PHOTOGRAPHED FOR VUE WEEKLY
PHOTOGRAPHED FOR AESTHETIC MAGAZINE
My apologies, folks. It's been a long while since I've made a blog post; Mostly due to my own laziness, I'll admit, and a fair few rights-grabbing contracts over the past few weeks. But nevertheless, I'm back with bang and with a new publication behind my belt which I am very excited to be staring a new chapter with in my concert photography career. I'm looking forward to shooting more shows with Aesthetic Magazine, as well as becoming a part of the team.
At last, an arena gig that didn't completely tie my hands behind my back with a contract... I ended a busy weekend of shooting local acts around the Edmonton area with the one and only Red Hot Chili Peppers as they rocked Rogers Place in Edmonton on Sunday night to a sold out house on their current "The Getaway" tour. The weather was gorgeous on Sunday, and spirits were high all throughout Edmonton's down town core, as thousands flocked to Rogers Place to witness the genius of RHCP which left fans in awe and tears with their stellar performance.
PHOTOGRAPHED FOR VANDALA MAGAZINE
At last, my first show of 2017 is in the bag, and I'm chomping at the bit for more! What better way to kick off the year than getting out on the town to shoot Canada's very own Blue Rodeo, as they delivered a quaint and mellow show to their Edmonton audience at the beautiful Northern Jubilee Auditorium on Thursday night.
PHOTOGRAPHED FOR VANDALA MAGAZINE
Edmonton's Shaw Conference Centre was full of both young and old faces, all prepared for a night full of tunes, courtesy of Canadian twin-pop-sensations, Tegan and Sara. As the Vancouverite sisters delivered the perfect pop performance to kick off the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, voices of the hundreds of concert goers who gathered at the front of the stage could be heard singing the lyrics to every song over the booms of the band, causing contagious smiles to erupt on the faces of those on stage.
PHOTOGRAPHED FOR EXCLAIM!.CA
Halloween arrived early this year in Calgary, as Sweden's infamous, anonymous, satanic musical sensation, Ghost, graced the stage at MacEwan Hall to a packed Tuesday night crowd. Numerous fans could be seen wearing their best Ghost-inspired costumes, many faces were painted like skulls in honour of the band's only visage.
As church-like choir and organ music filled the room, five of the six anonymous band members each took to their place at their instrument onstage, silhouetted against thick fog, with beams of purple and red lighting shining upon them, creating an eerie mood for concertgoers. As the lights began to settle, the band immediately boomed into their 15-song set with "Square Hammer," resulting in a deafening eruption of joyous cheers from the audience. Then, they amplified as the staple figure, and frontman of the band, Papa Emeritus III, appeared front and centre in full mock pope-attire and began to unleash his hauntingly beautiful voice upon the crowd.
As the night progressed, the anonymous sextet clergy had their loyal fans greedily eating out of the palms of their hands as they sang along loudly to each song. Many fan favourites dominated the setlist: "From the Pinnacle to the Pit," "Secular Haze," "Body and Blood" and "Year Zero" all satisfied the many long-time fans.
With a quick wardrobe change from Satanic pope to maestro, Papa Emeritus III began to conduct the audience with a wave of his hands, and in return, voices echoed throughout the Hall, repeating the chorus to hit song "Cirice" in unison, giving the song a truly spooky vibe. Then, millions of pieces of metallic confetti and dollar bills with Papa's face on them rained from the air as the band glided into "Mummy Dust."
Ending the night on a strong note with "Monstrance Clock," the singing voices of Ghost's audience still echoed throughout the room, as the choral ending to the band's big rock'n'roll finish began to fade out, leaving only the voices of the concertgoers to fill the silence, putting the cherry on top of this night of ritual and worship.
Edmonton's Union Hall played host to the one and only KONGOS last night, as they tore up the stage with harmonious excellence, with The Joy Formidable rockin' along at their side.
I was particularly looking forward to this gig after catching the gentlemen of KONGOS at SONiCBOOM 2015. Despite the dreary weather that tried to put a damper on the festival that year, KONGOS still managed to put on a wickedly entertaining set. This time in Edmonton, the brothers did just that, with a little extra "ooph" to get the ball rolling, and to keep the anticipation amped throughout the crowd.
The music was on point, the energy in the room was great, and yet, my photographers-brain still wandered to things that most concert goers don't notice, or pay any mind to... Lighting. I've always been a sucker for good, creative light set ups at concerts (as many fellow concert photographers are) and the light show that KONGOS had programmed last night, though challenging at times, proved to be no less than creative. With light beaming on the band as each member took turns singing lead vocals throughout the set, the literal spotlight would illuminate each member in a way that complimented the mood that the band was trying to portray with each of their songs, making my job of catching the guys in action a little easier.
All in all, last night's show was great. The energy in the room was more than what you'd expect at a week day rock concert, and everyone, on the stage, and within sight of the stage seemed to have smiles on their faces and appeared to be having a great time. Of course, as those of you who regularly follow my blog postings know, sights such as this, makes me one happy gal.
Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium was packed with 32, 000 screaming fans on Wednesday, June 29th, as some of Canada's finest musicians came together to put on a relief concert for those effected by the horrors that ensued, due to the largest wildfire that our province has ever seen in the northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray.
At the beginning of May, the blaze forced the biggest fire evacuation in our province's history, displacing roughly 88, 000 people, and destroying thousands of homes and business in the process, as it engulfed approximately 1.5 million acres of land in uncontrollable flames. It was not reported until TODAY - July 5th 2016 - that the fire has finally been declared under control. For more information on the Fort McMurray wildfire, visit the Wikipedia page for the fire HERE.
Despite the chaos that unsettled so many lives, the people of Alberta, and many across Canada, began to show unimaginable hospitality to those who had no choice but to flee the inferno. Families making their homes available for other families, crews of people rescuing pets who were left behind, and even local businesses offering free meals and clothing to those who had lost everything. 54 million dollars was donated to the Canadian Red Cross by the citizens of Canada and many across the world, along with many other donations from various charities and organizations.
It wasn't much longer after the evacuation that the Fire Aid concert was announced. The news of Ft. Mac had spread rapidly across the nation, and hit home for many Albertan and Canadian musicians, so many were jumping at the chance to help rally people together to support those in need. The concert was also being broadcast to a local sporting field in the Wood Buffalo community, so those who were able to return to their homes in Fort McMurray could still enjoy the concert.
Headlined by Canadian superstars, Nickelback, the Fire Aid featured a handful of artists of all genres such as: Blue Rodeo, City & Colour, Barney Bentall, Corb Lund, Randy Bachman & The Sadies, Dean Brody, The Rankin Family, Dallas Smith, Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Gypsies, Ian Tyson, Brett Kissel, High Valley, Dear Rouge, Harlequin and Dustin Bentall. Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium quickly filled up as the afternoon progressed, lucky that the weather was on our side, as thundershowers were estimated for the evening - Regardless, I don't think any amount of rain could have put a damper on this gig. With Vancouver's own, Nickelback, ending the night on a high note, the vibe within the stadium was beyond words. Smiling faces, and people embracing was a pleasant sight, but the overall sense of support and community that was shown to each and everyone of the audience members. As a concert photographer, I always wish to see things of that nature with each concert I shoot... Well, my wish was granted I couldn't feel more honored to have been a part of this once in a life time experience.
Gracing the City of Champions on Friday night was Canadian acoustic phenomenon, City & Colour. Accompanied by the talented fellow acoustic jammer Shakey Graves, from Austin TX, they collectively brought Edmonton to their knees with the purity and beauty contained within their songs. City and Colour founder, and Alexisonfire guitarist Dallas Green poetically glided into his set with the familiar guitar ambience of "Woman" pouring through the monitors.
The band continued on through an 18-song set, featuring a number of fan favourite tracks such as: "If I Should Go Before You," "Hello, I'm in Delaware" and "Lover Come Back," which left eager concertgoers in awe and some in tears, all the while, with smiles adorned on their faces.
C&C included a tribute cover to send his best wishes and kind regards to Gord Downie, frontman of fellow Canadians the Tragically Hip, as he played a beautiful rendition of the Hip's "Bobcaygeon." The audience roared as the familiar melody soaked through the monitors, so gracefully paired with Green's heavenly voice. Following up with "The Girl," which featured Green on his own for part of the song, and having his whole band chime in to deliver the song's pounding outro. Lastly, performing an encore with fan favourites "Fragile Bird" and "Sorrow Man", Dallas Green and his band unified to send their gratitude to Edmonton for a rockin' Friday night show.
Picking up semi-last minute gigs on a Friday night is never something I will complain about. Especially when it comes to going in blind, so to speak. The discovery of new bands and new music is easily one of the most thrilling parts of my job. Last night, however, I was in for a real treat - as the almighty, Baroness, marched into Edmonton's infamous venue, the Starlite Room, to do some damage on their Spring 2016 tour.
Being someone who's some-what unfamiliar with their music, I couldn't help but feel intrigued as the band took to the stage. But, alas, within the first few bars of Baroness' opening song, that spewed from the monitors, and filled the room with joy and all sorts of other emotions, I was hooked! The gritty melodies paired with soothing vocals was practically a match made in heaven, along with the pulsating rhythms that seemed to have the whole room either bobbing their heads or swaying their bodies back and forth, all the while, the sound of concert goers singing along to every word - Truly a pleasant first-time experience while in the presence of the undeniably epic Baroness!
Seattle's alternative indie-rock sensations, Death Cab For Cutie, opened up the night at Rexall Place with fellow Canadian's, Metric, headlining on Tuesday night, on the Edmonton stop of the "Lights on the Horizon" tour. Playing to a full floor of people of all ages, Death Cab For Cutie crushed their 45 minute set, playing various songs spanning their 18-plus year career, resulting in fans dancing and singing along to every song; Always a pleasant sight. Paying homage to a friend and loved one who had passed on earlier this year, Aaron Huffman of fellow alt. rock group Harvey Danger, Death Cab For Cutie played a touching cover of Harvey Danger's "Why I'm Lonely", which caused the sea of fans on the floor to clap and wave their hands from side to side, while cheering at the acknowledgement of saying goodbye to the band's long-time friend. Finally, putting the hammer down on the band's 15 song set, Death Cab For Cutie pleasantly met the expectations of those who gathered at the arena for the evening, as the band's praises were sung among concert goers in the halls of Rexall Place.