In 2014 this reviewer was able to catch just under one hundred artist/band performances. During that time yours truly has captured lots (and lots) of images. Some better than others (and some not so great), but all challenging and unique in one way or the other.
From obstacles in the photo pit to obstacles on the stage we are constantly trying not to trip while we focus on the artist or trying to get a decent angle around the speakers that sometimes block our way.
Some shows have only a couple photographers in the pit while others have more than a dozen.
Mix that in with trying to dodge objects being thrown towards the stage, or crowd surfers barreling over the crowd, and it can become quite dangerous.
Sure I have had my share of boots to the head or objects tossed into the pit, but that comes with the territory. It would be much worse if we didn’t have friends watching over us. To that end we owe a lot to the wonderful security that protects us as we vie to capture a few great shots in the short time allotted to us.
That being said I am dedicating these images to those unwavering guardians who do a thankless job. Be kind to security at concerts, go up and thank one at the next show, whether it be at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, Scottrade Center, The Pageant, Chaifetz Arena, Peabody Opera House, Pop’s or even one of the many other wonderful venues we have in town. They are trying to protect you (and us) and do a great job at it.
So here are my top twenty one (just the maximum number we can use) images from 2014. I hope my images bring happy memories from those who were at that show. Or for those that weren’t then hopefully I have brought a peek into what the concert was like.
Cheers guys, thanks for a great year and allowing us to concentrate on what we need to do to get the job done!
Happy New Year! Thank you for viewing and be safe out there.
Moon jumping to couch surf in Saint Louis
One of my favorite bands to catch live and photograph, Greek Fire always puts on a fantastic show. At their most recent show at The Pageant on December 5 lead vocalist Moon brought back the couch and did a little couch surfing. This time he just jumped from the stage and stuck the landing instead of climbing up from the crowd. I was lucky enough to have an unobstructed view and grabbed the shot. http://zoomdune.com/review/story-of-the-year-and-greek-fire-rocked-roof-off-at-the-pageant-friday
Zakk Wylde in Saint Louis
Zakk Wylde brought his high energy show to Pop’s Nighclub in Sauget, IL across the river from Saint Louis in July. Maybe his crew thought it was a bigger stage because it was filled with epic lighting and a banner that was about 4 times too big. It was awesome for the crowd and us photographers. http://zoomdune.com/review/black-label-society-rocked-pops-tuesday
Davey Havok of A.F.I. in Saint Louis
The Offspring may have headlined this years revamped Pointfest in May, but there were several cool photo opps. Including this one of Davey Havok of A.F.I. soaring high above the stage. The artists don’t always face the audience when they jump, but sometimes, like this time, it just works. http://zoomdune.com/review/the-offspring-headlined-a-revamped-pointfest-saturday-saint-louis
Motley Crue bids goodbye to Saint Louis
Unfortunately, this will be the last year we can check out the bombastic fire driven, roller coaster ridin’, girl strutting beast that is Motley Crue. Love ’em or hate ’em there was always lots to take in at a Crue concert. http://zoomdune.com/review/motley-crue-bid-a-loud-farewell-to-saint-louis-wednesday
Paul Stanley in Saint Louis
Shooting KISS is pretty awesome. The guys know how to treat us photographers. Great lights and front of stage presence with lots of photo opportunities. Yeah, it rocks getting a pic of an artist pointing at you. http://zoomdune.com/review/kiss-showed-saint-louis-how-to-party-thursday
Los Lonely Boys in Edwardsville
Los Lonely Boys played a rousing show in Edwardsville, IL at the Wildey Theatre in August. One of the things they are known for is their wonderful skill at their instruments. The brothers like to double up on the guitar and I happened to get a clear shot of it. http://zoomdune.com/review/los-lonely-boys-jammed-at-the-wildey-edwardsville-friday
I love it when performers ham it up for us photographers. This was no exception. Avenged Sevenfold’s Johnny Christ was in a prankster kind of mood and tried to turn band mates Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates into rabbits. Didn’t quite work, but I loved that he tried. http://zoomdune.com/review/rockstar-mayhem-fest-blasted-its-way-back-to-saint-louis-wednesday
Zach Blair getting some air in Saint Louis
Rise Against always has a high energy show. Their performance in September at The Pageant was no exception. I seriously think guitarist Zach Blair should look into some frequent flyer program, what with as much air time as he gets every night. http://zoomdune.com/review/rise-against-gave-a-rousing-performance-saint-louis-tuesday
Carlos Santana in Saint Louis
Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana can still wail on a guitar like no other. He proved that with a great performance in May with Rod Stewart. His emotions pour out into every note. I like this pic as it shows the emotions of the note. http://zoomdune.com/review/rod-stewart-and-carlos-santana-rocked-scottrade-center-friday
Lorde in Saint Louis
Young phenom Lorde came out of seemingly nowhere to take over the world of music with her infectious style and groove tracks. She emulated the Late Janis Joplin in her rousing performance at the Peabody Opera House in March. Pics like this are intriguing because it shows her passion flowing out as the music takes over. http://zoomdune.com/review/lorde-wowed-sold-out-peabody-opera-house-saint-louis-thursday
One Republic in Saint Louis
One Republic played a great set in August at the once named Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (Now rechristened Hollywood Casino Amphitheater). They brought a great light show with them. Sometimes it’s good to stay back and take it all in. http://zoomdune.com/review/one-republic-pleases-fans-with-solid-set-saint-louis
Rascal Flatts in Saint Louis
Country group Rascal Flatts kicked off their Rewind Tour in Saint Louis in May and made it a memorable one. Apart from getting down into the crowd their lighting was spectacular. I was able to grab this shot and I was expremely pleased with the result. http://zoomdune.com/review/rascal-flatts-kicked-off-rewind-tour-with-a-hot-set-a-cold-saint-louis
Taylor Momsen in Saint Louis
The Pretty Reckless came to The Pageant in Saint Louis and rocked the joint. For vocalist Taylor Momsen it was a homecoming of sorts as she was born in the Gateway City. While the lighting was difficult I managed to get some dramatic shots. This one captured my eye and the intensity of the show. http://zoomdune.com/review/the-pretty-reckless-rocked-saint-louis-thursday-at-the-pageant
Les Claypool in Saint Louis
Primus has been known for their intense live shows. Their stop at the Peabody Opera House in November was a blast of sound and sight as they decided to use their version of Wonka Rock in a new and dark way, as it was meant to be. I think this shot of bassist/vocalist Les Claypool is creepy and ominous, perfect for the sound they were producing. Epic show. http://zoomdune.com/review/primus-gave-a-tasty-performance-saint-louis-wednesday
Daughtry in Saint Louis
Say one thing about Chris Daughtry, he gives it his all in a live show. The American Idol alum has earned a name for himself in the rock touring world. It’s not hard to get a great shot of him as he just doesn’t stand still. http://zoomdune.com/review/goo-goo-dolls-and-daughtry-kept-to-their-roots-saint-louis-sunday
St. Vincent in Saint Louis
Mmm bacon. Why bacon? During St. Vincent’s terrific performance opening for The Black Keys the aroma of bacon wafted into the photo pit from the backstage area. Now every time I smell bacon I think of St. Vincent’s great performance, and when I hear her music I get hungry. Weird. http://zoomdune.com/review/the-black-keys-hit-a-high-note-saint-loui…
Nikki Sixx in Saint Louis
Nikki Sixx in black and white just kinda gives it a pop. Unfortunately, this will be the last year we can check out the bombastic fire driven, roller coaster ridin’, girl strutting beast that is Motley Crue. http://zoomdune.com/review/motley-crue-bid-a-loud-farewell-to-saint-louis-wednesday
Arnel Pineda with Journey in Saint Louis
Say this about Arnel Pineda: The guy can sure sing. And on top of that he has seemingly boundless energy. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with him. That is great for fans and keeps us photographers on our toes, which is usually a good thing. http://zoomdune.com/review/journey-and-steve-miller-band-brought-back-memories-saint-louis-friday
Dan Kenny of Suicide Silence in Saint Louis
Mayhem Fest came back to Saint Louis after a year off. Shooting a festival is great because there are so many great bands to take in and photograph. Some more than others. Dan Kenny of Suicide Silence is always good for an epic hair shot. http://zoomdune.com/review/rockstar-mayhem-fest-blasted-its-way-back-to-saint-louis-wednesday
Micky Dolenz in Saint Louis
Shooting The Monkees was always on my bucket list. Since they came through town so infrequently it was hard to get that done. I finally got to capture them in their June performance at The Fabulous Fox Theatre. http://zoomdune.com/review/the-monkees-returned-to-saint-louis-for-a-show-at-the-fabulous-fox-thursday