By creative, read good not wacky/way out and what I meant was you need to be creative to get good shots. Good shots stand out as they capture the event/produce an iconic image. And music mags would love to use great pics, but if they aren't being taken.... In the UK the NME used to have some brilliant [music] photographers working for them, now they seem to be colour snaps. Penny Smith, Anton Corbijn, Derek Ridgers, Steve Pyke are a few I remember. Anton Corbijn just directed the justly acclaimed 'Control' about Joy Division.
But with the stupid 3 song rule there's no wonder there's a lack of good concert photography around. Good photography usually takes some time and consideration and normally the main difference between an amateur and a professional is the time spend getting the shot. Bands or far more likely, idiot tour managers are not doing themselves any favours by this moronic ruling.
Some excellent points!
I have been shooting Jazz Music scene for about 7 yrs. (personal work, jazz musicians are really poor!) After about 3-4 yrs of shooting I looked at Francis Wolff's work, man it blew me away, why? because he worked with them in all different settings, Being with Bluenote was convenient and very intimate. Share with the musicians, help when you can and they will in return.
When $$$ is involved the problem that I have run across is that any schmuck can get a digi cam, whatever type? and get the same old tired shit, but it's free, and the music scene being what it is, takes anything that is free and they can cut costs? So any work that you do to capture the event even though it's better than 99%, it get lost in the sea of mediocrity.
To get the truly good shots and the ones that might generate some interest, you need to get close to your subjects and preferably back stage etc. you need to establish your creds with them and they might even let you use flash (flashes?) and give you the creative freedom to get the shots that you want. You still won't make much money, but it could be fun!