DC Fotoweek 2011 / BYT Young At Heart photo show.


Last week I was in a photo show that was a part of DC Fotoweek 2011, BYT’s Young at Heart 2. It was a great time, including slideshows and Q&A with 6 amazing professional photographers (Joshua Cogan, Victoria F. Gaitán, Douglas Sonders, Scott Suchman, Nicole Wolf, and Marcus Yam) – you can see some examples of their work here.

The show also featured slideshows of various BYT photographers, including myself. CLICK HERE to see a slideshow of my work that was on display. And here is the original youtube of my slideshow I made to remember what was in the show, it’s of worse quality, but you get the music that was being DJed so you can “feel the vibe”!

Lykke Li & Grimes @ 9:30 Club

Lykke Li @ 9:30 Club
Lykke Li @ 9:30 Club   Lykke Li @ 9:30 Club
Lykke Li @ 9:30 Club   Lykke Li @ 9:30 Club

Sunday, after a looong weekend, I saw Lykke Li and Grimes play at the 9:30 Club. I had never heard of Grimes before this show was announced, but I have been a pretty large Lykke Li fan for years, since before her debut album Youth Novels came out. Grimes turned out to be a one woman band, who played an odd, eclectic mix of pop/noise/danse music. I’d have to listen to her stuff recorded to really pass judgement, but live it was interesting, if really distorted.

Lykke Li, who I’ve seen before, has upgraded her sound and more than upgraded her stage show. The set was almost like an arena rock performance, with blasting strobes, synchronized lighting, tons of fog, weird cloth strips that hung from the ceiling and swirled around the stage… The new material is also bigger and more bombastic (even as the song thematic material is darker and somber at times), so it’s quite a spectacle. For me, it left me a little unsure if I preferred this new Lykke Li to the one from Youth Novels and before. She got her start with small, intimate songs with a stripped down sound. Part of the reason I loved those early singles and her first album (and her earlier stage show) was how it felt like she was really putting herself out there with little artifice. While this new record and show are way, way more pro and accomplished, I think it loses a little of that feel. Still, it was a super impressive show and she is certainly flexing as an artist.

Wu-Tang Clan @ Sonar

Ghostface Killah - Wu-Tang Clan @ Sonar
Method Man crowd-surfing - Wu-Tang Clan @ Sonar    Method Man crowd-surfing - Wu-Tang Clan @ Sonar
GZA, Cappadonna, Method Man, Ghostface Killah - Wu-Tang Clan @ Sonar
GZA - Wu-Tang Clan @ Sonar

Sunday I shot the Wu-Tang Clan show at Sonar… awesome time. I wrote a little mini-post for BYT, I’ll update this when that is posted (today, hopefully!) Til then…

Check out the whole Wu-Tang Clan at Sonar photo set

UPDATE: here’s the BYT story

Government Issue & The Goons reunions @ Black Cat

Government Issue.
Government Issue.   Government Issue.
Government Issue crowd.   The Goons.

Maff Moffat, co-owner of DC record store SMASH organized a benefit show for Stereofaith, a DC scene stalwart (former hardcore band member, longtime DJ and promoter, all-around cool dude) who had to have some pretty serious surgery. Seminal DC band Government Issue played a reunion show, along with the classic DC-suburbs punk band The Goons. It was a really fun show, sold out but not too crazy, probably because most of the people in attendance were a little older, so it was still fun to be in that room. The Goons set was rowdy, with some circle pitting and stagediving, but things kicked up alot when Government Issue took the stage. John Stabb is a crazy guy, I’d seen YouTubes but it was awesome to see him still getting wild, 30 years later. J Robbins, Tom Lyle, and Pete Moffett got pretty wild themselves… I saw Robbins and Moffett grinning and goofing with Stabb many times, Lyle seemed to remain more serious but was definitely playing hard. All in all, a good show…

View the whole set here | Read the BrightestYoungThings story

Ruiner, the Spark, Double Dagger, Never Enough @ CCAS.

the Spark @ CCAS
Double Dagger @ CCAS    Never Enough @ CCAS

I dunno why I didn’t post this before! Last month was a great reunion/last show at CCAS – the Spark and Never Enough, two early-2000s hardcore bands from Baltimore played a reunion show with Ruiner, who is breaking up. Double Dagger played too. It was great, though I got moshed HARD and hurt my neck. I’m better now. Jesse Morgan got stitches too!

I also took official “last band pic” shots of The Spark and Never Enough:

The Spark.    Never Enough.

View the whole photo set | Read the BYT post

Die Antwoord & Rye Rye @ 9:30 Club.

Die Antwoord @ 930
Die Antwoord @ 930    Die Antwoord @ 930

This show was fun. Die Antwoord, at the very least, can actually rap and perform live – something I wasn’t convinced of going in. Unfortunately, none of their other material is as fresh or good as their two singles… but that can be said for a lot of groups. They had a lot of energy, were stage-diving, spitting water on people, generally jumping around like crazy… it will be interesting to see if they can keep the momentum going or if this is it. Rye Rye opened, and did great – though the stage was crazy dark for her set! I was suprised but I guess they decided to keep it low-key. It’s great to see the arc of her career, she is still going strong and I imagine this time next year will be even bigger.

View the whole Die Antwoord/Rye Rye photo set | Read the BYT review

Slayer & Anthrax @ 1st Mariner.

Kerry King of Slayer.
Tom Araya of Slayer.   Kerry King of Slayer.
Joey Belladonna of Anthrax.   Joey Belladonna of Anthrax.
Joey Belladonna of Anthrax.

Last week I got a chance to see (and shoot) the Slayer/Megadeth/Anthrax Jagermeister tour. The headliners were playing their 1990-era albums IN FULL (Seasons In The Abyss, Rust In Peace, respectively), plus their other hits… It was a great show and especially fun for me since I was banned from going to see this same tour in 1990 by my parents! Twenty years later, I finally made it…

Before the show, a writer and I showed up to interview Charlie Benante (from Anthrax) and he was great. We also met Joey Belladona and he was nice as well – he asked me if I was shooting the show and I said yes… he said he’d see me out there. I didn’t think much of it at the time but when they played, true to his word, he saw me in the photo pit, waved, and posed for several photos while looking right at my lens. What a great moment! I’ll post the interview as soon as it goes up.

The show itself was great – Anthrax looked like they were having a great time, reunited, and the crowd responded really well. Megadeth were amazing! Dave Mustaine voice seemed a LITTLE strained, but several of the Rust In Peace songs are really vocally challenging and also were never performed live until recently. All in all Megadeth was AWESOME. Then Slayer – who I’ve seen before and generally are always the same live – were Slayer, they slew in their workmanlike way. Nothing ostentatious, but they are a dependably accomplished and always good live.

Click here to view the whole Slayer/Anthrax set.