As I scanned my Facebook newsfeed I saw many posts like this service and I thought maybe I should take the time to reflect as well and post what I felt where my top 10 concerts pics of 2013.
#10 – August Burns Red at Pop’s on November 5th, 2013 was a great night of photography. All the bands on this bill were on the heavier side and were active on stage making it fun to be in the pit, but the reason I picked this crowd shot in particular is because about midway through the year I started observing something about my concert shots. Most everything I was producing were very tight shots of single band members and I realized very rarely was capturing the view from the audience. This was the last shot I took that evening as I walked out of Pops and it ended up being my favorite from this show.
#9 – Coal Chamber at Pop’s on April 5th, 2013 is actually in the mix more for sentimental reasons than anything. 2013 marked a year of photographing bands from my youth, and the first club show I ever saw at the Hi-Pointe at the tender age of 14 was supposed to be with Powerman 5000 and Coal Chamber. For some reason Coal Chamber canceled and Sevendust took their spot, which was still made it an awesome show, but I never got the opportunity to see Coal Chamber again until this year on their reunion tour. This image is a bit soft with heavy red tones but I just love the expression on her face and the hair kind of froze in motion, not to mention I have a pension for rocker chicks.
#8 – The Chariot from Vans Warped Tour 2013 at Verizon on July 24th was an interesting day of sobering reflection where I realized I’m getting too old to attend this festival. Although I didn’t let it bother me that much because I knew I was going to get to enjoy a performance by The Chariot, which includes the original vocalist of the legendary “scream0” band Norma Jean. Little did I know at the time that after this year the band would be retiring, this made me feel privileged to photograph them one last time. This shot encompasses everything I love about this band. They are erratic, ferocious, and just absolutely crazy to experience live.
#7 – Cold War Kids at Plush on June 3rd, 2013 was one for the bucket list. It baffles me sometimes the bands that slip past the eye of the public, Cold War Kids have quite the body of work but have still remained to stay under the mainstream radar. Seeing them at Plush was perfect and they filled it to a comfortable capacity that kept the feel intimate but not over the top packed where you felt you had to get out a pitch fork to maintain your spot in the crowd. This band in my opinion has put out some of the best music that the indie community has seen in the last 10 years. Bottom line I love the shit out of this band!
#6 Imagine Dragons at The Pageant on March 6th, 2013 was such a happy surprise becasue I showed up and found out I had access to shoot the entire show. If you don’t know already, the standard for concert photography is the first three songs of every band and no flash. When you get handed a bands full set you literally feel like a kid at Christmas and this shot is the first one I captured where I realized that getting a crowds perspective in an image is sometimes the best way to paint a picture of how the bands performance really was. Imagine Dragons, no matter your feelings on their music, always makes sure to engage with the audience and makes it a memorable time for everyone.
#5 Grouplove at The Pageant on December 10th, 2013 presented itself as another fine example of why this band is just amazing to see live. This was the third time I’ve photographed the band and despite their pop influenced sound, when you see them live you are watching a rock band in full effect. This shot of the drummer is a rarity of sorts because with a percussionist always in the foreground, capturing a good exposure is very challenging to accomplish at times. I was lucky enough to have some cool lighting to work with which helped this shot turn out so well.
#4 Cage The Elephant at Verizon on September 14th, 2013 was a lot of fun as always. Cage the Elephant is one of those bands that has a frontman that just doesn’t stop while he is on stage, not to mention I have a fondness for this vocalist because he represents the watermark I use to brand Indie Image STL with. This shot seemed to capturing him in a split second as he was putting on a show for a sold out crowd at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
#3 In This Moment at Verizon on September 7th, 2013 was just photographic eye candy to put it simple. As I already mentioned my pension for rocker chicks, vocalist Maria Brink is one of the best female frontmen to photograph in the business. Between the theatrical presentation of makeup, costume changes, and random stage props there is no lack of content to cover when you’re photographing an In This Moment set. I’d like to think Maria is looking at me through my camera as she notices this fantastically bald head in the photo pit but…we all have to have dreams don’t we?
#2 Dave Matthews at Verizon on July 24th, 2013 was a show that I had no idea I was going to shoot until about 5 hours before the doors opened. This was the one time I’ve ever had the first three songs last 45 minutes, but it was a blessing. I had time to evaluate my entire set up and take time to get the shots I wanted to capture. I love the intensity I captured on Dave’s face in this shot.
#1 Pearl Jam at Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City on November 16th, 2013 was a night that helped me cross off the top band listed on my bucket list. Pearl Jam is a band I have loved since I was 13 and in my adult years I have traveled to see them live a total of 22 times. This show was special to me for so many reasons and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity. Eddie Vedder is many things and one of his traits that tops the list is his level of sincerity. He is one of the only vocalist that has the same level of emotional connection with this music as he did 20+ years ago when he appeared on Pearl Jam’s first record. This had to come in as my #1 pic of 2013.