I am often asked, "How can I get started in concert photography?"
The first step is having the right equipment. You will not be a concert photographer with a pocket camera you bought at Wal-Mart. You will need a SLR [Single Lens Reflex] camera like my Canon Digital Rebel. More important than the camera body are the lenses. Concert photography is usually conducted under low light situations. The standard lenses that come with camera body's are not fast enough for low light conditions. You will need a lens with a big aperture such as 2.8
The second step is to build a portfolio. The simplest way to do this is to shoot local bands at local clubs. Local bands love the attention and generally need good shots. I would just show up early and introduce myself to the band and tell them I'm going to be doing some shooting tonight. I would hand them my business card and say, "If you are interested in copies get a hold of me or give me your contact info."Once you have a decent portfolio with good photographs you can try for bigger bands.
The third step is to find an "In". Generally this means you need to work for the media. A magazine, a newspaper, a radio station or the venue itself. Getting your foot in the door through a media outlet will prove to be a challenge to newcomers. Sometime bigger bands play smaller venues and camera's are allowed. It's always best to call the venue in advance to see if camera's are allowed.
Concert photography can be very challenging and rewarding. The industry standard in the "Photo Pit" is first three songs no flash. "No flash" is why it is important to be able to take photos in low light conditions. Using a flash takes away that concert feeling and can cast harsh shadows anyway. Why the first three songs only? Well, because you are a distraction between front row and the stage and the bands usually don't care to be photographed when they start getting hot and sweaty.
Even when the rules are lifted, I generally adhere to the "First three/No flash" rule. If you can't get it in three songs then you're not going to get it.