The other week, I shot Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates at Fillmore. I was expecting to be underwhelmed, as most hip-hop shows I go to lately have been fairly disappointing… a lot of the younger artists haven’t been playing shows that long and seem to lack the showmanship you used to see. Not Gates, though. After a slow start, I was pleasantly surprised as he burst into life, stalking back and forth on stage, calm one moment, barely contained energy the next. The crowd ate it up, too. Good show, fun to shoot too, as he kept interacting with crowd members.
Wham City members Robby Rackleff & April Camlin lead the crowd in interpretive dance.
The other day I shot Dan Deacon and Arcade Fire for the Washington Post at their Verizon Center stop of the Reflektor tour. I initially was a little worried that the show would be a little empty, or that the crowd wouldn’t ‘get’ Dan’s typical group-participation antics. I was wrong – though it took a minute for the large venue to fill in, it eventually got packed in there and it seemed like everyone was super happy to join in with Dan.
Some funny moments of the show for me: at these big shows, photographers always have media handlers who take you where you are supposed to be. However, since Dan set up at front of house to play, they were like “wow, I don’t know what’s going on, just do your thing,” which rarely happens. Also, was surprised to find that grindcore legend Scott Hull was in attendance. He asked me what Dan Deacon was all about, I tried to explain it, and assumed it wouldn’t be to his taste… but he loved his show!
I went into this show not sure what to expect – I knew Little Richard was old, I hadn’t heard about him playing any shows in recent years… but was pleasantly surprised overall by what I saw and heard. Sure, it was a little sad that he was brought out on a bench, unable to walk on his own, and he certainly seemed a little fragile – but his charisma and voice were still there, and he cracked jokes with the audience and told anecdotes, and with a iconic artist like this, that’s half of what you hope to see at their show. Backed by a great (and large) band, the music sounded great, too. See more of my Little Richard photos from the Howard Theater here. Continue reading →
Eyehategod crowd shot from 2010. Reunited in 2011, with City Paper cover.
For the last near-decade, Maryland Death Fest has been a Baltimore Institution, bringing the best current and historic extreme metal bands to Sonar in Baltimore to play for thousands of fans. It’s literally the best and most interesting metal related event in the US. Spanning over several days (4 this year), dozens of bands play to a crowd of thousands, who travel from all over the world to be there. Because of it’s prominence, many bands choose to reunite to play it, or have their last show there, or play for the first/last/only time in the US there. Basically, it’s an amazing event. And this year’s, the TENTH Annual, starts thursday and last til sunday. For a list of bands and set times, click here. Here are some of my favorite shots from the last several years: Continue reading →
Last weekend, checked out the Sweetlife Fest at Merriweather Post Pavilion for the Baltimore Sun… a rainy, dreary day but the kids in attendance could not be deterred… lots of smiling youths who were partying HARD. Also, some pretty great food courtesy of local vendors (I had a Toki Underground pho dog, myself… yum!) Weird to see Kid Cudi rocking a huge stage at an arena, last time I saw him was a little more intimate…
Wow. I had never heard of this band before, though I realized once I was there that I had heard their hit single “Tonight Tonight”, but WOW. This was the first show I have been to where the crowd (comprised mostly of teenage girls) was louder than the music… much louder. A sold out 9:30, all screaming in unison, without much pause! Pretty wild.
Trying to get all these SXSW photos out the door… but I keep taking more photos. It’s a never ending cycle… anyway, I saw Lower Dens play a day show at SXSW for the Sun. One of my favorite new Baltimore bands, really looking forward to their next record. The out of crowd town seemed to love them too, based on the response from the large crowd at this early show.
I had never even heard of this band when I shot them the other day for the Post, but they had a good sound and the singer/guitarist Brittany Howard has a great voice and really strong stage presence… this was fun.
This was a pretty great time. No openers, just Bruce & the band. I can’t say I am a deep cuts-style Springsteen fan, but I of course like many of his songs and he is an icon… it was great to get to shoot this for the Post. And the (sold out) crowd loved him, as you would expect.
This was a fun show. Everyone was in good form, DLR looked and sounded good (maybe a bit less acrobatics than the old days, but what can ya do), Eddie seemed healthy, Alex was a machine and… well, then there’s Wolfgang. He seemed to be having fun, at least. Continue reading →
Three fun bands at one of my favorite places to see shows in Austin, Trailer Space Records. Trailer Space is my FAVORITE place to see shows at SXSW – always unofficial, always cool bands, always a chill/fun vibe, always no bullshit. This year I was there for the Burger Records Fest on Wednesday and it was great – flying beer (at one point a store worker/owner/person came up to the mic to declare “we sell records, so do not pour beer on the records”), fireworks, a dancing dog, tons of kids having fun and great music. So awesome.
A sad note is that I spoke to someone from Trailer Space over email and it seems as though they are in some hard times… so buy records there if you are in Austin! I asked if maybe they would have shirts for sale on their site again and they said they would let me know, I’ll post about it if they do… great place, I hope I can go again next year!
In the grand tradition I’ve been following for the last few years (see 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007), every year I try and make a photo set of my favorite shots from the year. It’s a good exercise, I recommend it for all creative types, it lets you see how your work changes and grows over time.
This year, I am doing it a little differently… I am breaking it up into this post, which is my Top 15 Concert Photos of 2011, and another post of my Top 12 Photos (non-concert) of 2011 (check back tomorrow for that one). Cheating, maybe, but shooting more non-concert stuff is a goal of mine, so I decided to break them up. I’m also going to try and write a little about each… so here goes! Continue reading →
Saturday was something I thought I would never see… the reunion of Baltimore band Daybreak. They were a late 90s/early 2000s power violence band who put out records on Reptilian Records and Robodog Records (now Robotic Empire). I never saw them, but their records made their way to Baton Rouge by way of Page 99’s distro table and the Robodog’s Geocities-era website. Me and my friends appreciated the music, extreme but approachable and with musicianship, and even more, we appreciated the humorous piss-takes at “the scene” and the feeling of a crew of punks that we got from their record art and inserts… I thought it was cool that there was enough people who liked this music there to even HAVE a crew!
Anyway, somehow, someway, 10+ years later and I am friends with alot of the people involved with the making of these records, and they are all great and I am thankful they decided to do this reunion show so me and others had the chance to finally see this band! It was a fun night, and for a good cause – to help pay for a friend of the band’s cancer-related medical bills.
This was a lot of fun to shoot, 4 stages, 10,000 or so dance music fans, tons of lights and costumes and dancers and booze and everything else! In the full set, you will find photos of: Skream & Benga, Moby, Diplo, Tittsworth, Scott Henry, Armand Van Helden, Zedd, and lots and lots of fans.