St.Albert’s own treasure Dan Davidson celebrated the release of his newest record down at Station over the weekend, with Edmonton country rebels in Cadillac Junkies warming up the audience for what was yet to come with their brand of twang and pop. Dan played through much of his catalog for most of the night, while throwing a few cover songs in the mix to really get people singing and dancing on the floor which seemingly lasted all night long for the folks gathered at Station for a night of country comfort music.
PHOTOGRAPHED FOR VUE WEEKLY
PHOTOGRAPHED FOR NORTHLANDS EDMONTON
What a fun way to kick off last weekend! I photographed my first country music show, and had the opportunity to play house-photographer at Rexall Place on Friday February 19th, as the one and only, Brad Paisley, brought the party to Edmonton.
Brad had one of the coolest stages that I have ever had the chance to shoot; enormous video screens backing the stage, playing various clips of people partying and celebrating, including a long cat-walk that stretched into the crowd, giving concert goers a chance to be within reaching distance of Brad as he would strut his stuff from one end of the stage to the other.
As per usual, I had a really great time shooting this gig, and I'm hoping for more opportunities like this to arise so I can continue to expand my genre-horizon, and to smash the goal I have for 2016!
Fellow Canadian's, and the one and only Barenaked Ladies serenaded their sold out audience at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium on Tuesday night in Edmonton. People of all ages attended the concert, and smiles could be seen on just about every face in the room.
Opening up the show on Tuesday night, also fellow Canadians, was Newfoundland's Alan Doyle & the Beautiful Gypsies. Playing classic Newfoundland tunes and songs from Alan Doyle's former group, Great Big Sea, Alan and his band of beautiful gypsies had the audience clapping and singing along to every song; all the while exchanging smiles and sharing laughter with their crowd.
The Barenaked Ladies took to the stage to play a stellar 21 song set, featuring fan favorites of old and new, as well as a few covers that had their audience singing at the tops of their lungs. Displaying images of classic arcade pinball games on their LCD screens, the crowd began chanting for the band. As the Ladies filed on stage, the audiences roars progressively grew louder and louder, shaking up the butterflies in my stomach and making me that much more excited to photograph these Canadian musical legends. As the Barenaked Ladies rolled on through their set, the crowd was up on their feet, dancing and singing the night away. Abundant with smiles, laughter and all around positive energy, The Barenaked Ladies brought one of the best shows of 2015 to the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, that won't soon be forgotten!
Sonic Boom Festival is exactly what it sounds like; A gathering in the heart of Edmonton, featuring some of the sickest bands and artists in modern rock today, all coming together to create one loud, energetic, boomer of a festival! This was my first time shooting a music festival of this magnitude, and I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to be there. Despite the downer overcast and rainy weather, the bands totally rocked out and gave it their all, while hundreds of people, decked out in rain ponchos with umbrellas in hand, still flocked to Borden Park in Edmonton, Alberta on September 5th and 6th to check out what was in store over the weekend. With the announcement of the broken up hardcore-heavy weights, ALEXISONFIRE, reuniting for the summer, and as the event's main headliner, anticipation to see this band was thick throughout the weekend among festival goers.
Saturday September 5th - Day #1 of Sonic Boom fest consisted of a variety of interesting bands, all delivering nothing short of epic performances, leaving their fans screaming and begging for more. Kick off talent that took the stage for day one were as follows: Young Empires, Gay Nineties, K-OS, Robert DeLong, St.Lucia, Kongos, TV on the Radio, Brandon Flowers, Hozier, and headlined by the "folktronica" queen herself, Ellie Goulding. The energy of day one was coagulating throughout the park as day turned to night. Smiling faces could be seen in every direction, and positive vibes were all around; Seeing this, personally, made my time at the festival even more enjoyable. Feeling the passion and love for music abundant in the air sure makes me one happy gal.
Though missing out on getting shots of Brandon Flowers and Hozier due to the artists not wanting any photography during their performances, I managed to capture a few cool moments of the other artists on Saturday's bill.
Sunday September 6th - Day #2 of the festival hosted a stacked bill of bands that I couldn't wait to have in front of my lens. Kicking off the rainy day with The Zolas, as the perfect band to get the crowd of early-bird festival goers warmed up (both literally and figuratively) for what was in store. The day progressed on with the talented likes of: The Elwins, Eagles of Death Metal, Big Data, Rural Alberta Advantage, Tokyo Police Club, The Flaming Lips, Mother Mother, Tenacious D, and the much anticipated, ALEXISONFIRE, as our headliner for the evening. Though the rain showed no mercy to festival workers and attendees, everyone seemed to have high spirits. Smiles were still in abundance on the many faces of people bundled up in their best weather-proof attire. Despite how energetic and dynamic the bill was for day one of Sonic Boom, day two brought the heat. Countless colourful characters stormed the stage with an appetite for the resonance of rock through the stage amps and monitors. Intensity and power flooded the stage with each act as they boomed and bashed their way through their performances. The audience went wild with the confetti cannons that the Flaming Lips shot into the rainy air, while pushing out into the crowd, an enormous cluster of balloons that were taped together to spell out: "F*CK YEAH EDMONTON".
Upon nightfall, the crowd's restlessness was gaining in the atmosphere. Excitement was stirring, and boy, it was contagious! As a black, curtain-like backing stage banner fell to the ground, revealing a heart-skull logo, ALEXISONFIRE took to the dimly lit, red cast stage, greeted by hundreds of screaming fans. Despite the frigid fall air, the audience erupted into a frenzy of worm-rolling crowd surfers, and mosh-pit-maniacs; A pleasant sight for a temporarily reunited band, and heartwarming for a musician in general. The experience of headlining a renowned festival such as Sonic Boom, accompanied by the well received, purely passionate audience, who stayed tough all weekend long throughout the dreary weather, has to be something that the dudes of ALEXISONFIRE won't soon forget! Here's to more sweet reunion shows, see ya next year Sonic Boom!
Shooting press photos has to be one of my most favorite things about being a music photographer. I love being able to connect with the artists on a personal level, as well as catching them in a completely natural state, and making them look like total bad-asses while at it. Plus, hanging out with cool people is always a bonus. After coming home from Armstrong Metalfest, I was scheduled to work with local rockers, Sleep Demon. When hearing a few of their tunes on SoundCloud, I was way too excited to get this shoot underway.
Upon arriving at the location the band chose to work in, I was surprised to find a stellar old hearse in the garage. Immediately, the gears in my head started turning for cool shots with this rad vehicle. I had the guys climbing all over and inside of the old Cadillac, and I think we managed to get some pretty cool snaps. During the Sleep Demon photo shoot, I spotted an old car just across the alley from the garage, and me being a bit of a gear head and a sucker for old cars, I NEEDED to use it in the shoot. So, the guys walked over and knocked on the neighbors door. The neighbor was delighted to have us work with his Buick, and was kind enough to snap a few behind the scenes shots of me working with the guys.
For the following overall favorite shots, I used my trusty Canon 6D and a Canon 600 EX-RT speedlite, but alternated between using artificial and natural light, as well as a few different reflectors and camera/flash settings to achieve the desired look of these snaps. While in post, I tried to stay true the that gritty, 35mm monochrome film, rock 'n roll look that you'd find in a 1970 copy of Rolling Stone magazine. But alas, I had very colourful people to work with, so letting out the 'true colours' of these smiley dudes and their surroundings was totally necessary... Including that jump shot ;)
On Sunday July 12th, 2015, a wide variety of music lovers of all ages flocked to the YEG Event Centre in Edmonton to catch the debut of Mulefest, put on by one of the leading local promoter companies, Raised Fist Productions. Mulefest catered to a number of excellent local acts such as: Dusty Tucker, Elements, Wolfrik, Stranger Danger, Tyrant, Brother's Grim, The Most of August, Savage Playground, KBL, Nasty Boys, Arrival of Autumn, Dieuponaday, Knights of Valor and Our Darkest Moments; a mixed bag of tricks for those who love rock, metal and hip-hop.
It was great to see so many familiar faces out and about to support their local music scene on a Sunday afternoon, and of course all of the awesome new people that I had the pleasure of meeting! I'm quite honored to say that I was a part of this wicked event, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to next year!
AMPSANDGREENSCREENS.COM OFFICIAL CONCERT REVIEW
Monday night metal shows are always a gamble in every city for touring bands, but, with the mighty GOATWHORE gracing the Pawn Shop with a troop of blackened thrashers, one can expect a stellar turnout. At GOATWHORE’S side, brigading Edmonton with a thirst for beer and audible annihilation, BLACK BREATH, RINGWORM, THEORIES, and WAKE held a steady build up to what is possibly the grimiest show of the year.
Only on board for two shows of this tour, Calgary’s own WAKE was a suitable local opener for this gig; Immediately kicking off the show with a well received, passionate and aggressive vibe, followed by the grindy and in-your-face presence of Seattle’s death metal masters, THEORIES. Concert goers warmed up to our openers with the horns held high, and drinks in hand. Thundering and smashing their way through their stage time with energy to spare, THEORIES and WAKE were pleasantly impressive, and delivered just the right amount of adrenaline to get the party started.
There was a buzz in the room amongst the audience as they patiently awaited for RINGWORM to hit the stage in Edmonton for the first time. Fans were chatting amongst themselves, expressing excitement and eagerly awaiting the Cleveland, Ohio hardcore-thrashers to storm the stage. Booming into a hefty 16 song set, starting off with “The Sickness” from 2001’s album “Birth Is Pain”, RINGWORM had their audience thrashing about in a whirlwind of circle pits. Continuing on with their chaotic performance consisting of teeth-chattering bass rumbles and gut-wrenching vocals, RINGWORM rolled through various songs such as “Bleed”, “Dawn of Decay”, and the album title track off of their newly released album “Hammer of the Witch”, and closing with a bang by force-feeding Edmonton the title track of 2005’s album “Justice Replaced By Revenge”. Leaving the Pawn Shop with their audience in a frenzy and hungry for more, RINGWORM left one hell of a first impression on Edmonton.
Stealing the show, and also hitting Edmonton for the first time, BLACK BREATH opened up a can of pure whoop-ass on the Pawn Shop. Hailing from Seattle with a hunger for nothing but satisfaction, BLACK BREATH blasted off with an unfamiliar track from their soon-to-be-released album, sending the Pawn Shop into a spiraling frenzy of headbanging and moshing. Aggressively pleasing the likes of their audience with tracks off of 2012’s album “Heavy Breathing” such as “Black Sin”, “Escape From Death” and “Eat the Witch”, BLACK BREATH furiously smashed and bashed all expectations I had of their performance with an impressive amount of face melting riffs and raw energy, all compiled into one incredibly hairy (and beardy) band that wanted nothing but to rip Edmonton a new one as they conquered the Pawn Shop for the first time. Boy, did they ever!
Sounding heavier than ever before, GOATWHORE blazed through a carefully articulated 13 song set, displaying an array of songs spanning their discography. Storming Edmonton with a new jam from 2014’s release of “Constricting Rage of the Merciless” GOATWHORE immediately grabbed their audience's attention with “Poisonous Existence in Reawakening” - a perfect opening track for this gig. Rolling on through their set, guitarist Sammy Duet, spoke up into his microphone, “I would like to dedicate the next song to all of the beautiful women of Edmonton” he said, with a cheeky smile. None other than the joyous melodies of “FBS” (F*cked By Satan) was the song that Sammy was referring to. With the mosh pits erupting into small war-zones, GOATWHORE slaughtered the remainder of their set, playing favorites such as “Sky Inferno”, “Graveyards and Dead Angels”, and “Apocalyptic Havoc”; All devastatingly awesome songs played to perfection by drummer, Zack Simmons, and live bassist, Robert Coleman (AKA Trans Am), and delightfully pulled together by the devilish grunts and growls of frontman, Ben Falgoust, of course with Ben’s signature air-guitar stage moves as the highlight of GOATWHORE’S venomous performance!
OFFICIAL SHOW REVIEW FOR EXCLAIM.CA
On a dreary Saturday night in Edmonton, Crowbar were in town for the first time on their "Summer of Doom" tour, accompanied by Portland doom metal extraordinaires Lord Dying and Detroit thrash metal masters, Battlecross.
Kicking off the night, Lord Dying were loud and muddy, displaying an overwhelming amount of talent and engaging the crowd with occasional solos that pierced the veil of static in the monitors. Despite the sludgy sound, Lord Dying kept spirits high with a mix of their spellbinding music and friendly crowd banter, encouraging fans to get closer to the stage. Despite this being their first show in Edmonton, they'd won the crowd over by the end of their set, as evinced by the many bobbing heads and fists in the air throughout the Pawn Shop.
Next, show-stealers of the night Battlecross stormed the stage to lay down a gritty and thrash-y ten song set. Opening up strong with their hit "Push, Pull, Destroy," Battlecross had the house pumping with adrenaline, making the younger people in the crowd stampede around in an aggressive mosh pit. The band hammered through other classics like "Force Fed Lies" and "Beast" before treating the crowd to a brand new track, to be included on their forthcoming album, Rise to Power. It was a high point among many in Battlecross's performance, which made every day of the two year wait since they last performed in Edmonton well worth it.
Last, Crowbar hit the stage with force to play a 14-song set. As fans battled their wait to the front, frontman and guitarist Kirk Windstein greeted Edmonton by saying, "Good news is, we're from New Orleans... Bad news is, we're gonna kick your ass!" With cheeky smiles, the band immediately slammed into "Burn Your World," sending their audience into a frenzy of headbanging and fist-pumping. Over the rolling rumbles of Jeff Golden's bass lines and Tommy Buckley's kick drums, Windstein's crunchy and gritty voice soared as guitarist Matt Brunson began to pluck his strings to the familiar opening melody of Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter," as they dished out the heaviest cover that the Zep classic has ever seen. Closing off their set in style, Crowbar took the audience on a trip down memory lane to their self-titled album of 1993, playing the fan favourite track "High Rate Extinction." With smiles and a look of gratitude on their faces, Crowbar left the stage in high spirits as fans cheered and chanted loudly for more.
AMPSANDGREENSCREENS.COM OFFICIAL SHOW REVIEW
A rainy Friday isn't something that deters Edmonton's heavy metal community from hitting up various venues to catch some of the coolest bands out there. On June 12th, this definitely wasn't a problem! A little rain can't stop YEG's metal heads from heading down to the Pawn Shop to catch what is possible the most EPIC show of 2015. Kicking off Friday evening with local deathcore metallers GREAT WHITE SHARK FIGHT, the Pawn Shop comfortably exploded into a frenzy of moshing and headbanging as these five shredders delivered a crushing set, demonstrating who they are, and what they're all about; A perfect fit for this bill.
Revocation was about to hit the stage, and I could feel the anticipation rising within myself, and the rest of the room. As each member took their place on stage, Revocation immediately blasted into 'Labyrinth Of Eyes' from newly released album 'Deathless', causing the Pawn Shop to erupt like a volcano. Chaos from wall to wall! An abundance of moshers, stage divers, and crowd surfers were launching from all directions as Revocation continued to pump adrenalizing riffs and roars through the monitors. As frontman and guitarist, Dave Davidson, expressed his gratitude and excitement to be back in Edmonton, he commanded the Pawn Shop to raise their 'wizard fingers' for a song that has "a few weedlies and deedlies" the audience broke into a mass frenzy more aggressive than ever before as the band boomed into 'Invidious' from 2013's self titled album. After delivering one final blow to the Pawn Shop by closing with 'Witch Trails' (Deathless 2014) Exchanging handshakes with their fans, and flicking guitar picks and drum sticks to the audience, After stealing the show, Revocation left the stage, knowing they had just put on THE heaviest, deadliest and most aggressive show to have hit Edmonton so far this year. Epic on all fronts!
Firing on all cylinders, Veil of Maya began their performance in the best way possible: Loud, fast and in-your-face! Blowing their audience away right from the get-go with 'Lucy' and 'Mikasa' from their newly released album 'Matriarch'. Within their well articulated 13 song set, Veil of Maya had a taste for audible annihilation, playing a variety songs from albums spanning across their music careers such as 'Punisher', '[ID]', 'Subject Zero' and many, many more. Continuing on with the bleeding riffs of Marc Okubo piercing through the thundering drumming and bass lines of Dan Hauser and Sam Applebaum, all the while complimenting the raspy but aggressively beautiful voice of Lukas Magyar. Taking their audience back to their second album 'The Common Man's Collapse' Veil of Maya put the cherry on top of their set with 'It's Not Safe To Swim Today', causing their fans to throw down harder than ever before. Veil of Maya always puts on an impressive performance every time they visit Edmonton, but this time, the band put on their best show yet that wont soon be forgotten!