Over the last couple years, one of my main goals was to go to 50 concerts in a year. It sounded like a good round number, almost a concert a week on average, but last year I fell short a bit, only getting to 42. This year I am happy to say I achieved my goal and made it out to 53 shows. This is my second full year of doing this concert photography thing, and I’m just now kind of starting to feel like I’ve got the hang of it and, especially lately, feel like I’ve been able to develop my own style.
These are my top ten (or twelve because I couldn’t narrow it down any further!) photos of this past year!
1. In This Moment at Palace Theater on February 18th. My absolute favorite photo of the year and probably I’ve ever gotten. It kinda sucked when I shot In This Moment again a couple weeks ago because I knew the odd of getting something better than this were very low. I just love how demonic, and hellish Maria looks here.
2. Rise Against at The Armory on September 6th. Crowd shots have always been a favorite of mine, as something to look and admire at, as well as try to take photos of. There’s that scene in World War Z with all the zombies climbing over each other to try and get Brad Pitt in the helicopter. I can’t help but think of that whenever I see this photo. I love the energy in it with all the fans looking like their climbing over each other to get to Tim. And that one front dude wearing a a Rise Against shirt to give the photo some more recognition? So good.
3. Ice Nine Kills at Warped Tour on July 22nd. This photos was as close to sheer luck as you can get. I wasn’t planning on seeing Ice Nine Kills at all leading up to this date, but while waiting for Senses Fail to get on stage I had some time to kill and these guys were playing one stage over. I decided to power walk over and this photos happened like 20 seconds later. Add in just how good their music was that they were playing and it was just an all around mind blowing experience for me. These guys are going to get huge.
4. Cold Kingdom at The Fine Line on July 20th. This photo is a favorite more for what it represents than the actual look of it itself. This was the going away party, last show performing for the band’s singer Dani Engum. It was awesome being able to see them play every single one of their songs performed live, and awesome to be able to photograph and capture every moment of the night.
5. Echosmith at First Ave on April 13th. This ended up being one of my favorite shoots of the entire year and I walked in not knowing anything about what kind of night I was going to be in for. I was initially disappointed that their wasn’t any photos pit and that I’d have to shoot from the crowd, but I absolutely didn’t need the pit at all, and this show still stands as my favorite as far as lighting goes. Kelsey Gonzales works magic with her lights, and I think this was the first show I ever shot with my fish eye lens.
6. Trivium at Myth on October 22nd. Trivium has been my favorite band for a really long time now and I think this was my seventh time seeing them live, so I’m fully aware of how much energy they put out for their live shows. They’ve really been kicking it up lately after releasing The Sin and the Sentence, and this show was probably the best I’ve seen them.
7. Underoath at Skyway Theater on November 28th. This was probably the weirdest and most surprising show of the year for me. Weird because I never had such a discrepancy of lighting between the opening bands and a headliner until this one. The lighting was kinda crappy for The Plot In You, Crown the Empire and Dance Gavin Dance, but then it was fantastic for Underoath. And it was surprising because I wasn’t expecting to witness such a good performance from Underoath. They killed it and made me a way bigger fan than I was walking in to the venue.
8. 5 Second of Summer at The Armory on September 9th. This was one of those shows that were just fun. It wasn’t anything mind blowing for me, but they do a really good job at making everyone have a good and enjoyable time. The first time seeing and shooting them at Varsity was fun, and I was excited to see how well it’d translate to a bigger venue like The Armory. They fit in perfectly, I can still here the screams of the thousands of teenage girls, and this show had one of my favorite stage productions of a tour.
9. Stone Sour at Palace Theater on August 26th. I’m still upset at the fact that this venue made us check in our gear after the three songs of Stone Sour’s and made us have to pay to do so if we wanted to stay for the rest of the show. I went up to the balcony to watch the rest of their set and when I saw that this was about to happen I decided to say screw it, walked up the the end of the balcony, crouched down and snapped some photos on my phone and got this shot.
10. Architects at First Ave on February 24th. This was the second time shooting Architects and it was on a blizzard-y, wintery night that my parents couldn’t believe I was going to still try driving to. Snow isn’t gonna keep me from Architects! The first time I show them was at Cabooze and it went well enough, but this time at First Ave went way better because I was more familiar with their music and because well, it was at First Ave. Their new album Holy Hell is one of my favorites, so I’m excited to see them live again in support of it.
11. All Time Low at Myth on August 3rd. The composition of this photo is what I love most. I wish that Jack’s bass wasn’t cut off a bit, but oh well. This was the second time shooting them and I remember getting quite nervous beforehand because I found out that Matty Vogel and Ashley Osborne were both shooting, and their a couple of the most famous concert photographers going currently.
12. Of Mice and Men at Music Hall Minneapolis on February 8th. The symmetry is my favorite part of this photo. For Of Mice and Men’s set there was a bunch of dust flying around from something which made a lot of my photos I took from this night have a sparkly look to them, which I really like. This show was the first one I shot in a least a month and came at a time that helped me start feeling like myself when things were rough. Because of that, this show will always hold a special place.