1. SHOOT LOCAL SHOWS.
At most local shows you can pay your cover and bring in any camera you want to. Your first concert is not going to be a major band at a large venue. (Unless you know someone or have convinced a publication to send you without having built a portfolio already. In that case, the publication is staffed by dumbasses...) Make friends at those small shows, the smaller the band the more surprised and grateful they will be that someone came to photograph their performance. Share your photos all over social media and grow yourself a following locally.
2. START A PUBLICATION/WEBSITE.
You might know who I am, you might think I can go shoot any band I want at any time. This is not the case. Publicists don't care how many people are following you on social media, they want you to be shooting for a specific site. Even a new site that hardly anybody sees will take precedence over me. I tried messaging a publicist last year to shoot a show up in Toronto. Despite the fact that another client of this publicist were currently using photos of mine for a charity campaign they would not do me any favors unless I was shooting for a publication/website. I could have found a publication to publish my photos if I really wanted to but I prefer to shoot for myself so I let it go.
3. MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE BAND
This is how I shoot most of my shows when not on tour. I either know someone touring with the band or someone in the band themselves. It helps to have friends.... I made friends with a bunch of the guys in The Devil Wears Prada while on Warped Tour with them. I ended up shooting them at three different venues last spring. Every so often I will even just show up at a show and find friends outside the venue having a cigarette or just shooting the shit and end up shooting the show. This happened with two shows I shot last spring.
4. GET A JOB ON TOUR
Not the easiest way to get to shoot shows. You might not even be able to shoot anything at all depending on your job or the photo policy of the band you are touring with. I was on tour with Lenny Kravitz this past fall and was not allowed to shoot any of the shows. Next tour, I was out with Disclosure and they were excited for me to photograph the shows. A lot of photographers I know that shoot shows ended up doing so by accident. They were working merch or were techs tuning and repairing musicians equipment on tour. I spent 8 years working Warped Tour as a truck driver before ever taking serious photos at one of the shows. Remember though, if you get a job on tour that is not as a photographer, THAT IS YOUR JOB, photography comes second...