Gaelic Storm was something I went into knowing it was going to be special and unique. From the time I entered the venue that evening I knew that my initial thought was true. I saw about a 1/2 dozen patrons in kilts, many women wearing green with locks of natural red hair, and most people had a Guinness and shot of Jameson in hand. The St. Louis Caledonian Pipe Band also opened the show which was so inviting, if you have never heard a troop of bagpipe players you need to do so before you leave this earth. Then Gaelic Storm took stage to bring their mix of Scottish folk influenced music which consisted of songs about the cold air of their mother land, drinking, and bar fights. It was kind of surreal and a welcome change of pace to the average group of skinny white boys playing over-processed indie rock tunes that I generally photograph. I thought I had never been exposed to Gaelic Storm before this show, but I was quite wrong. Come to find out they are the band playing in the iconic scene in the movie The Titanic when Kate and Leonardo are dancing about in a drunken haze in the “lower class” quarters of the ship. If you love that scene of the movie then you should check this band out, they totally encompass the free and fun feeling that this scene in the movie articulates. I will be doing my homework to check out this bands long catalog of releases and I suggest you do the same.
This show was one that I was eagerly looking forward to because of the tenure of this bands career. Guster is a band from Boston that originally formed in 1991 but didn’t release a studio album until 1995. I remember having friends in high school that were crazy about this band, the same friends that were into the likes of Wilco, Son Volt, Dave Matthews, and other indie/jam oriented rock bands that were emerging throughout the scene in the early to mid-90’s. Never really being fully familiar with this bands music or their catalog of releases, I was very interested to shoot this show being that I am a fan of bands that are similar to their music stylings. What I discovered was that this band deserves so much more attention and acclaim than what they have accomplished over their 20+ year long career. Not only was everyone in the band a multi-instrumentalist, their sound was amazing. With intricately composed guitar run’s that were paired with almost smooth jazz influenced bass lines, their music almost made you float if you closed your eyes and just listened. Guster has a very dream like quality that was comforting to experience and which I found unique and presently lacking in today’s indie rock scene. I had a blast and will be hitting the library soon to see if I can check out all of what Guster has to offer from their past releases. Enjoy the pics as always and take a moment to check this band out, I suggest picking a day you can put one of their albums on and just space out while listening to them through a high quality pair of studio grade mixing headphones. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
So this show was one for the bucket list! No matter your feelings on Marilyn Manson you can not deny that he has earned his place in rock music history alongside the likes of Alice Cooper, Kiss, David Bowie, and Rob Zombie. Even if you are not a fan of his music you have to appreciate his unique quality for bringing a “show” aspect back to a rock concert. This was the third time I had scene him live and I have to say it was the most straight forward rock performance I had ever seen him deliver. He of course took time in between songs to hackle the crowd a bit, in the true spirit of Manson, to evoke some kind of emotion out of the audience. It was a packed sold out crowd and at $55 a pop people were ready to see the master of goth rock deliver a stellar performance of hits. I heard many people talking about how the evening brought them back to high school and I couldn’t have agreed more. In a time of rebellion and fucked up happenings like the Columbine tragedy in the late 90’s, Manson at some point has sneaked his way onto everyone’s “high school mix disc” whom graduated between 1997-2002. I am proud to add Mr. Manson to my portfolio, and I hope I captured the evening well enough for those whom attended the show to fondly relive their memories of last night.
Trampled By Turtles really opened my eyes to a subculture that I never knew existed. Apparently if you are a single dude you need to follow this band and the bluegrass genre. I saw more groups of women at this show than groups of dudes, it was pretty awesome and not because a lot of them were attractive. It was great to see so many women gravitate to a genre of music that is far from the Pop bullshit that Y98, Z107, and 96.3 NOW play. No soccers Mom’s were in this crowd, just people whom like to enjoy eloquently and meaningfully constructed songs with beautiful vocal harmonies that are set to acoustically arranged pieces of music. I was very impressed by Trampled By Turtles and didn’t realize I had heard one of of their great songs before. If you are familiar with the movie The Way, Way Back you will recognize their track titled “Alone”, which so perfectly closes out the last scene of the movie where Toni Collette realizes that her and her son’s relationship is the most special bond that she has with any human in her life. The song captures that emotion so fantastically and when I get paid this week I’m buying Trampled By Turtles Stars and Satellites which is the album that track is on, I suggest you all do the same if you don’t already own it.
I had come into February knowing that I would be photographing quite the mix of artists, Tesla by far turned out to be one of the most random experiences I have had to date. I had heard Tesla played many times over my lifetime, as it was one of my Uncle John’s favorite bands and unfortunately at around 3pm the afternoon of this show he passed away due to kidney failure. Uncle John, like many Tesla fans, were hardcore fans of hard/heavy rock and hair bands of the ’80’s as well as KSHE95 junkies. This evening was packed with many reminders of my Uncle, consisting of people in their late 40’s to early 50’s whom smelt of cigarettes and leather. You would think that would be an unpleasant combination, unless it reminded you of a fond memory of someone from your past. That is really the only way I can describe the Tesla show for me. I heard from my cousin around 10:30pm that evening and he let me know my Uncle had a ticket for this very show! I think I walked away with some great images and somehow that maybe his spirit shined through them that evening. Here’s to you Uncle John, I can hear your roaring laughter now as I post this. RIP and rock on in the afterlife, Mr. John Wells.
So it is now three days since this show happened and I’m still not over it!!! I can not express enough the awesomeness of this concert and I really have to give kudos to the Cold War Kids. In a time in music with an unbelievable amount of indie rock hipster shit to sift through before you find a good straight up rock band, Cold War Kids stand out amongst their peers in my opinion. The Ready Room was a prefect place to experience this band as well, with it packed wall to wall and lighting that was mixed with heavy shades of blue to green it really paired fantastically with the amazing set the band delivered that night. I’ve followed this band over their career and it was awesome to see them pull out some single release tracks and songs off EP’s like “Santa Ana”, “Minimum Day” and the cathedral version of “Bottled Affection”, which were sprinkled in with the tunes from their current triumphant release Hold My Home. It was a good old fashion rock show with five dudes on stage, playing real instruments with no MAC Book present or digital drum driggers, and somehow preforming for a crowd with more passion than what they convey fantastically on their recorded releases. This is something I find very hard to experience anymore in the indie rock scene and I will see this band live as much as I can to support their efforts. Below is the set list and enjoy the pics…ooh and by the way I highly suggest you buy this bands entire catalog, listen to it everyday, and try like hell to catch them live!
All This Could Be Yours
Louder Than Ever
Hang Me Out To Dry
Every Man I Fall For
Hold My Home
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!