Saw Baltimore’s Best Band, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat awhile ago at venerable DIY venue Floristree along with Rat Fist, a new band made up of members of No Age and Pissed Jeans. Long time homie Sean McGuiness of PJ (and various back-in-the-day DC bands) drums and sings for Rat Fist, so I couldn’t miss it. Great show. ESMB really deserves all the attention they are getting, what a great band. Seeing shows at Floristree is a really good experience because it feels so home-y (after all, it is a home) and the crowd is generally so respectful and into the music. They even have a better sounding PA now, too!
I’ve known the Roomrunner fellows since they became a band and I’ve known Denny Bowen since he was in high school, back when his early bands Yukon and Economist used to play shows in my basement, usually at the request of Sean Gray, another old friend who runs Accidental Guest, the label that is putting out the new Roomrunner record. I think I have taken almost all of their promo photos, but this was the first time we did it not after a show and a lot of beers. It was still fun. Great fun, actually- rambling around the Copycat building, petting Dan’s cute cat, climbing up on the roof and dodging weird moss and horsecrab corpses (no joke).
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.
I shot the Arcade Fire Reflektor Tour at Verizon Center for the Washington Post. Was a little skeptical at first, having not kept up with them in years, but I thought the show was fun, and fun to shoot. The reviewer didn’t seem to like it much, but I had a good time.
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!
This was such a great event. Two days of bands, workshops and community in Station North. Got to see some of Baltimore’s best bands and discover quite a few out of town acts that I had never heard of – Coup Sauvage and Whore Paint in particular impressed me. Baltimore rules.
<a href="https://www.flickr .com/photos/joshsisk/8717977613″ title=”Pig Destroyer @ Black Cat by Josh Sisk, on Flickr”>
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.
Continuing to catch up with posts of things from the year I neglected this site. Last summer, Dana and I took a trip to Luray Caverns. It was my first time – a really amazing place. I recommend anyone go at least once. If you can manage to go in with a smaller group it’s very much a peaceful experience. They have weddings down there, too, apparently, which would be pretty amazing and unique.
Sharon Needles, winner of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and noted drag performer, did two pieces at Baltimore’s Deep In The Game party at the Hippo. The second, pictured above was a tribute to Baltimore’s own Edith Massey, perhaps better known as “the Egg Lady”, who was one of John Waters’ Dreamlanders.
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…
This was a great show… to celebrate the release of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat’s new album JAZZ MIND, out now on Load Records (it is great, you should get it!).
Black Pus is Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt, Mindflayer, drawing comic books)’s one man drums+electronics band, and it was really fun… the crowd went crazy for him and his wall of sound, constantly stage-diving and dancing. One girl next to me went up easily 12 times in a row… pretty fun. Even Chester got into the action!
Ed and Devin’s set was energetic and awesome… everyone singing along, dancing, the crowd spill forward onto the stage over and over… there was an amazing moment when the power died and Ed led the crowd in a capella version of Air Show, which was just awesome to have happen.
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.