concert photography

Anderson East – Bowery Ballroom

Anderson East - Bowery Ballroom

Anderson East might’ve said on stage that he felt intimidated by New York, but he sure didn’t show it during his performance last Friday night at the Bowery Ballroom. From his opening song “Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em and Forget ‘Em” to his closing cover of “All These Things That I’ve Done,” Anderson had the sold-out crowd dancing and singing along to every word of his 17-song set.

Along with running through all the tracks from his debut album Delilah, Anderson sprinkled in a number of crowd-pleasing covers throughout the show, including a surprisingly fun version of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby.”

After missing out on getting tickets to Anderson’s Mercury Lounge show over the summer and seeing him play just a handful of songs a couple months ago when he opened for The Lone Bellow, it was really good to see him play a full set. While he sounds great on his album, he’s even better live. He’s got the voice and charisma to grab your attention, and the talent to keep it. Plus, he knows how to work the crowd. Ever the charmer, he gave a few lucky fans roses from the stage as he closed out the show.

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Go see Anderson live if you can. And if you missed him, hopefully some pictures from the front row will help tide you over ’til he tours again.


Muse – Barclays Center

Muse - Barclays Center, Brooklyn (1/27/2016)

Last year I was lucky enough to not only grab a ticket to Muse’s show at Webster Hall, but also to get a coveted spot in the front row. Since the Webster Hall show, Muse has embarked on another tour to promote their new album, Drones. And while their recent show at Barclays was much, much larger, their new 360° stage setup helped a lot in bringing the band closer to its fans.

Camera in hand, I made my way to the barricade again and snapped up some shots of the band. Check out some of my favorites below! And while you’re at it, maybe throw this on in the background.

Acceptance – Gramercy Theatre

Acceptance Gramercy Theatre

Lately, a bunch of bands I loved in high school have been reuniting and going on tour to celebrate the 10-year anniversaries of some of their more popular albums. I was in high school from 2003-2006, when the pop-punk/”emo” scene was at its peak. Only a few of the bands I listened to back then are still together, so it’s always exciting when reunion shows are announced.

Acceptance was one of those bands that I adored, but rarely got to see live. For starters, they were based out of Seattle and mainly played West Coast shows. The couple times I did get to see them, they were either playing short sets at big festivals like The Bamboozle, or performing opening sets to indifferent crowds.

But despite their small following, they still kicked ass live and put on some memorable shows. I was so pumped after seeing them play at Bamboozle that afterwards Phantoms was the only thing I had playing in my car and my friend had to hide the CD so I’d stop. But seriously, listen to “In the Cold” and just TRY not keeping it on repeat:

While Acceptance really didn’t get much recognition when they were active, ever since they broke up in 2006, they’ve developed a cult following. When they announced they were reuniting and playing Skate and Surf this year, I was thrilled and bought a ticket just for them. Then I found out they were headlining a show here in the city and flipped out completely. I never thought I’d see them play again, and after 9 years I’d have the chance to seem them play twice?!

Turns out lots of other people were just as excited as me to finally see Acceptance back together—the band sold out the Gramercy Theatre. That’s nuts! When they broke up, they were mainly opening shows and hadn’t headlined in New York. Now they’re playing to sold out crowds. Couldn’t have happened to a better band.

And despite not having played together for 9 years, they sounded just as fantastic as the last time I saw them play. Welcome back, guys.

Muse – Webster Hall

Matt Bellamy - Muse - Webster Hall
Muse isn’t just good live. These guys are fucking nuts.

I’d been a fan since 2003, when they released Absolution, but I only got the chance to see them play in 2007, at The Bamboozle. They were the last act of the festival and my friend David was determined to be front row, so we spent the whole day waiting through the sets of several bands neither one of us liked and slowly making our way up front. By the time Muse took the stage, we’d reached the barricade. Muse’s set was the best I’d ever seen, and being up front only made it better.

I hadn’t seen them play since then because they’d mainly been doing arena shows, which I avoid. So when Muse announced they’d be playing a show at Webster Hall, I made sure to grab a ticket. I’ve gone to a number of shows recently, but this Saturday’s Webster Hall gig tops the list. The new songs are great live, and the crowd was tons of fun. Plus, I somehow got a spot at the barricade again. Score. Good music, great view, perfect night.

Concert Catch-Up: Dustin Kensrue, Joe Pug, and Sufjan Stevens

The best part of spring/summer: all the concerts. It’s festival season and tons of bands are touring right now. I recently caught three fantastic shows: Dustin Kensrue, Joe Pug, and Sufjan Stevens. Check out below for some serious guy-with-guitar action.

Dustin Kensrue – The Bell House (4/30/15)

Dustin Kensrue’s most well-known as the lead singer for post-hardcore band Thrice, but it’s his stripped-down folk rock that I love the most. He’s currently on tour to promote his new album, Carry the Fire. I got the chance to see him play at The Bell House, which is great because it’s not too far from where I live. Even better, Kevin Devine (who I’m just a little in love with) made a surprise appearance and played some Bad Books songs with opener Andy Hull. Awwww yeah.

Field Report and Joe Pug – Bowery Ballroom (5/1/15)

Joe Pug. I’ve been hearing this guy’s name for the last few years but never bothered to check him out. I’m an idiot. This dude rocks. On a whim, I bought a copy of his new album, Windfall, and now I’m hooked. I caught Joe’s show at the Bowery Ballroom and he absolutely killed it. Also awesome: his opener, Chris Porterfield of Field Report. Hadn’t heard of him before, but he blew me away. If you like good songwriting, I suggest you buy all his stuff.

Sufjan Stevens – Kings Theatre (5/2/15)

Sufjan Stevens’s new album, Carrie & Lowell, is devastating. Sufjan wrote the album in response to his mother’s death, and with unflinching honesty. Listening to it actually makes me a little uneasy, almost feels like I’m eavesdropping (listen to “The Only Thing” and just feel your heart break). But it’s a beautiful album. The record is as bare-bones as it gets, most songs featuring just Sufjan’s classic whisper and a quiet guitar. The live versions are something else altogether. Sufjan’s got a full band with him and the best lighting/stage design I’ve seen in a long time. The full band gives the songs more urgency, add to that flashing lights and a killer projection display, and the result is tumultuous.

What’s next?

So many good shows to look forward to these next few months. Next up, MUSE at Webster Hall! Gah!