Top 10 Lists come out of the woodwork every year’s end, and I’m making no exception. Here’s a list of some of my most memorable concert photos I’ve shot this year, either for aesthetic or iconic reasons.
I’m kicking off this list with the above photo, shot during Boys Noize set at The Music Box in Hollywood. I’m including it here as it not only makes a good “lead” for a blog article about concert photos, but also because it showcases the raw energy emanating from the packed house that evening, and the fan wearing the Boys Noize shirt adds just a little bit of context :)
The anticipation was high waiting for headliners The Descendents to hit the stage at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium this weekend, as the audience chanted for nerd-punk icon Milo [Auckerman] to take the stage.
But arguably of more note were the rumors flying around that legendary Los Angeles hardcore band Black Flag was to make a guest appearance. The next-best thing occurred instead, as former Black Flag bassist and founder Chuck Dukowski took the stage with singer Keith Morris, backed by former drummer Bill Stephenson and Descendents guitarist Stephen Egerton, to blast through Black Flag’s Nervous Breakdown EP!!
After the short four-song set, Morris waved goodbye to the crowd who then began to convey utter disappointment, to which he took the mic to explain they only had time to rehearse during sound check. Shortly thereafter however, Milo Auckerman took his place on microphone and the crowd’s disappointment was soon thoroughly placated as he and The Descendents plowed through a 28-song set.
First on the trio of headliners for concert promotion company Goldenvoice’s 30th Anniversary Concert was seminal band The Dickies. Though they may seem somewhat long in the tooth to play a punk concert, make no mistake that these men were among the very forefront of the SoCal punk scene of the 70s and 80s, and the first Los Angeles band signed to a major label. These guys had as much right to cap off the GV30 weekend, being among Goldenvoice’s first billings three decades ago.
Excited is an extreme understatement to describe my feelings toward having the opportunity to shoot The Descendents last night in Santa Monica.
Liveage! was my first live album I’ve listened to many years ago, and has since built in me a love for hardcore/punk culture and live music concerts in general.
The Descendents headlined a weekend-long festival celebrating 30 years of GoldenVoice, a concert promotions company that put on shows for the burgeoning SoCal hardcore movement, including bands like Descendents, Circle Jerks, The Ramones, Social Distortion, Bad Religion, X, and Black Flag. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the previous nights’ shows, but I’m glad I caught the grande finale.
Speaking of Black Flag, former member Chuck Dukowski filled in on bass, with a special precursor performance with former singer Keith Morris, playing the Nervous Breakdown EP in its entirety!!
Peter Murphy (of Bauhaus fame) stopped by Club Nokia to perform in his distinctive baritone voice. Being no novice to performing on stage, he swaggered around demonstrating a wide range of debonair poses and arm movements. A nice surprise was opening his set with his rendition of Nine Inch Nail’s “Hurt,” and wrapping up with David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust.”
Opening for Peter Murphy at Club Nokia was She Wants Revenge. They were a fitting opening act, as frontman Justin Warfield himself claimed that Peter Murphy is a huge influence on his own singing style, and it shows. Despite their moodier, darkwave sound, She Wants Revenge had the entire audience cheerily singing along.
Two and a half years after shooting Boys Noize at Lollapalooza, I had the pleasure to get right up on stage and shoot him again as he worked up the crowd at Hollywood’s Music Box. As a surprise, rapper Kid Cudi guested on the mic for several minutes.
Cris opted for getting 3 different looks, to ensure he had a variety to pitch to prospective agencies and casting directors. Even though he had a nice, albeit straightforward All-American look, we were able to showcase range with a few different looks for his headshots. Each look was addressed both commercially and theatrically. Check out how differences in outfits and expression and lighting give visual cues to different roles he might be suited for:
College drama heartthrob, or funny best friend?
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Hip downtown office worker, or shifty racketeer?
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Boy-next-door, or heroic lead?
As you can see, with variations to clothing choices, facial expressions, and lighting scenarios, one person’s headshot session can incorporate a wide, dynamic range and open up possibilities for getting called for a variety of roles and gigs!