photographer

Busy Weeks

It has been an incredibly busy couple of weeks with loads of shows to shoot.  Each one was different and great in it's own way so let's recap a few.

Hed PE was the first up and I just have to say wow. Not only was I amazingly lucky to be given full access to shoot, which allowed for some very unique shots, but they are always a blast live. A strange mix of rock and gangsta rap and reggae all rolled into one bundle.  It was a great night and there were some amazing bands that opened for them.

From there I went to two tribute bands, tribute bands you say? Yes, Mechanical Manson and Zombiewood. I had seen a few different tribute bands lately and I wasn't impressed they weren't trying to become the band in any way. It was completely different for these two. Zombiewood looked the part and sounded great they even had the robot etc. Mechanical Manson transported me right back to Marilyn Manson in the Antichrist superstar days. I wished I was able to shoot more than the three songs for both these bands. All I can say is WOW. These guys really have it down.

Last night was The Raskins opening for Ted Nugent, sure I got to photograph Ted too, but The Raskins really impressed me.  We did an interview prior to the show and the brothers were so nice and the interview went well.  I look forward to reading it when it comes out. Their live performance was energy filled and their New York sound was on full display. A mix of originals and classic punk covers and I was hooked.

There have been a few other concerts that I have worked in between and I also managed to jam in some travel and nature photography as well.  Stay tuned for a post about that but right now, enjoy some of the photos from these shows.  Remember more photos are on my social media pages and my Snapchat is the behind the scenes.

Be Fearless

Hellyeah and Carmine Appice Signings

Local record stores are amazing in more ways than one. Not only are you supporting a local business, but you're supporting the local music scene. While our Zia records is a bit of a small business chain they are everything a local record store needs to be. They support the music scene in a variety of ways including in-store appearances and signings. Last weekend they had two; Carmine Appice was signing his new book Stick It and two days later Hellyeah did a signing before their show.

I was lucky to be able to go to both.

Carmine is a legendary drummer with a long and storied history having played with over 20 groups and influencing many of the newer breed of drummers including Dave Lombardo, Richard Christy and Tommy Lee to name only a few. He was in town for a King Kobra the following night. He was a very genuine person that was a pleasure to talk to.  While I cannot claim to be a huge lover of his bands, I know his work within the music industry and I respect him. This signing only increased that respect.  That was Friday night.

Sunday brought Hellyeah into the store. The turn out was huge.  Sure Vinnie Paul and Chris Brady live in town, but this was a larger than expected turn out for me. Prior to the signing beginning fans were told the band would only be signing their new album.  This didn't end up being the case. They signed posters, guitars, drums and all sorts of items which pleased the crowd.

Hellyeah is described as a supergroup with members including the above mentioned Paul (Pantera and others) Chad Gray (Mudvayne) Tom Maxwell (Nothingface) and Chris Brady and Kyle Sanders. But still they took time to interact with the fans and even made one small girls day. She was so excited about the whole experience. This so often is not the case with these groups. I have been to too many of these events where these big bands just rush through and sign. This was not the case with either event and the fans weren't disappointed.

So where's the photo of me with these people? I don't have one. I don't take them. This is strange to many people but that is not what it is about for me. For me being able to shoot and talk to these people is what I want. I have those memories I don't need an autograph.

So get out there and support your local scene on all levels, not just your favorite venue, support all the music venues, but also do not forget your local music stores because they bring you these events that you wouldn't get otherwise.

Be Fearless

Prong Play Las Vegas

Sometimes you just need to listen to some loud angry music. After navigating parking and Fremont street Saturday night that was me and Prong was just what I needed. Prong came to the Las Vegas Country Saloon and true to form at this venue there were a variety of local bands opening. On this night it was local bands Meade Ave, Thrill Killers, Protest and Nebula X joining the bill.  I only caught the last two but I am sure I will see the others in the near future. While I love this format giving local bands a chance to open for national acts four acts makes for a long night.

Prong is a three-piece metal/thrash metal band that originated in New York City in 1986 currently they are in their third rebirth. Everyone is familiar with their song Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck so I wasn’t sure if the crowd was going to be a bunch of people just waiting for that song. It wasn’t.

Tommy Victor, Jason Christopher and Art Cruz hit the stage with a burst of energy shortly after 11:30 and did not slow down throughout the night. They have just released their 12th album X (No Absolutes) and featured a few songs from this album including Ultimate Authority and Sense of Ease. These tracks and this album exhibit traditional Prong thrash riffs and melodic grooves. With twelve albums to draw from the set was eclectic and high powered with songs like Revenge….Best Served Cold, Beg to Differ, The Power of the Damager, Rude Awakening and of course Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck.

The heavy riffs pounded through the venue and it was a straight forward high energy set without a lot of time spent on conversation. I hadn’t seen Prong in quite a while and they did not disappoint, they were consistent as ever and delivered a set that left the crowd wanting more but at the same time feeling like all their favorites were represented. The crowd knew all the songs including the new material. 

Prong rocked this venue and the people who were there to see it got to see a pounding set of loud aggressive music that delivered classic Prong along with the new tracks. If you have a chance to see this tour do not pass it up, just bring earplugs.

Three Shows, Three Days - Been There Done That

Well this seems a bit redundant. Yes I went to a marathon run of shows again. This time all for fun, but three shows in three days was calling my name and I didn't take one photo the whole time.

It is no suprise I am a big fan of live music and I like to support the local scene. Sometimes this means seeing a local band and other times it is supporting a smaller local venue with national acts both equally important to me.

So this weekend I went on another marathon run. This began with The Saints of Las Vegas at the Palms Casino.  The Saints are a local band that I had not seen before, but I had seen certain members in their various other projects.  This was a free show and it was very well received. Two hours of covers played to a full house on a Thursday night.

Friday was going to be more difficult since I had an early commitment, but not matter how tired I was I was determined to make it to (Hed)pe and Powerman 5000 at the Las Vegas Country Saloon.  This show was only $15. You can't beat that and I keep preaching to people that they need to go support this local venue. Not only do they get national acts at a very reasonable price, but they have local bands open for them. I have discovered many new bands that way.  The main acts of the night didn't disappoint. (Hed)pe's frontman met all the fans after and visually and energy wise Powerman 5000 never disapoints.  With that I was done for another night.

Saturday had a variety of options for me. I could go to an old standby venue to see some local music that I really do love or I could try something new. Up for a challenge I went to see Darby O'Gill and the Little People playing at O'Sheas Casino. Darby O'Gill is an Irish band as you might expect, but they mix in modern songs with an Irish twist including accordion and fiddle like Lorde's Royals, Sweet Child of Mine and a personal favorite of mine The Devil Went Down to Georgia. While I have seen them before it had been a long time so it was well worth it.

So that was the weekend. Three very different shows at three different venues. I will continue to say you need to support your local musicians and venues wherever you are. I spend entire trips discovering new bands and new places. I highly encourage you to try it. Don't be afraid of something different or new people just go. You might really be surprised.

Be Fearless

The Hardest Thing for Me

I just did the hardest thing. For me it is the hardest thing I ever do. What is this? A difficult shoot? A marathon? No. Removing images from my website. Why is this so hard? Well each image means something to me in one way or another and some of them are friends. So why do it? There was getting to be too many images on my site and I need to focus on the best work and to be honest some of these shots, while fine were just not comparing to my more recent work.  This is to be expected. People progress with their skills, but my website is not the place to show that progression. You can see more of that progress on a social media feed.

So I did it. I removed images and added some more, so it is probably the same amount of images, but the ones now more closely represent my current abilities.  It is still difficult. Especially if they are images of friends, but friends understand this is my business, just like it is for many of them.

I am never fully satisfied with my website and I will continue to tweak it. In fact I am thinking of possibly freshening up the layout. Keep growing and evolving right? Evolve or die. Stay tuned for more to come.

Be Fearless

Social Media Versus Website

People ask me a lot why I put so many more images on my social media, especially Facebook and Instagram then I do on my website.  Well to me that is simple.  Only 1-3 shots from any given show might make my website but social media I am free to share a lot more.  

Recently I shot Queensryche.  I sent 30 final photos to my magazine for them to select, this is way more then I usually pull but I was so drawn in by the colors of the show I pulled a lot of extras.  Of these I think two went to my website.  The remaining are still good, they just weren't the ones I selected as the best but I knew people would want to see them so the go up on social media for people to experience.  Hence my social accounts are always going to have a lot more images then the website.  They also get updated more often.

There are links to all my social accounts from this page so please go check them out and give them a follow.

Be Fearless!

Three Songs and Out

When you shoot concerts you typically get three songs and that is it.  Occasionally I see other photographers sneaking shots after the three songs but I never do that because I respect the fact that I got the access to shoot the show and I do not want to bend the rules.  Usually I am fine with three songs and out but on certain nights I wish that rule wasn't in effect.

This happened to me recently shooting the band letLive who was opening for Killswitch Engage and Rise Against.  The front man of this band was so dynamic and absolutely everywhere from the crowd to climbing the stage I wish I could have shot more of him.  His constant movement made it a challenging shoot but it was a performance I will remember for a long time to come.  

letLive was the first band of the night and the crowd was still very good sized. Those who saw this band really got a great show.  I got shots I like during the three songs, but I will still wish I could have shot more just to capture these moments.  Oh well no matter what it was an excellent show to shoot and a band I definitely recommend checking out.

Be Fearless

And then it happened

I have been away too long. I have been shooting a lot recently and I have shot some of my favorite shows I can remember recently.

Over the past month I have shot a variety includingScott Weiland, Sepultura, Hemlock and Korn. All these shows were great but Korn and Hemlock were two of my favorites. One I am really happy with the photos and two the shows were just exciting.

Both coincidentally were out for their 20 year tour, really 21 years but who's counting.  

Hemlock has a new album which they are supporting. I have to say I am really enjoying the album and their set was a mix of the new songs and old favorites. 

Korn is playing their first album in its entirety along with a handful of other songs as an encore. I was intrigued going in because this album is dark. It was performed flawlessly and the emotion is there. Plus having all the original members except David makes this more special.

Both shows were high energy. Unfortunately they were both at the end of their tour so you can't catch them, but watch for them to return.

Watch my Facebook and Instagram for more shots from these shows.

Hemlock - Chad Smith

Hemlock - Chad Smith

Hemlock - James Gelber

Hemlock - James Gelber

Hemlock - Jezy Ward

Hemlock - Jezy Ward

Korn - Jonathan Davis

Korn - Jonathan Davis

Korn - Munkey

Korn - Munkey

Korn - Jonathan Davis

Korn - Jonathan Davis