Chevelle at The Pageant – April 5th, 2014

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From the latency of my recent posts you can maybe tell that last weekend was absolutely crazy with photo gigs.  Two concerts and two days of Comic Con coverage turned out to be quite the work load to take on, but I loved every minute of it…until it was time to edit.  This post is the last of two shows from last weekend and it was the first time I have ever covered a headlining Chevelle show.  I was also the only photographer in the pit which has never happened to me at the Pageant, it was weird but nice.  As far as the bands set went, the new album La Gargola seems to present the band with more assertiveness than I’ve seen them perform with in the past.  I found it fantastic that the second song they played that night was The Clincher, which is one of their most well known cuts and you could tell it was also a huge crowd pleaser.  As the band continued there set it was great to see them moving a bit more than usual, and their sound was awesome as always with thundering guitar riffs that crunched through the concert club in heavy music harmony.  Get the new album, La Gargola, because soon you will need something to jam loud with your windows down and I think this record will do the trick!

Todd Rundgren at The Pageant – April 4th, 2014

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This past Friday I covered the first of many KSHE HD2 sponsored shows at the Pageant, which just happened to be Mr. Todd Rundgren.  I have to admit that before I went to the show I had no idea who he was or what he was known for, so in preparation of this post I did a little research…aka hit up Wikipedia.  What I found out made me ashamed of myself because Mr. Rundgren has had a very successful career with hits that everyone has heard from one time or another.  Below are 5 Facts I discovered about this artists life and career.

  1. Todd’s debut album Something/Anything was released in 1972, earned him a gold record, and produced such great hits as Hello It’s Me and I Saw The Light.
  2. Not only is he a successful musician, he is also a successful producer.  A couple albums listed on his resume that caught my eye were Bat Out of Hell by Meatloaf and We’re An American Band by Grand Funk Railroad.
  3. This artist is also a multi-instrumentalist that can play the Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboards, Sax, and of course sing.
  4. He is responsible for the 1983 hit Bang The Drum All Day, who hasn’t jammed that song on a Friday on their way home from work?
  5. Todd’s now ex-wife had a child with Steven Tyler during a break in their relationship.  This of course makes her the mother of Liv Tyler, and apparently his ex-wife didn’t want Liv around the crazy rock star life style that Steven Tyler was known for, and Todd signed Liv’s birth certificate because he knew Liv needed a father.  That is just crazy!  Liv and Todd are still close today and keep in touch.

Seriously this blew my mind and I completely have a greater respect for Todd Rungren.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to have photographed him, also if you dig classic rock buy a HD Radio receiver and start jamming KSHE HD2.  It’s programmed by Radio Rich Dalton so you know it’s awesome, Like KSHE HD2 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kshe2hd

St. Louis Comic Con, April 4th – 6th, 2014

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Over the weekend I had the pleasure of experiencing the second Comic Con to visit St. Louis.  As I walked into the America Center I was not prepared for the size event this years Comic Con had grown into.  It had to be at least three times bigger than last year and seemed to offer a higher level of celebrity guest appearances as well.  Below are my Top 5 Moments of St. Louis Comic Con 2014.

  1. William Shatners Q & A - He proved he was still the “Captain” by being the only person I saw that day that had the table removed from the stage so they could move from each side of the theatre to engage with the crowd.  It was awesome!
  2. The Cos Players - The amazing thing I noticed this year was that there was an even turn out of observers coming to see what it was all about and die hards who you could tell had been waiting for the Con since the date was announced.  In this mix it really cultivated a celebrity status for all the attendees that dressed in costume, so much so that you often had to wait your turn to snap a photo of them.
  3. The Art - The vendors with countless booths of hand drawn pieces blow my mind every year.  The life like quality that some of the images had was enough to get lost in as you walked the show room floor.
  4. TV Series References - It was so much fun to see Cos Players bringing characters to life from such loved series as Firefly, Archer, Game of Thrones, and Sherlock.  Some people think Comic Con is all about Comics, but if your are a SCI-FI or Fantasy fan on any level you are guaranteed to find something to keep you interested at the Con.
  5. Firefly Q & A with Adam Baldwin, Nathan Fillion, and Alan Tudyk - If you don’t know about the show Firefly do yourself a favor and watch it immediately.  It could be the TV show that has caused the biggest uproar from being canceled of any TV show history.  For instance, fans sat in the theatre for three hours of other celebrity Q & A’s to ensure they had a spot for the Firefly session.

Do yourself a favor and go to a Comic Con once if your life, you will leave a happier person.

Lou Ferrigno – What an awesome dude!

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Working in the radio/media industry somedays you are blessed by surprise guests dropping by the station and today Mr. Lou Ferrigno made a stop by the Rizzuto Show to talk about this weekends Wizard World Comic Con event happening at the America Center.  Myself and many other people probably share the same fondness for Lou because of the role he played as the Incredible Hulk in the TV series that ran from 1978-1982.  Not only is he known for his role as the Hulk and a world-renowned body builder, he has also had cameo’s playing himself in serval movies such as I Love You Man and TV series like The King of Queens.  Regardless of your affirmation for the comic world or body building, it is always a treat to meet a celebrity of Lou’s stature.  Today fulfilled a childhood dream for me and I am so excited to experience the awesomeness that Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con has to offer!  The convention starts tomorrow and goes through Sunday, the lineup if amazing and it is sure to be worth the money to experience it.  If you want additional information, you can find everything you need to know at this website: http://www.wizardworld.com/home-stlouis.html.

Check back this weekend for more coverage and pics from the main event!

Lorde – A Performer Way Past Her Age

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Last night Lorde stole the hearts of a sold out crowd at Peabody Opera House.  As the stage was being set up you didn’t know what to expect with a mic stand at center stage, a rack mount of synths to the stage right, and a minimal drum kit with electronics to stage left.  It was quite the stripped down set, but once Lorde took stage it was evident that the set required not much more than her.  With a full head of hair that feathered out as she sporadically twitched and doubled over throughout her songs, her intensity and powerful voice was enough to keep a theatre packed full of people on their feet throughout her entire set.  I have to admit that I’ve felt that given the young age of this artist and the extreme amount of commercial success that her single “Royals” has had, that Lorde was a perfect example of a fad that would pass like yesterday’s Facebook feed.  I could not have be more wrong, Lorde’s performance was remnant of the heart that the last great wave of rock artist had in the ’90′s.  Not to mention that she doesn’t perform like, carry herself like, or present herself like a normal 17 year old high school girl.  For a show that pretty much consisted of a young girl on stage with a microphone and her voice, she had more soul than most 5 piece rock acts have that I photograph.  Kudos to her and I wish her a long and successful career!

Between the Buried and Me – March 18th, 2014

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What a busy week it has been!  On Tuesday night I had the pleasure of photographing one hell of a metal show at Pop’s.  The turn out was not bad at all, filling the floor from the stage to the back of the bar.  I had heard for years about the band Between the Buried and Me but wasn’t familiar with their catalog, so before heading to the show I purchased their 2005 release Alaska on iTunes.  I discovered, with only listening to about a minute of the album, that I was in for a “metal as fuck” type show and it most certainly was.  Not only was this a chance to experience a new metal band for me, to my surprise I was the only photographer in the pit that night.  It was roomy and it nice to spread out, and let me tell you this band is a loud live act.  So loud in fact that it felt like the vocalist was screaming inside my head, it was freaking awesome!  I walked away with some good pics and a new band to jam, that equals a success in my book.

Hanging With Indio Radio

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Over the last week or so I have had the pleasure of documenting and photographing the inner workings of the John and Kane show on Indio Radio.  You would think when you find out this radio station is Internet based that it would be programmed like some random dudes iTunes library on shuffle.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth when you describe Indio Radio, which is lead by two veterans in the business and functions like a traditional radio show.  It is recorded live and the John and Kane show is the perfect mix of talk radio, interviews with live guests, and music.  The show airs weekdays at 10am with a replay at 5pm, you can stream it with ease online at http://indiostl.com/, you can also stream on your mobile device through the free Tune In app by searching for Indio Radio, you can Like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/IndioRadio, and you can follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/INDIO_RADIO.  I highly suggest streaming them and connecting with them on social media.  The John and Kane show has a national reach but continues to focus on local artists, businesses, and entertainers to stay true to their St. Louis roots.  In my short time of documenting their shows I was able to photograph Steve Ewing of the Urge, Jason Holler of Kentucky Knife Right, local musician Kevin Renick, local event marketing entrepreneur Eric Hamblett, and Missouri native Elaine Lankford (who is a spiritual healer that has a gift for reading the invisible aura that surround people).  Tune In and enjoy the John and Kane show for yourself, they will not disappoint!

The Neighbourhood at Pageant – Friday, March 14th, 2014

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This Friday was a quick in and out for me at the Pageant to shoot The Neighbourhood.  I had a prior engagement before the show and missed photographing the first two bands.  I did have the pleasure of seeing the second band of the night, which played before The Neighbourhood, called Kitte.  As I watched the last 20 minutes of Kittie’s set I started to feel a little bad for The Neighbourhood, who was going to have a very tough act to follow.  Not only did Kittie have a front woman that completely owned the stage, the entire band rocked out and it made me feel like I was watching a rock band with some heart.  This is something that, in my opinion, is becoming lost in this genre of music and I really hope I get another chance to photograph Kittie.  As far The Neighbourhood, this was my second time photographing them and I still walked away not getting it.

As The Neighbourhood took stage the lighting was low, which never helps set a good tone for a shoot.  The bands appearance, their sound, their mandate to force photographers to only shoot them in Black & White, and pretty much everything else about them I just don’t get.  Loved the opportunity to photograph at the lovely Pageant, and I don’t mean to disrespect The Neighbourhood or their fans, but I could not find it in myself to dig this band.

The Avett Brothers Night 1 at Peabody Opera House

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I arrived to a sold out show at the Peabody Opera House last night for the first of three Avett Brothers headlining shows.  I have to admit that what I experienced in the 5 songs I was able to enjoy unexpectedly surprised me, as I was completely mistaken about this band.  I had always known the Avett Brothers for their softer folky style of writing, to my surprise by the second song both frontmen were moving around the stage as their Chello player swung his instrument about.  Scott Avett strummed aggressively on his banjo, so hard that the strings were in a constant blurred state of movement and his brother Seth offered a great performance with intensity showing on his face as he bellowed lyrics out that echoed throughout the theatre.  This is the second time in a week that I’ve went to a show not expecting anything and walked away with another band to add to my list of acts to become more familiar with.  It was a great night and the Peabody Opera House was perfect for the vibe that the band set for the evening, I can only imagine what they have in store for the next two nights.

The Airborne Toxic Event

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Last night was Birth Month Show #3 for 1057 the Point, which featured The Airborne Toxic Event.  The crowd was just the right size for an intimate setting like a small club, which offered a nice vibe for the evening and made everyone in the room feel like they were close to the band.  I’ll have to say that my knowledge of this bands catalog stops after their debut release, which features their hit single “Wishing Well”.  I’m not sure anyone can hate that song, every time I hear it in the car it just makes you want to role my windows down and drive until there is no more road to travel on.  In fact I thought it was very boss of this band to open with “Wishing Well” which I found very triumphant.  I didn’t stay for much than the 6th song of their set so I can’t say much more than that the die hards in the crowd seemed to be enjoying every minute of the show, which is always a comforting site to witness.