The Devil Makes Three with Joe Pug at The Pageant – January 22nd, 2015

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The 2015 concert season is getting started off a little slower than it has in the past, last Thursday evening was a welcome addition to my portfolio.  The Devil Makes Three is an interesting blend of folk/ozark mountain music that is kind of mixed in with a rockabilly attitude that attracts a wide array of people that make up their fan base.  People young and old, hipsters, hillbillies, and indie rock connoisseurs alike all seemed to gravitate towards this band.  With no drummer in the house for either act, it was great to hear how in some music stylings a stand up bass is all you need to carry the driving rhythm of a song.  The Devil Makes Three featured some electric guitar playing in some songs, which was very remnant to the set up Johnny Cash’s band had on many of his early recordings on the Sun label.  It was nice to be reminded that the marrying of a bluegrass, country, and rhythm and blues is where it all started in the lineage of modern rock history.  The Devil Makes Three owns their sound and in my opinion have made their own niche in the massive hosh posh we call the music industry these days.  Check them out and enjoy!

G-Easy at The Pageant – January 7th, 2015

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Attached are the first concert images I’ve shot in 2015, and it was quite an interesting evening with many firsts.  It totally proofed to be an awesome start to another year of shows!   Below are some things that made this show stand out.

  • I got all access, which never happens.  This meant that for the 3rd song of G-Easy’s set I got to shoot from the side of the stage.  I actually got to stand on the side of the stage from backstage and it was the first time that it had ever happened!  It was quite a thrill and I learned a lot, I really hope I get another opportunity to do this in the future.
  • G-Easy’s sold out crowd of young people, mostly consisting of girls 16-24, made me realize that I know absolutely shit about any other music outside of the realm of rock, indie rock, or classic rock.
  • Kehlani was not my cup of tea from a musical stand point, but her stage presence and intensity made for a very fun shoot.  I was proud add the images I captured of her to my portfolio.
  • There is defiantly an entirely new and different hip-hop genre of music that has gained a devout following amongst teens and people in their early twenties that I’m completely oblivious to.  There were six acts on the bill and the crowd was engaged with ever artist that took the stage that night.
  • My resolution this year is to step outside the rock realm and try to catch at least one show a month in a genre I don’t generally photograph, this show made for a perfect start to a new year filled with many shows to come!

Top 10 Concert Photos of 2014

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This gallery includes my picks for Top 10 Concert Photos of 2014.  Thank you for all the support and here’s to 2015!!!!

10) Paramore at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – July 16th, 2014: This show had two things going for it, high energy and great lighting which is a concert photogs Graceland!

9) Spoon at The Pageant – September 20th, 2014: I had the most fun playing with the the simple lighting setup at this show, which casted some awesome larger than life shadows of the band members in the background.  It completely offered an artistic aspect that I found unique compared to the many shows I’ve covered in the past.  Also it was a kick ass, sold out, indie rock show!

8) Ha Ha Tonka at Off Broadway – November 28th, 2014: This show was a personal accomplishment for me as I miss this band every time they are in town.  They were on fire, it was the drummers last show, it was in an intimate venue, and a live recording will be released in April…enough said!

7) LeAnn Rimes at The Pageant – August 2nd, 2014: This image turned out so well that it almost looks like it was taken in a studio, not to mention it was awesome to photograph someone I had a teenage crush on!

6) Pearl Jam at The FedEx Forum in Memphis – October 16th, 2014: I was seeing PJ on the road, getting to photograph them, drinking on Beale Street, and hanging with my good buddy Rick Sanborn… ooh and I guess the band was pretty awesome as well!

5) Cage The Elephant at Pops – December 20th, 2014: These guys almost make it in by default because an outline of Matthew Shultz is in fact the Indie Image STL watermark, they are always awesome live, and I had to post an obligatory rocking hair pic in my Top 10.

4) Die Antwoord at The Pageant – September 16th, 2014: Notably the weirdest show I’ve ever seen that literally scared the shit out of me, and by the first song the vocalist, Watkin Tudor Jones, was in the crowd.

3) The Used at The Pageant – October 6th, 2014: Bert McCracken is many things, one thing is for sure, he is one hell of a frontman.  This night they were shooting for a DVD and he was determined to get a reaction from the crowd.

2) El Monstero at The Pageant – December 19th, 2014: So if you have never seen El Monstero live you have to make plans to catch at least one of their gigs during their next string of dates.  Not only is it a complete homage to Pink Floyd, there is also so much more of a “performance” aspect going on as illustrated in this shot.

1) Between The Buried and Me at Pops – March 18th, 2014:  This was a metal show and it completely melted the crowds face, this shot was also responsible for reshaping my style of concert photography.  I had realized last year when going through my images that I took a lot of tight shots of band members but didn’t have much from a crowd perspective or many shots that showcased the entire stage.  I love how in this image everyone is fist pumping in unison with the vocalist and I’m lucky to have caught a shot that taught me such an important lesson about documenting the live concert experience!

BRING IT, 2015!

Cage The Elephant and Cold War Kids at Pops – December 20th, 2014

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Last Saturday I photographed my last show of 2014 and man I was stoked!  Cold War Kids are my favorite band at this point in time and Cage the Elephant will always have a place in my heart as my watermark is the silhouette of Matt Shultz, the bands vocalist.  Below are few things I experienced that evening.

  • Cold War Kids – They came to the stage swinging for the fences.  I had actually never seen them this intense and the set was very assertive, which included “All This Could Be Yours”, “First”, “Hospital Beds”, “Hang Me Out To Dry”, and “Miracle Mile”.  Basically all their radio singles and more rock influenced tunes.
  • The Crowd – Pop’s was packed, and very much sold out.  For Cold War Kids the crowd was participating with raised arms and sang along to their lyrics.  By the time Cage the Elephant took stage the crowd was then screaming their lyrics, note for note and were jumping back and forth in a rythmic motion in unison with every note Cage was jamming away on.  This band has really grown to have a following and deserve the success!
  • Lighting – Normally I don’t mention this and I just deal, but the lighting for Cold War Kids was so bad that it puzzled me.  At camera settings of ISO 6400, SPEED 1/80, and APERTURE f/2.8 there is not one usable image of vocalist Nathan Willet whom stayed at the front of the stage the entire performance.  This is where the lighting was the worst.  I could salvage some images of other band members (drummer Joe Plummer, bassist Matt Maust, and guitarist Dann Galluccith) as they kept more towards the back of the stage where the lighting was a little better.  This puzzled me because even from a crowd perspective it was hard to see the band through much of their set.
  • Matt Shultz – If you ever see Cage The Elephant live one thing is for sure, Matt will give you one hell of a performance every time.  The guy is a tremendous frontman with emotion, intensity, and a great appreciation for being able to have an audience to play for.  This type of sincerity in a live performance doesn’t happen with all bands and when you are lucky to witness a band that has this it makes you realize what writing music should always be about.

El Monstero Show #1 at The Pageant – December 19th, 2014

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This gallery is from the first show of El Monstero’s six show stint at The Pageant.  Below are some obvious reason why you should check this band’s amazing show out, which can only be described as the “definitive Pink Floyd tribute”.

  1. If you didn’t grow up during Pink Floyd’s career when they were touring and putting out records you will most likely never have the opportunity to see them live.  El Monstero is a note for note live representation of the band, and their set is packed with all the classics as well as some rarities for the hardcore fans.  I lost my shit when they played “Fearless” off Meddle!
  2. Crowd participation is a must with the band’s army of soldiers using spot lights to point out people in the audience.
  3. The lighting is amazing with projection screens and laser show type lighting that cuts across the venue, making for a very visually appealing show…ooh yeah and their is fire!
  4. Speaking of visually appealing, there is also pole dancers and female acrobatic performers that add another layer to this live musical experience.
  5. Multiple set changes also really transfer this show from a normal concert to a theatrical performance.

Chris Isaak Christmas Holiday Tour 2014 at The Pageant – December 11th, 2014

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I was defiantly not going to pass up the chance to photograph someone so well known as Chris Isaak, who has had success in music, movies, and television.  This show in particular was part of his Holiday Tour and Chris seemed to really get into the Christmas spirit, his outfit and stage set up completely set the vibe in the room.   It was a great night to sit in the audience with a warm coffee drink and enjoy the season.  Chris was so entertaining and interactive with the crowd, by the fourth song he was in the audience.  I really enjoyed this opportunity and it was fun to photograph something in December that wasn’t just a regular rock show.

Skinny Puppy at The Pageant – December 8th, 2014

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This was a show I went into not knowing a damn thing about the band.  Below are a list of things that I learned after this experience.

  1. The band formed in 1982 and their first release came out in 1984…I am one year older than the amount of years they have been in the business.
  2. They fit in the genre of “industrial” music and are known as the founders of “electro-industrial” music.
  3. The crowd consisted of those you’d consider gothic, a “juggalo”, or middle-aged.  One thing was clear though, everyone there was into them and new their shit about the band.
  4. The lighting was challenging from a photography standpoint, but absolutely fascinating from a crowd perspective.
  5. There is a lot of theatrics involved with the vocalist going through many wardrobe changes or almost “reformations”.  There is also a person in a hazmat suit following him around to inject him throughout the set.

If you are looking for some bumping electronic bass beats at a concert with more of an act involved, making it more like a real show, then you should defiantly check the iconic Skinny Puppy’s out.