Halestorm and The Pretty Reckless at The Pageant – May 20th, 2015

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This past Wednesday was a rock show of an extreme magnitude, with two female front women who command the stage like no other.  This would be no other than Lzzy Hale of Halestorm and Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless.  Both women have their distinct claim to fame as vocalists.  With Taylor you get a more dark and broodingly provocative performance that at times seems to have an essence that leads a little bit more to the realm of performing for the sake of shock value.  This I find interesting because both times I’ve photographed this band I have been restricted to the first two songs with lighting that didn’t give many opportunities to capture much of anything.  Thus is why you only see 6 images of her and her band towards the end of my slide show.  This is a complete contrast to experiencing Lzzy and her band.

Halestorm was an absolute pleasure to cover and watch from a spectator stand point.  The lighting was like Christmas and Lzzy just puts on one hell of a show from the first note she bellows out or shreds on the guitar.  She has really captured the essence of a true rock and roll vocalist, in my opinion making her one of the best front women to hit the scene in a long time.  There is no wonder why Halestorm has done so well, winning a grammy a few years ago and selling out both shows I’ve see them play in St. Louis.  Selling out venues seems to be a regular occurrence for them and if you catch them live you will realize why that is the case.  Kudos Lzzy and Taylor, please keep doing your thing and rocking the fuck out!

They Might Be Giants at The Pageant – May 16th, 2015

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They Might Be Giants was one of those shows that I walked into expecting something completely different than what I experienced.  Being a band that started in 1982 and released their first record in 1986, I was expecting a chill crowd of 40 something year olds whom were mostly concerned with having an actual seat to sit in.  This was in fact very far from the reality of the experience I had.  For one there was no photo pit so I had to wiggle through the crowd much like a club show, which was not the worst thing in the world but it was unexpected.  Also as I weeded through the crowd it was filled with very intensely passionate fans ranging from the typical “nerd” rock fan category, to younger punk type hipsters, to adults in their 40’s whom were just stoked to finally catch this act live.  There was also no opening act and it was billed as an “evening with” where the band was determined to play a collection of songs that covered their entire career, and in fact they let the audience know that they were in for a long night from the get go.  There was even a traditional intermission like you are accustom to getting if you have ever attended the Fox for a theater production.  It was really an awesome night celebrating a bands catalog that spanned over almost 30 years of recordings.  If you get a chance to catch this band please do so, you will love it and be entertained through their entire set!

Wildlife in St. Louis City

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A couple months ago my wife had come home and called as she pulled up to the house to let me know that there was an awesome red-tailed hawk perched on top of a street light just outside our house.  I rushed outside with my camera to capture this beautiful creature and I was able to get right under the street sign, in which he seemed unconcerned with my presence.  This is a great example of what the urban sprawling and expansion has done to the wildlife in our area.  It appeared he was stalking something in the field across from our house and I was lucky enough to observe this amazing bird of prey, whom has appeared to make his home in the city.  I see more and more hawks perched on highway exist signs throughout the city which is great to see, but makes me worry that we are slowly eating away the natural habitats these animals are use to calling home.  It would appear there is enough squirrels and small birds, such as doves, to help sustain them.  I welcome them and I hope they adapt well enough so that we continue to see a strong population of these awe inspiring creatures in our area.

Death Cab for Cutie Packed the Pageant – May 13, 2015

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There are very few times I get to photograph a band that I am fanatical about, Wednesday night was one of those instances.  Death Can for Cutie are one of those acts that have became, in my opinion, one of the early pioneers to the present day indie rock scene.  Being a band for 17 years with so many releases I would imagine that anyone could find at least one song by this group that they just can’t live without.  For me I have a handful of entire albums that I would be devastated to loose from my collection.  This show was so amazing for me because the band really dug deep into their catalog to play songs that spanned their entire career.  I actually found it difficult to photograph because I was too busy singing along and enjoying their set from the photo pit.  It was great to find a place after the first three songs and just take the performance in.  I also had no idea that this show closed out this leg of the tour which is always exciting.  One of my favorite moments of the evening was when the band whipped out a song from their first record, which Ben mentioned was only released on tape, called “President of What?”.  I was screaming like a 15 year old girl, it was awesome!!!  I was also pleased to hear them play a lot of material off Transatlanticism, which is the record and the tour I saw them on that originally made me fall in love with this band.  It was such a great night and I thank everyone from the band to the venue for giving me the opportunity to cover this show.  This was yet another one to check off my bucket list, I give that a hardy heartfelt “Fuck Yeah”!

Interpol at The Pageant – May 11th, 2015

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Monday was yet another great rock show to add to the books, Interpol played an amazing set to a crowd of very devout fans.  It always amazes me when I get a chance to mingle with random people in the audience.  I found out really quick that if you are an Interpol fan that you are definitely a die hard, and that you must know all their songs.  Being kind of late in jumping on the band wagon, with only having their last two albums in my iTunes library, I was told by many fans that I needed to dig deeper.  Interpol’s first record came out in 2002, in which I didn’t pick an album up by them until their fourth release in 2010.  Their set list seemed to touch a wide gamut of their catalog and I will be defiantly taking some of the audience members advice to dip deeper into this bands fantastic collection of work.

Matt and Kim Rock a Sold Out Crowd – May 8th, 2015

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Last Friday I had the awesome opportunity to photograph Matt and Kim as they put on one hell of a show for a sold out crowd at The Pageant.  Walking into this show I was expecting an energy fueled performance with many great images to capture but wasn’t really fully prepared for what I experienced.  This was a rock show that included many crucial things that in my opinion take a concert from being just a show and bringing it to a true “performance” level.  There was constant interaction with the crowd, Kim stopped many times to jump on her drum kit and engage with the audience.  There was also great lighting, a ton of balloons that were dropped, and of course the occasional release of confetti that was shot over the top of the audience.  I walked in not being a very huge fan of Matt and Kim’s music, but walked away with a new respect for them as I had just been part of a true live experience!  You will not be disappointed or bored at one of their shows regardless if you celebrate their catalog or not.  Take the opportunity to see them live, they truly know how to preform for a crowd!

Wilco’s 20th Anniversary Tour at The Pageant – May 4th, 2015

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Last night was a great show, Mr. Jeff Tweedy and his crew treated the sold out crowd at The Pageant to a 2 1/2 hour set to celebrate their 20th Anniversary!  By the 3rd song in the set you knew the crowd was in for a special night.  If you don’t already know Jeff Tweedy got his start in music with Jay Farrar in the band Uncle Tupelo, which formed in Belleville, Illinois.  The band quickly gained a strong following in the early 90’s as they regularly played gigs at clubs on Delmar and around the St. Louis area, like the infamous Mississippi Nights.  Around 1994 Uncle Tupelo broke up and Jeff went on to form Wilco, while Jay went on to form Son Volt.  Both bands have been a cornerstone in the mid-to late 90’s growing indie rock scene and continue to make records today.  Last night was a celebration of the music that Wilco has produced over the years and the fans were treated to an excellent set list.  If you were there you know what I’m talking about.  I was happy to have the opportunity to photograph it and be a part of what I consider to be an homage to a time in music that we have yet to see since.  The 90’s can really only be described as lightning in a bottle, I am happy I was  about 12 or 13 when many of these acts broke into the scene.  I also think Mr. Tweedy should be proud that it would be hard to tell that story without the mention of Uncle Tupelo or Wilco.  Kudos to a band who actually deserves more respect than what they get at times.