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.
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.
<img src="https://c1.staticflickr .com/1/523/18996774666_2f63f1d4a0_c.jpg” width=”800″ height=”586″ alt=”Kate Tempest @ U St Music Hall”/>
Shot UK rapper/wordsmith Kate Tempest for the Washington Post. Good show, was expected to not be too interested in her music but was pleasantly surprised by this one. Those are the best assignments- when you go in blind and find something cool that you didn’t expect.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a show at American, this was a really odd place to have a show, seemed like a glorified cafeteria, but it was a fun night all the same. Always love seeing the Repulsion dudes, and of course Pig Destroyer and Noisem are always great.
Laibach is a pretty weird band, one I never really expected to see live nor expected to actually be good, but this was a great show. I first heard of them from watching this video years ago, as part of the Wax Trax box set. It blew me away with how unlike just about anything else it was… their more recent material is less esoteric than that era of the band, but was really stoked to see this show.
Wasn’t sure what to expect from this, but after an uninspiring set by an opener I hadn’t heard of before, FKA Twigs proved to be worthy of all the hype. The music she plays isn’t my thing, really, but she had the crowd in the palm of her hand and had a great stage setup as well. Fun show, she is going to be big.
The other day I had an extra twenty minutes (literally) between a photo shoot and a train I needed to catch so I shot these photos of my old friends Dave Nada & Matt Nordstrom, who make dance music together as Nadastrom. We shot these close to U Street Music Hall before their monthly residency.
I recently covered concerts by Tori Amos, Orrin Evans and UK garage vet DJ EZ for the Washington Post.
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!
3 Floyds Brewery and my friends in Pig Destroyer (primarily Scott Hull, noted craft beer fan) collaborated on a beer, Permanent Funeral, which rated VERY highly on the various beer sites, including Beer Advocate calling it one of the top 40 beers of the world. To celebrate, they threw a release party at the Black Cat in DC. Continuing on my mid-year resolution to get my site up to date, here are the photos I took at the event… Baltimore band Old Lines and (now-defunct, I believe) DC band LTW opened.
My good friend Chris Richards published an article today in the Washington Post (with photo contributions from yours truly) titled “How the â€œSassiest Boy in Americaâ€ became the most interesting man in rock-and-roll“, and I thought this would be as good as an occasion as any to post photos from the recent Chain and the Gang show at Comet Ping Pong in DC (which marked the release of their new record, Minimum Rock and Roll), as well as photos from the once-in-a-lifetime the Make-Up reunion at the Lithuanian Hall in Baltimore.
The Lith Hall show was pretty spectacular, mainly because I have a pretty low opinion of reunions, and most I’ve been to are fairly disappointing. I forgot, however, just how good of a performer Svenonious is – while I never saw the Make-Up in their heyday, I’ve seen all or most of his bands since and he definitely still has it. Strutting the stage, engaging in his crazy banter, busting his lip on the mic and bleeding without even acknowledging it… good stuff. The rest of the band brought it as well, though I wondered about the absence of Steve Gamboa on drums.
Flash forward a year, and I’m asked to go check out Svenonious’ current band, Chain and the Gang, play at Comet Ping Pong as they bring out their new record, Minimum Rock and Roll. Equally fun time, though minus the anthem factor of having known the songs for 15 or so years… but still, they have it down and know how to work with the crowd and the initimate atmosphere brought with it a sense something crazy might happen at any moment. I was surprised, however, to find the Gang opening for the Coathangers… perhaps a sign of the times? Perhaps not since a good chunk of the crowd seemed to leave after their site, skipping the headliners.
Last month, I shot The Evens (Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina) in their home for Ghetto Blaster magazine, for a feature about their new album. I was a little nervous, unsure how it would be working with Ian, but my worries were totally unfounded – they were both great to work with, friendly, firm about what they wanted, and full of great ideas that made the final product better. A great shoot, and I think the final product came out well!
Ruth Moore, a veteran, went to Capital Hill to deliver 160,000+ signatures to her petition that the VA re-evaluate the way it deals with victims of sexual assault. I documented her meeting with the VA representative. See all the photos here.
Last week I shot a few quick promo photos for electronic artist Pentamon down in DC. See all the Pentamon shots here.
Shot the second of two sold out shows at the Black Cat to celebrate the impending release of Salad Days, a documentary about the 80s punk and hardcore scene in DC. Great show. I had seen GI before, so knew what to expect – always fun, though. But Scream I had never seen, and honestly, hadn’t listened to that much in a long time… so I was pleasantly surprised at how much they killed it. Seriously a great performance.