Steelheart at Club Red, Tempe AZ

Steelheart performing at Club Red in Tempe, Arizona.

Steelheart at Club Red

Even more intense than I had any right to expect, Steelheart put on a show of positively EPIC proportions.  Featuring a wide mix of music from their debut release Steelheart (1990) to their latest Good 2b Alive (2008), the entire show was one amazing journey through time and sonic-space… culminating in the the most memorable audience sing-along I have ever experienced.


Miljenko Matijevic of Steelheart

Perhaps most notable in this performance was the vocal ability of Miljenko Matijevic.  His performance for this show was absolutely AMAZING, still showing the incredible range and intense falsetto that he and the Steelheart name have become famous for.  Engaging, gracious and incredibly energetic, Miljenko had the audience in the palm of his hand from the opening lyrics, never releasing them until the final encore.


Chris Risola of Steelheart

Lighting was challenging, and the overall light design for Steelheart’s headlining performance metered over one stop lower than the opening acts, with noticeably less dramatic colored backlighting.  Further challenges included the near-capacity-audience.  Club Red does not have a barricade or pit-area to separate the audience from the front of the stage — photographing such a popular artist at that venue can be quite challenging.  I had a position just slightly stage-left of center at the beginning of the set, which allowed me a great vantage point for this closeup of lead guitarist Chris Risola, but I quickly found myself trapped and actually being crushed by the audience behind and beside me.  I made a tentative getaway toward the wings, and worked my way back and forth the back of the house to the front corners, utilizing my 70-200/2.8 more often than my wider 17-55/2.8 or 50/1.8.


Rev Jones of Steelheart

While I knew what to expect from Steelheart’s lead singer, I had never seen bassist Rev Jones in concert before.  I was AMAZED.  Truly, beyond words.  I will say simply that you must see Rev in concert to believe it.  The same elements which made him so entertaining as he was to watch — his personality, speed and incredible technical skill — made him equally difficult to photograph.  I managed to capture only a few frames where Rev’s fingers are not an unintelligible blur across the fretboard.


Mike Humbert of Steelheart

Don’t Forget The Drummer,” I heard the virtual-voice of photographer Todd Owyoung whispering in my ear.  Mike Humbert put on an AMAZING show of his own, tucked in behind an impressive and looming drum set.  This configuration is always hard to photograph without the typical “sea of cymbals,” but patience and persistence paid off.  This may indeed be my favorite drummer photograph I have taken to date.  The vantage point I positioned myself in to take this photo will remain a close-guarded secret — and I fully expect that while there were a dozen other shooters at this show, I have exclusive images from this position.  Without giving away my secrets, I’ll simply say — yes, I received permission from security; no, I wasn’t on stage; and no, I was not visible to the audience or even the artists on stage.  Knowing the venue (and security) pays off, as does knowing when to keep that 70-200/2.8 ready to shoot.



In summary:

  • An incredible band
  • An incredible show
  • An incredible night

What more can you ask for?

A very special thanks to Angela.



Official Website:

Band Members:

Miljenko Matijevic – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, piano
Chris Risola – lead guitar
Rev Jones – bass
Mike Humbert – drums

Set list:

  • Blood Pollution – Rockstar (2001)
  • Gimmie Gimmie – Steelheart (1990)
  • Like Never Before – Steelheart (1990)
  • Cabernet – Wait (1996)
  • Buried Unkind – Just a Taste (2006) / Good 2b Alive (2008)
  • Samurai – Good 2b Alive (2008)
  • We All Die Young – Wait (1996) / Just a Taste (2006)
  • Everybody Loves Eileen – Steelheart (1990)
  • LOL (Laughing Out Loud) – Just a Taste (2006) / Good 2b Alive (2008)


  • Stand Up and Shout – Rockstar (2001)
  • I’ll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes) – Steelheart (1990)



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