-frame set in place by the end of the day. Not bad at all.
I forgot to mention. Each day we climbed on the roof of Polus to mount up a camera that was supposed to film the entire process during the 6 days.
Basically, this is what I was doing in the pictures below.
From day 3, things started moving at a faster pace. Something new was showing up by the hour. I was once again surprised at how well these guys were moving.
Still on top of Polus the day before the big event.
Quite a sight to see, no wonder some folks stopped to enjoy the view. It was actually a little bit surreal to see something like that in the parking lot of Polus.
Dragos and me were supplying the production team with this and that, whenever there was an emergency.
And finally the day has arrived. People started gathering by daylight, bulged in at 5 pm, sang along with Cargo and rocked the place out on Maiden!
The pictures speak for themselves.
I want to thank Liviu once again, for the stress they’ve been through and for creating a unique opportunity in Cluj.
All others, ROCK ON!