Baltimore band Dope Body played their last show this past Saturday. I’ve been following their creative output for years, having met Andrew, the vocalist years ago at Sonar and quickly became a fan of their wild live performances, as well as their sound which developed from album to album. A great group of guys who managed to capture a specific and primal sound with their band and also build a devoted following in the area. Sad to see them go, excited to see what they all come up with next. Here are some of my favorite photos of the band I’ve taken over the years, both live shots as well as band photos. UPDATE: City Paper published these as a gallery!
Category Archives: photography
Dope Body’s Last Show. Floristree. 2016/05/15.
The end of an era. RIP to one of Baltimore’s longest running bands. This was a great show at one of the city’s best DIY venues. Lots of feelings about this, but it was a really nice way for four awesome people to put a cap on eight years of creativity and musical expression. Wonderful to see so many old heads come out for this, what a good night. Go start your own band.
Also: I was going to add them to this post, but it’d be too much so check back tomorrow, when I’ll be posting a retrospective assortment of photos I’ve take over the band over the years.
Esperanza Spalding @ 9:30 Club
This show was great. I didn’t know much about Spalding going it but it turns out she is quite the performer – both in a musical sense and the dramatic. The concert was more like a musical stage play, performed to a absolutely sold-out 9:30 Club. If you are a fan of her music I would say don’t miss out on the chance to see her live; I thought it was great and I was just some guy off the street, essentially.
Read the Washington Post review here | See all my photos from the show here
Justin Bieber @ Verizon Center
This show was pretty tough. I’ve been to a lot of pop shows over the years and though I rarely enjoy the music, usually artists at the arena or stadium level seem to be pure entertainers, like Usher, vibing with the crowd and their fans, like Ke$ha, or in complete control of the crowd like Kylie Minogue. Not Bieber. He just seemed bored, or something. Not sure if it was an off night or what, but my only thought after walking out of this show was “man, that guy really didn’t want to be up there, did he?” Too bad, because it was a hell of a light show and stage setup, and a full house.
Read the Washington Post review of the show (which echoes much of my sentiments) | See all my photos from the show
Integrity @ Soundstage.
I shot Integrity (featuring Dom Romeo from A389 Records/Pulling Teeth/etc on guitar) awhile back. Great show, as always. Integrity is one of the bands from my youth that have stuck with me. I wouldn’t have guessed in then, but I find myself listening to them just as much or more now as I did when I had first heard them. Dwid also is always a fun frontman, and obviously really gets his audience. Good show!
the Snails & Frogman @ the Ottobar.
The other day I was at this packed show at the Ottobar. The Snails is a Baltimore supergroup, and Frogman has to be seen to be believed/understood. I was just there for fun, but I snapped a few pics anyway… CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WHOLE PHOTOSET
Concerts with the x100t: King Diamond, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY (with Pepper Keenan)
As I noted here, I’ve been shooting a LOT with my Fuji x100t lately, and have even started shooting shows with it. It’s a surprisingly robust camera, I’m liking the results. Here are some images from Housecore Horror Fest 2015 I pulled off of one my cards…
Concerts with the x100t: Watain, Mayhem.
I’ve been using a Fuji x100t – a rangerfinder-esque camera – as my walk around camera, and also doing some concert shooting with it, with what I think are some pretty decent results. Here are some shots from the recent (and awesome) Watain & Mayhem show at Baltimore Soundstage – pretty good for a little camera, I think.
You can see more of these and compare them with my DSLR photos from the show HERE.
Big Mouth @ Windup Space
Big Mouth is one of my absolute favorite Baltimore live bands, they hadn’t played a show for awhile before this one, so I was really stoked to go. I’ve been carrying my Fuji x100t lately, a smaller camera, and I took this show as an opportunity to try and shoot a show entirely with it. It was super challenging, but fun, and I think it came out pretty well.
Julia Holter @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Watain @ Soundstage : 2015/11/25
Watain never disappoints. Always a great show, always a terrible smelling show. I had heard they wouldn’t be as vigorous with the blood and animal carcasses on this tour, but that proved to be wrong. The next day at Thanksgiving Dinner, someone asked me if I had spilled food on my jeans and I had to admit that it was congealed pig’s blood.
Mayhem @ Soundstage : 2015/11/25
Finally got to see Mayhem!
Ren Megna Benefit featuring Incantation & Old Lines.
Killer show for a good cause – helping a local member of the metal scene out with some extensive medical bills. Incantation and Old Lines were great this night, as was Putrisect, though my camera wasn’t cooperating for their set.
All New Ed Schrader Show, Episode 1 with Dina Kelberman & DDM!
This week marked the relaunch of a Baltimore institution: the Ed Schrader Show! Long before Ed helmed Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, he was known for hosting the always-unpredictable Ed Schrader Show, a live talk show held at various spots around Baltimore. The show would present various notable (and often unsung) people of Baltimore and sitting them down for a chat with Ed in his unique interview style.
After taking some time to focus on music pursuits, this week Ed brought the show back to Metro Gallery and interviewed artist Dina Kelberman (check out her project I‘m Google) and rapper DDM (who is also in the stellar group Bond Street District), both long-time members of the creative scene here in Baltimore.
It was a great show, full of funny moments as well as heartfelt, insightful ones. I’ll add a podcast link here when it goes up- this is just the first in a monthly series of new shows, so you can come to Metro Gallery in march for next month’s taping.
Dope Body @ the Compound.
Trying to catch up on posting photos after an autumnal lull due to life stuff and an ailing laptop – this is one of the more fun shows I’ve been to in awhile, it felt like a wild Baltimore rager that doesn’t seem to happen as much anymore. Dope Body shows in Baltimore are always fun as hell, but this one was an especially great night.
Matmos “Ultimate Care II” Portraits
Constant audio innovators Matmos are releasing a new album, Ultimate Care II, that was completely sound-sourced from their washing machine. For the release, their label Thrill Jockey had me work with them to create a series of promotional portraits. I have worked with Drew and Martin before and they are (of course) extremely creative as well as easy to work with, so I was really excited about this shoot. We played with some of things and tried to create a mix of images that ranged from your normal “band photo” to ones that were a bit more oblique or playful. Pretty happy with how this came out, and can’t wait for the album to be out – it’s really good!
Recent City Paper Portraits
This weekend, I headed out to scenic Sparks, MD for a photoshoot with my friends in Baltimore metal band Putrisect. It was a great time, featuring classic suburban fun like sneaking into an abandoned building, drinking beer next to cars and being harassed by local teens. You can check out all the photos HERE and check out Putrisect’s tunes at their BANDCAMP PAGE. As always, get in touch if you need some band photos or portraits taken.
Paradox owner Wayne Davis posted today that Paradox, the legendary Baltimore nightclub and after-hours spot, will be closing in 2016. Sad to see it go but after 25+ years, I imagine Wayne is ready to move on to something new. I took the opportunity to assemble some just a few of the photos I’ve taken there over the years…
Future Islands 1000.
Earlier this summer I made the trip down to Carrboro, NC with noted Baltimoreans Kevin Sherry and Mark Brown to watch Future Islands play their celebratory 1000th show. I wrote the following for Noisey:
FUTURE ISLANDS BRING IT ON HOME TO NORTH CAROLINA FOR THEIR 1,000TH SHOW
Future Islands capped off their first 1,000 shows (and a tremendous year) with an all-fam celebration in Carrboro, NC this Sunday, appropriately dubbed FI1000. Not wanting to miss it, I packed into a car with a few other Baltimoreans and road tripped it down there. Though known primarily as a Baltimore band, the boys grew up in North Carolina and started the band there, so it felt right for this party to be down south.
Located at the open air Carrboro Town Commons, the show had kind of a block party or family reunion vibe with a lineup filled with old friends of the band. NC buddies like Valient Thorr and Lonnie Walker, along with Baltimore friend Dan Deacon and Ed Schraderâ€™s Music Beat. Add in Danny Brown and about 4,500 exuberant fans and thatâ€™s a recipe for quite a party.
The relaxed atmosphere was pretty perfect for a intimate fest like this, with the artists mingling with the (mostly young) crowd, who seemed appreciative of even the early bands on the bill. But once Danny Brown took the stage, the energy of the crowd spiked sharply, with people dancing exuberantly, grinding, chanting along. The stage fencing almost gave way at more than one point. I donâ€™t think the Carrboro Town Commons security staff had seen a show like this before.
Dan Deacon kept the energy high, performing a set mixed with both new tracks and old classics like Wham City and Crystal Cat. Iâ€™ve seen him do his audience participation parts more time than I can count, but it never ceases to amaze me how he can coax a huge crowd into seemingly anything. He also took time to speak about police violence and how it affects us all, the most somber moment of the night but delivered in a classic uplifting and reflective Deacon manner.
All the artists told stories about Future Islands, some dating back to even before they were a band. The anticipation was super high for them to take the stage at dusk. Always charismatic on stage, it was obvious how pleased the guys were to be playing in front of friends and family. Throughout, frontman Sam Herring kept the crowd engaged with anecdotes and stories (told in a Southern accent that grew throughout the night) about their time as a band, growing up in North Carolina, and about the other bands who played. It was a great set, full of both intimate moments and big stage moves – confetti and huge balloons kept the crowd bouncing. They played a packed set which of course included songs like Seasons and Tin Man, but also ranged to older, little heard songs like Pinocchio and New Autobahn, to the obvious pleasure of the crowd. They closed the show out with a promise to return to Town Commons when they hit 2000 shows, though I guess theyâ€™ll need a larger venue next time.