Chris Young @ the Fillmore Silver Spring.

Chris Young @ The Fillmore

Chris Young @ The Fillmore   Chris Young @ The Fillmore   Chris Young @ The Fillmore

I shot country western artist Chris Young at the Fillmore. Nice room, this was my first time there. Young was certainly a pleasant, fan-oriented artist, even if his music isn’t really my thing.

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Ke$ha @ Patriot Center

Ke$ha @ Patriot Center.
Ke$ha @ Patriot Center.

Ke$ha @ Patriot Center. Ke$ha @ Patriot Center. Ke$ha @ Patriot Center.

This was a really fun show, way moreso than I expected… I only knew Ke$ha’s hits, but all the songs I saw were fun, and well-done live… full of energy. The crowd was also more psyched than almost any crowd I’d ever seen before, cheering and dancing to the music they played between acts… and totally dolled/glittered up, as well.

Ke$ha Wash Post Tearsheet   Ke$ha Wash Post Tearsheet
Ke$ha in the Washington Post

Com Truise @ Black Cat

Com Truise @ Black Cat

Fun little show in the Black Cat backstage… they did a cool layout for the Washington Post story, too:

Wash Post Tearsheet Com Truise Cx2 detail

Volta Bureau portraits.

Volta Bureau
Volta Bureau

A few weeks back, I shot some portraits/promo shots for my friends, DC-based group Volta Bureau (featuring Will Eastman, OutputMessage, and Micah Vellian), to help promote their first release, Hope. Did you know they are named after a historical place in DC?

You can see more of my photos of Volta Bureau (and many others) in my Portraits & Promo Shots gallery.

Darkest Hour @ 9:30 Club.

Darkest Hour @ 9:30 Club
Darkest Hour @ 9:30 Club   Darkest Hour @ 9:30 Club
Darkest Hour @ 9:30 Club

I hadn’t seen Darkest Hour in years… seeing them at the 9:30 Club on the Summer Slaughter tour was a far cry from seeing them play on a friend’s driveway in 99, which was the first time I saw them, but it was still alot of fun. Definitely one of the highlights of the Summer Slaughter 2011, the other of which was Dying Fetus, of which I will post photos in a few days…

Wash Post Darkest Hour Tearsheet Cx1

Mana @ Patriot Center

Mana.   Mana.

This was a really fun show. I wasn’t super familiar with this band before the show, but they are a total over the top rock band from Mexico, sort of a Latino U2 or something. More lights on stage than I have seen at almost any show ever!

Wash Post Mana Tear Sheet Cx1
Wash Post Mana Tear Sheet Cx2


Ok Go & Pamplamoose @ Kennedy Center.

Pomplamoose @ Kennedy Center
OK Go @ Kennedy Center

Two fun, light-hearted vaguely internet-oriented bands at the Kennedy Center to celebrate a decade of the Millenium Stage, which showcases free bands EVERY DAY, which is crazy when you think about it. Pamplamoose was full of fun stage banter, while Ok Go!’s show was lots of bombast, with a big video screen that didn’t quite work, 3D glasses, confetti cannons firing every few minutes… quite a spectacle!

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Sade & John Legend, A Night In Treme.

Sade @ Verizon Center
Sade @ Verizon Center   John Legend @ Verizon Center

Two shows I shot recently for the Washington Post. Sade was interesting… totally packed, yet very chill, a very grown-up crowd (obviously). Beautiful voice and very professional, yet you got the impression that she didn’t really like being on stage, which makes sense considering her famous reticence at being in the spotlight.

A Night In Treme, which closed out the DC Jazz Fest, on the other hand was an unabashed party. Total abandon and fun from all the musicians (and famous actors, and Louisiana Congressmen) on stage. They even did a second line, right through the crowd!

Wash Post Sade tearsheet
wash post treme c2 tear sheet crop

Big Freedia @ DC9

Big Freedia @ DC9
Big Freedia @ DC9   Big Freedia @ DC9
Big Freedia @ DC9

I shot Big Freedia at DC9 for the Washington Post, one of the first shows after their re-opening, I believe. I was worried at first that it might be a low turnout, but DC crowds are expert at showing up JUSSSSST before the artist they want to see plays, and suddenly it was packed! Great show, one of the funniest I have been to this year. So much ass-shaking, which is to be expected. Freedia was really nice too, I managed to get a quick portrait before the show. I’ll always shoot a bounce show if I get a chance!

Adele, Paul Simon, Raphael Saadiq.

Raphael Saadiq @ 930 Club
Adele @ 930 Club   Adele @ 930 Club
Paul Simon @ DAR

Three shows I shot for the Washington Post. Adele was the most packed I have -ever- seen the 930 Club, but all of these were sol out.

Tune-Yards @ Red Palace

Tune-Yards @ Red Palace
Tune-Yards @ Red Palace   Tune-Yards @ Red Palace

The other week, I shot Tune-Yards (or tUne-YaRdS, or some strange capitalization) and Buke and Bass at the Red Palace. The Red Palace is becoming a favorite place of mine to see shows in DC, decent lighting (LEDs, though), nice beer selection, small room but you can see the artist pretty well regardless… I had never heard Tune-Yards before, which was basically a one-person band with some back-up on some songs from a bassist and a horn section, but it was an interesting show. She makes loops with her voice, right on the spot, and then plays over them… she creates a sound that is reminiscent of African traditional music (to my ears, anyway), mixed with drone/ambient. Pretty interesting stuff.

Arctic Monkeys & The Vaccines @ 9:30 Club

The Vaccines.
The Vaccines.   The Vaccines.

The other week, I shot the Arctic Monkeys and the Vaccines for SPIN… I am not super knowledgeable about either band, but fun show, good lighting, good sound… the Arctic Monkeys were lively, more so than I had been led to believe, and the Vaccines were fun and energetic. I hear they are a band to watch… Read the review, linked below for more details!

Quite a night : 3 shows, 3 cities, 1 monday

Ramblin Jack Elliott

The other monday I tackled not one, not two, but THREE shows in one evening. First I shot Ramblin Jack Elliott for the Washington Post in Rockville, MD. He played a church to a music preservation society crowd. Nice people, and a cool setting. The last time I saw him was at a huge political event in San Francisco, years ago… it was cool to check him out, even for a little bit, in a more intimate space.

Dirty Beaches @ Black Cat

Next up was Dirty Beaches at the Black Cat in DC. My girlfriend has been telling me to check out his music for quite awhile, but I must admit I had never heard Dirty Beaches until I stepped into the show. The lights were almost totally down, he was light by what looked like a single light… a white-tshirt clad 50s greaser-looking guy freaking out on a guitar, unaccompanied, playing crazy, fuzzy music out of Blue Velvet or something similar. It was pretty great. I’ve since gone back and gotten several of his records and downloads of his earlier tape only releases, and his music is great! Really recommended.

DJ Ayres @ No Rule.

Finally, I limped back to Baltimore, dead tired, to Cullen Stalin’s No Rule party at Metro Gallery, to see DJ Ayres of the Rub and T&A Records. Ayres is an awesome guy, and a great DJ. I usually only see him at big events like SXSW or My Crew Be Unruly, so I really wanted to make it, say hi, shoot a few shots. Glad I did.

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.

Kylie Minogue @ Patriot Center

Kylie Minogue @ Patriot Center
Kylie Minogue @ Patriot Center
Kylie Minogue @ Patriot Center   Kylie Minogue @ Patriot Center

Last week I was able to shoot Kylie Minogue’s show for the Washington Post… it was a pretty amazing affair. I am not a huge fan, or even a casual fan… in fact I can only think of one Kylie song off the top of my head! But the show was really fun, full of drama and pomp and an INCREDIBLE stage setup and performance… some of the most over the top stage stuff that I have ever seen at a concert. I was told that the tour cost $25 million… and I believe it. Check out photos below:

  • Read the Washington Post Kylie Minogue review
  • Buy Prints from this Kylie Minogue show
  • See ALL my Kylie Minogue photos
  • BIG K.R.I.T. @ U Hall, DC

    BIG K.R.I.T. @ U Hall
    BIG K.R.I.T. @ U Hall   BIG K.R.I.T. @ U Hall

    A little while back, I had a chance to shoot BIG K.R.I.T.’s sound check at the awesome DC venue, the U St Music hall. I love shooting here, the staff is always great. They have a policy that we have to shoot the sound checks, not the show itself, which is real different from most clubs, and has it’s good and bad points. The good is we get to shoot portraits of the artists, if they are down, like the quick one I shot of Big K.R.I.T. above. He was really chill and his soundcheck sounded great. Check the links below to see more photos and read a review of the actual show!

    DMV Record Pull – first night.

    The Future - DMV Record Pull
    Harmony Music - DMV Record Pull   Jimmy Jones / KW Griff - DMV Record Pull

    DJ Excel, DJ Booman and Bmore Original helped organize what I hope becomes a regular event, a record pull at Club Reality in Baltimore City. Labels, artists, DJs, Producers, and media from DC/MD/Va got together and talked, met each other, networked, performed, and had a dialogue. A cool event and very chill, low-stress, very little drama. Follow the record pull on facebook, or check out the new website.

    Destroyer @ the Black Cat

    Destroyer @ Black Cat
    Destroyer @ Black Cat   Destroyer @ Black Cat

    This band was not what I expected… I guess the name and the pedigree made me think this would be some driving, semi-aggressive indie rock, but in actuality they are basically the exact opposite… soft rock, made me think I was at a waterfront restaurant in the 80s or something. Not bad, though, and the crowd certainly enjoyed it…

    African Acoustic Tour @ GWU

    African Acoustic Tour
    African Acoustic Tour

    This is a good example of why I have always liked shooting on assignment… I would never have gone to this show on my own, as I don’t really know much about African music, but this was quite a lot of fun, and fun to shoot as well. I had never shot in Lisner Auditorium before, but it’s amusing how basically every college auditorium feels and looks the same… a nice venue though, and really friendly staff.