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Vans Warped Tour 2014

23 Jul

I had the opportunity to photograph Warped Tour…it was great.

Real Friends
The Devil Wears Prada
The Story So Far
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Crown The Empire
A Skylit Drive
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Motionless In White

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Fenech-Soler

27 Apr

LOLO

Fenech-Soler

Fenech-Soler

Fenech-Soler

HOLYCHILD

(All photos from the show can be found here.)

After a (possibly too long) delay in posts, I’m happy to say I’m back. Midterm weeks were brutal, but I’m glad to say I made it out alive for the most part. A couple of months ago I found out that Fenech-Soler was coming to the states on their very first American tour, and I could not have been more excited. They’re an “electropop” band from Kings Cliffe, often compared to Friendly Fires and Delphic, incorporating synth, indie, and electronic elements into a collective sound. I think the world should know about this group, and their set was entirely too short that night, but nonetheless incredible. The show took place on April 3rd at The Westway, a converted gentleman’s club that still had the dancer’s platform in the middle of the stage. Needless to say, the lighting in this venue was a battle in itself, but I think I managed to get some cool pictures.

The first opener was a two person group called LOLO, with a powerful female lead and bass/keyboardist. She did an incredible cover of “Halo” by Beyoncé to close their set, and her vocals were absolutely amazing. Because Fenech-Soler wasn’t headlining, they were on next, playing a variety of songs from their latest album Rituals, as well as older classics from their 2010 self titled album. The group consists of four members, and their live performance was indistinguishable from their in studio recordings. They incorporated some really amazing rainbow lighting throughout their set, and I’m really pleased with how they were captured. The headliner for the evening was HOLYCHILD, another female fronted group from LA. They’ve been labeled as a top group to watch in 2014, and their set was high energy and very crowd interactive. I’ve waited quite a while for the moment where I would be able to see the incredible music of Fenech-Soler live, and can’t wait for them to make another trip to the US.

 

Wolverines Tour

3 Apr

Unwed Sailor

The Sound of Animals Fighting

The Sound of Animals Fighting

The Sound of Animals Fighting

The Sound of Animals Fighting

(All photos from the show can be found here.)

 

Having previously seen Vinnie Caruana fill in for Hit The Lights on the Acoustic Basement Tour back in January, I was excited to see how he would sound in the context of a full band, in I Am The Avalanche. That day, March 28, was actually my first ever show at Webster Hall, surprising considering how close by it is. The first band was Bellwether, a local pop-punk band from Long Island. They had good energy and a lively lead singer, and put on a good opening set. The next band was Turnover, a Virginia based band with angsty lyrics and a sound to match – not quite hardcore, not quite emo, but somewhere in-between. On a split single with Citizen, they share a similar sound, and personally they remind me a bit of Seahaven. It was during the second half of their set that the crowd really began to get moving, and I was a big fan of their sound. The next band was The Swellers; Michigan based what I would call pop rock, most definitely with the upbeat influences and driving tempo of pop punk. Their set saw a large amount of crowd surfers, and their performance was very high energy.

Classified as punk rock and post-hardcore, Vinnie Caruana has hard-hitting vocals that are perfect for aggressive finger pointing and frequent crowd surfing. His arrival onto the stage saw a massive push from the crowd trying to get closer to the stage, and he seemed ecstatic to play, according to him, their largest NYC show ever. With the show that night serving as their album release party for Wolverines, they played a good portion of their new album, along with several older favorites, closing with “Brooklyn Dodgers”. Vinnie has a stellar stage presence, and every crowd surfer that made it onto the stage gave him a pat on the back, or received a high five from him. The crowd and the band had a very mutual respect for each other, and it was a very interesting dynamic to observe. Overall the show was incredible, and I was glad that I was able to see him perform with heavier, more aggressive vocals.

 

The Sound Of Animals Fighting

1 Apr

Unwed Sailor

The Sound Of Animals Fighting

The Sound Of Animals Fighting

The Sound Of Animals Fighting

The Sound Of Animals Fighting

The Sound Of Animals Fighting

The Sound Of Animals Fighting

(All photos from the show can be found here.)

 

On the 22nd of March, I anxiously stood outside of Best Buy Theater, hoping that nothing would go wrong with the list I was supposed to be on for a photo pass. Turns out the list was missing, and myself and four other photographers found ourselves stranded outside of the venue while show time inched ever closer. Luckily said list was located, and they were able to get us in with no problems, but most definitely a little close for comfort.

I was there for The Sound Of Animals Fighting, an experimental rock supergroup made up of big names such as Circa Survive (as well as now Saosin)’s Anthony Green, Chiodos’s Craig Owens, as well as members of Rx Bandits. Craig Owens did not join them on their reunion tour, busy with a new Chiodos album. It is to be noted that this was the first TSOAF show in ten years, as the supergroup had previously only ever played four live shows together. There was only one opening act, Unwed Sailor, an instrumental rock/ambient band with no vocalist, previously having toured with the likes of Owl City.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this show, familiar only with Anthony Green’s vocals, with the promise that their live show was something unique and even a little crazy, most definitely a true performance. Anthony Green’s stage presence was incredible, a dynamic vocalist that made full use of the stage and interacted with the crowd. There were morph suits, and lots of them, holding a banner that held the quote “We must become the change we want to see.” Their live show was most definitely an experience, as several incredibly talented vocalists, (Anthony Green, Matt Kelly, Rich Balling) taking the stage together was breathtakingly overwhelming. The feel of TSOAF is definitely one that takes some getting used to, wildly experimental, ranging from purely instrumental to spoken word, covering essentially every style few and far between. Their lyrics and instrumentals tug at something indescribable in your heart, and you just feel the music in you, and they inspire angst, awe, and a lot of pure, raw, emotion. I came for the vocals of Anthony Green, but left with a new found appreciation of this star studded heavy hitter, as well as a newfound appreciation for the pure talent ground in this group.

The Unconditional Tour

17 Mar

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On 3/5/14, sacrificing the convenience of not having to hold a massive winter jacket for the duration of a heavy, sweaty, metalcore concert, I was able to get in the second row at Irving Plaza. So close to the barricade, yet so far away. Admittedly the pictures are a bit dark (but we’ll just blame Irving’s poor lighting), but hey – at least they’re close. After successfully avoiding the long line of ticket holders by standing in the will call line, I was in the second row for the entirety of the show.

The opener was Beartooth, the new band of Caleb Shomo (ex Attack Attack!) and members of My Ticket Home. Though they only had about a third of the stage to work with, they utilized it well, jumping around and standing on the crowed for some of the songs. The final song was played with lead singer Shomo stage diving into the crowd and then being brought back to the stage via crowd surfing.

Next was Hands Like Houses, a six piece band from Canberra, Australia. Roughly grouped as a post hardcore band, they are definitely one of the big up and coming bands of 2014 (in my own humble opinion). They played several tracks from their new album Unimagine, along with several classics from their previous release Ground Dweller. However the lighting for their entire stage was incredibly dark, making it difficult to get any distinguishable photos. Hearing the softer songs “Developments” and “No Parallels” live for the first time was in itself a beautiful experience. Lead singer Trenton Woodley’s vocals were splendid as usual, soaring and dipping, hitting all of the intricate highs and lows present in their songs.

Next was A Skylit Drive, who were able to use a little bit more of the space, bringing out risers to put on the front half of the stage. Almost all of their setlist was from their new album Rise, which, don’t get me wrong, is an excellent album, but it was disappointing for fans of their previous releases, like myself. My personal favorite, Identity On Fire,  saw no love on their setlist, and Wires…And The Concept of Breathing received just one song. Nevertheless they put on a stellar performance, and lead vocalist Jag has only improved since they first started back in 2008. He too jumped in the crowd for their final song, and I was lucky enough to snap a few pictures.

The Word Alive informed the crowd that they were working on a new album, and debuted a song called “Play the Victim,” which is soon to be officially released. They really got the crowd going, starting several circle pits, with the epitome of the energy happening during their song “2012,” most definitely a crowd pleaser. Lead singer Telle showed off his vocal prowess, shifting easily between powerful screams and cleans. They closed with “Life Cycles,” a crowd chanting anthem that ended with Telle getting into the crowd, giving high fives to fans as he returned to the stage.

The headliner Memphis May Fire understandably had the most impressive lights for their set, able to finally utilize the entire stage. They are known for performing well live, and lead singer Matty Mullins did not disappoint that evening. They included a couple of much older songs, including one from their album Sleepwalking, circa 2009. When performing “Miles Away,” Jag from A Skylit Drive came onstage to do vocals in place of Kellin Quinn, and he and Matty performed it beautifully in the glow of an intense blue and purple lightshow.

This was definitely one of my favorite shows of the year so far, made better by being able to see several of my favorite bands on the same lineup, and being so incredibly close to the stage.

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