Categories
Concert Photography

BANKS in Nashville

BANKS came to play at Marathon Music Works in Nashville, one of the first stops on her Serpentina Tour. Serpentina is Banks’s fourth album, so she had plenty of songs to choose from when getting ready for this tour. “It was hard to make a setlist,” she said, “Each song is my baby.”

Banks opened with “Misunderstood” to a screaming crowd, flanked by two dancers who struck acrobatic poses as often as they danced in sync with Banks herself. It’s hard to say which songs she played were fan-favorites, as the crowd cheered enthusiastically at the start of each and every new track. But some include “Gemini Feed” off of Serpentina, “Fuck With Myself” from her second album The Altar, and “Beggin For Thread” from Goddess, her first. Before playing “Gimme,” a song from her album III, Banks reminded us all that “it’s time for everyone – especially women – to demand what they want from the Supreme Court.” And we agree that “Gimme” is the perfect anthem for that statement.

Banks told us before playing one song in particular that it was eight years old, but she had only started playing it live for the first time this week on her tour. That song was “Someone New,” and the crowd sang along to every word of the ballad.

Take a look at the gallery below and stream Serpentina wherever you listen to music!

Categories
Concert Photography

WILLOW at Oakland Arena

WILLOW (Willow Smith) opened for Machine Gun Kelly’s highly anticipated “Mainstream Sellout” tour at the Oakland Arena, taking the stage with enthusiasm as she performed songs from her latest album, lately I feel EVERYTHING. In a colorful knit hat and a jumpsuit, WILLOW delivered an energetic performance with tracks including “Gaslight” and “don’t SAVE ME.” The arena reached peak energy as she sang her 2015 hit “Wait a Minute!” And then WILLOW closed out her 8-song set with her latest single, “ it’s my fault.”

Enjoy this gallery of photos from the show!

Categories
Concert Photography

COIN at The Regency Ballroom

American indie pop rock band COIN kicked off their “Uncanny Valley” tour this month in Phoenix, AZ, and made their way to CA with stops in Los Angeles, San Diego, and most recently, San Francisco. The sold-out San Francisco show took place at The Regency Ballroom and opened with “Learning,” one of the hit songs in their Uncanny Valley album which was released in March 2022.

Throughout the entire 23-song set, the band performed with incredible energy, and lead vocalist Chase Lawrence frequently jumped off the stage to engage with fans. In addition to the songs in the Uncanny Valley album, they also played a few singles including “Brad Pitt” and “Cutie,” along with “Talk Too Much,” a fan favorite from their 2017 album How Will You Know If You Never Try. Throughout the set, the LED panel on the stage displayed impressive visuals which were individually crafted for each song.

COIN’s North American tour continues through October 2022 – make sure to catch one of their upcoming shows and enjoy these photos from the San Francisco show!

Categories
Concert Photography

The Pretty Reckless at Bridgestone Arena

Is there anyone else you’d rather be singing about going to hell with than The Pretty Reckless? We didn’t think so. The band opened for Shinedown on The Revolution’s Live Tour, following Diamante and stepping onstage to a warmed up crowd. The Pretty Reckless had previously had to cancel their own headlining tour twice due to the pandemic, so it was a long-awaited sight for all to see them performing live.

The Pretty Reckless kicked off their set with a bang and a cover of Soundgarden’s “Loud Love” before moving into their own “Since You’re Gone” followed by their most recent single “Only Love Can Save Me Now.” Frontwoman Taylor Momsen had the crowd sing along with the call and response in “Heaven Knows,” while also asking for audience help singing “Going to Hell,” where everyone enthusiastically screamed the lyrics. “Going to Hell” featured a guitar solo by Ben Phillips, where he walked the length the runway and treated us to a couple of minutes of pure guitar goodness.

With a truly stacked setlist, they fit as many fan-favorites as they could in the 8 song set, which only left the audience wanting more.

Categories
Concert Photography

Shinedown at Bridgestone Arena

Shinedown stopped by Nashville with only a few shows left on the Revolution’s Live Tour. Shinedown formed in the early 2000’s, so they’re no strangers to the stage, and they certainly gave us all a show. With an opening to the set that celebrated getting back out to tour after shutting down for the pandemic, the members walked proudly out on stage to the deafening cheers of the audience. That would be the last time for the night that anything as slow as walking would be done on the stage.

Starting us off with “The Saints of Violence and Innuendo,” the energy in the arena could not reach a higher peak. Lead vocalist Brent Smith had the arena with their hands in the air while guitarist Zach Meyers and bassist Eric Bass ran up and down the runway, giving their all into their instruments, and drummer Barry Kerch kept up the headbanging at the back of the stage. Towards the end of the song, the stage was lit up with pillars of flames, making the audience roar along with Smith.

The energy, of course, did not dim throughout the night. Shinedown played old favorites and new, including the title track off of their upcoming seventh studio album Planet Zero which comes out July 1st.

Categories
Concert Photography

iDKHOW at Brooklyn Bowl

I Don’t Know How But They Found Me opened up their show in Nashville on February 21st with their latest hit “Leave Me Alone” to the delight of hundreds of fans. They kept the energy high up until the proclaimed sad portion of the show where they played “Need You Here” and “Door” before moving into the proclaimed selfish portion of the evening. Here, lead singer Dallon Weekes decided to play a cover of “Someday” by The Strokes just for his own enjoyment.

iDKHOW also included a couple of songs from The Brobecks, the former band of Weekes and drummer Ryan Seaman. The band had the crowd sing along during these two songs, even going as far as to have the audience harmonize, which was a daring decision with beautiful results.

They closed out the show with fan-favorite “Razzmatazz” while teasing that it was up to everyone at Brooklyn Bowl if that was going to be their last song or not. Of course, the crowd chose encore performances.

Categories
Concert Photography Reviews

Jeremy Zucker and Babygirl

Jeremy Zucker returned to New York City for the first time since moving to L.A. on Thursday, November 18. Performing at Terminal 5, the artist was supported by the fast-rising Toronto-based pop punk band, Babygirl.

Describing their music as “pop songs with sad guitars”, Babygirl has quickly amassed a dedicated following. With a pocket of enthusiastic fans packed into the front of the crowd, the band played singles such as “Easy” and “Million Dollar Bed” from their latest EP, Losers Weepers. Their fans sang back every word without missing a beat, singing particularly loudly for Babygirl’s 2018 hit, “I Wish I Never Met You”. In between songs, the crowd professed their love for the band and screamed in support. 

As the night progressed, the anticipation grew for the packed Terminal 5 crowd. Chants of “Jeremy! Jeremy! Jeremy!” began filling the room as Jeremy Zucker’s set time approached. As the lights dimmed and Zucker’s intro song rang out, deafening screams filled the air.

The New Jersey-born artist initially gained major traction within the music scene during his senior year of college in 2018. Torn between completing his degree and pursuing music full time, Zucker chose to finish off college and immediately went on tour upon graduating. It’s safe to say this choice has not held the artist back whatsoever — since that time, he’s amassed an incredible 5.3 million global streams and sold 3 million albums.

Unable to tour his 2020 album, Love Is Not Dying due to the global pandemic, and releasing a new album, Crusher in 2021, Zucker performed a carefully curated mix of the two albums with other singles interspersed. Starting with “we’re fucked, it’s fine” off of Love Is Not Dying, Zucker managed to contain the wildly enthusiastic crowd during the opening number. Zucker then transitioned into “Therapist” off of Crusher — the more upbeat song perfectly matched the audience’s excitement and allowed the artist to showcase some of his dance moves. Though Zucker faced sound issues as the set progressed, he did not skip a beat and continued on.  

Towards the end of the night, Zucker took a break to call out the fact that he grew up right across the pond from New York City. Pointing to the second level, he gushed that his family and close friends were all in attendance, making the night extra special for him. One of the close friends was fellow musician, Chelsea Cutler, who came out to perform “you were good to me” off of their joint EP, Brent. 

It’s safe to say the audience thoroughly enjoyed the night, as almost each and every face was lit up with a smile as the crowd dispersed from the venue. 

Photos and article by Ana Medvedeva

Categories
Concert Photography

Fitz and the Tantrums at House of Blues Dallas

We were very excited to cover the Fitz and the Tantrums show last night. They performed at House of Blues Dallas, with Livingston opening for them. Check out the images below from the concert. Photos taken by Natalie Perez of NCP Creative for Crowdsurfer Magazine.

Categories
Interviews Music News

Industry Interview: Beth and Maggie of Real[m]

Concert photographers Beth Saravo and Maggie Friedman have been spending their quarantine doing a lot more than binge watching Netflix like the rest of us. When all concerts were cancelled for the foreseeable future, they decided to take their industry knowledge and music network and with their combined expertise, they created an online interview-style show for creatives and artists alike.

The new project, titled Real[m] (we’ll tell you why in the interview) is an informal conversation and Q&A with photographers, musicians, creatives and industry professionals, hosted of course by Maggie and Beth. We had a chance to chat with them about their exciting new endeavor and their upcoming guests this week. Check out the interview below.

Crowdsurfer: When did you guys conceptualize the idea to do an interview-style show?

Maggie: When the whole quarantine thing happened, I’m the type of person that needs a project to work on. I just keep myself busy or I go crazy. Beth and I really both agree on the fact that we both love working. So I was thinking, “Oh, what can I do?” So I decided to do an Instagram live every single day with some friends and we’ll just chat about photography. I didn’t really expect to be a project. It just was something that I could do every day to keep me busy.

So I did it for a few episodes. And then I messaged Beth and I was like, “Hey, it would be really cool if you did this with me. And she was like, “Cool, let’s do it next week.” And then I got really sick and I kind of stopped doing it. And then a couple weeks later, when I was feeling better, I texted her and I said, “OK, look, I really want to start this up again.” And she said, “Well, what if we did an interview series together?”

Photo by Maggie Friedman

Beth: For me, I didn’t want it to be questions that you always hear. I wanted the questions to be a little bit deeper than, “When was your first show? Who’s your favorite band?” I want someone who’s not even a music photographer to come in and sit down and say, “Hey, this is interesting because her story is so cool or his process is so different or it gives me the tools to be creative.”

And the community base, just because we are reaching out to people in our community, people who literally inspire us and inspire others, and that’s what makes this thing grow. Even last week we had two guests with really large communities come and they’d stay and overflow and maybe they listen to someone that they’ve never even heard about. And that’s kind of the goal in my head.

Photo by Beth Saravo

Crowdsurfer: How’d you come up with the name Real[m]?

Maggie: Anyone who’s ever started any kind of brand or business or anything can relate that naming is probably the hardest thing ever. It has to be catchy enough that people remember it, but it also makes sense to what you’re doing. And it just has to be perfect, essentially. And we were listing our words on a Google doc and Beth said the word “realm.”

And I said, “What if the the ‘M’ is like the manual sign on a camera because we’re both photographers?” And the synonym for realm was human connection. So it has a double meaning of like it’s a realm of creatives, but it’s also about human connection. So somehow we managed to find a word that encompassed everything that we were trying to promote. And I don’t know how we did it, but I’m really proud of it.

Crowdsurfer: The logo is really cool, too. Are there any hidden things or meanings you have in the logo?

Real[m] logo

Beth: There is one of my photo laminates in there. Also there is a Photoshop screen open which we liked.

Maggie: Beth also uploaded a festival wristband. So if you look on the top right corner, there’s a festival wristband right in the corner and that was kind of a fun Easter egg.

Crowdsurfer: After almost your first month of shows, what’s it been like to hear all the initial feedback and excitement for the show so far?

Maggie: We’ve had such amazing, informative and supportive chats with people and it’s been such an amazing opportunity to connect people with each other and show people that we’re all in this together. The first week we talked to Jake Chams and he was like, “I’m not immune to this either. I had tours get canceled. I’m sitting at home, too, like we’re all experiencing the same thing right now,” which in my opinion showed we are all on the same level right now; we’re all on the same page. It helped to further foster that community and trust.

Crowdsurfer: What is the concept for the show and where do you see Realm going in the future?

Maggie: Our whole concept is we want people to learn in an approachable way. We also want people who aren’t concert photographers to be on it. We want it to be all different types of creatives, all different types of people in the music industry. Honestly, there hasn’t been a week where I haven’t walked away feeling like I learned something, too. And I think the biggest thing we really wanted was for it to feel accessible and interactive, like we wanted the people who were watching to feel like what they were saying and their input and what they had to ask was equally as important as what we were asking. We wanted it to be that if you had a question for that person, here is your opportunity to get that question answered. So we’re thinking about how can we be interviewers that think outside of the box and involve people in a way that not only photographers are going to care about this, but anyone who’s watching this can.

Photo by Maggie Friedman

Crowdsurfer: Who do you have on the show this week?

Beth: This week is really good. I’m super stoked. We’re starting with Steve Sweatpants. He is an iconic photographer in New York City. He began back with street photography when going underground and then roof topping was a really big thing. And he he started Street Dreams Magazine, which was a really iconic magazine within that culture. And he’s a Sony partner, and Emmy nominated videographer. So I want to have a professional conversation with him, like I know you’re just a kid with the camera going around, literally shooting the street. tell us about how you made that marketable.

And then second, we have Sam Miller, who was the lead singer for Paradise Fears, and now he has released his second novel, and it is a New York Times best seller. We’re going to talk to him about how he uses music in his writing and all that fun stuff.

Then lastly, we’re talking to Miranda McDonald, who is an amazing female in the industry in Los Angeles, shooting a lot for Shawn Mendes and Julia Michaels.

Photo by Beth Saravo

Crowdsurfer: How can people check it out and get involved?

Maggie: Go to twitch.tv/realmchat for the live shows, and our socials are a really good way to find out who’s gonna be on it. People can also get involved by telling us what you want to hear from us. And give us suggestions of people you want to see on the show. And also just watching it. I think the best way to understand what we’re about and what we’re doing is to tune in when we’re live.

Make sure to follow Maggie and Beth on Instagram and head on over to Twitch on Thursday afternoon to catch their next live episode of Real[m]!

Categories
Concert Photography Interviews

Photographer Interview: Dusty Kessler

Crowdsurfer: Tell us how you got into shooting shows, how long you’ve been doing it and why you started.

Dusty Kessler: I’ve been shooting music since 2010 when my best friend was starting to perform as a local DJ. I would help him book shows by sending emails to promoters then bring my cameras with me to the shows, maybe there would be 25-50 people there. I started venturing out on my own and hitting up local promoters and other friends in the music scene and was just shooting for free for a while. Eventually that developed into some good business relationships that I still have today with some artists. I guess I started just because I loved live action and music. I never knew it could be a potential career path starting out but i’m thankful to still be shooting. 

CS: What are some of your favorite shots you’ve taken over the years and why?

DK: One of my first favorite shots in memory was with G-Eazy, who I still collaborate with frequently. We shot it in Kansas City, MO, while I was in college. He was crowd surfing and I had a strobe in the back of the venue for extra light that I popped off while the confetti blast happened. I’ll never forget that one.

G-Eazy by Dusty Kessler

Recently I’ve been working with Miguel and a few months ago we shot at a festival in California. The shot of him with pryro going off in the background ended up being used on his tour merch so that was an amazing moment. To know there are people on the other side of the world wearing clothes with my image on it is amazing. 

CS: What do you think is the hardest part about live concert and portrait photography?

DK: The hardest part for me is also the most fun part which is conveying to the viewer what it was like to be there in person and show the human aspect of the artist. When I’m working with an artist 1 on 1 it’s always a challenge that I break down the barrier between the camera and the subject. 

CS: Your aesthetic includes a lot of film photography. Do you prefer film over digital? How has your style evolved over time to your signature style that you use now?

DK: I love film and digital. Film is the best medium to be creative and challenge yourself to slow down and frame up a shot. Yes I have shot film a few times during live concerts but it’s more often that I’ll shoot digital for the performance and any backstage or BTS stuff I’ll shoot a mix of film and digital. Sometimes with such quick turn around times I have to only shoot digital to deliver fast. I think my style has always been about being honest and not staging my shots. 

CS: Who are some of the people you’ve gotten to photograph, and who is your dream artist to get to photograph one day?

DK: It’s a very extensive list. Recently I’ve still been shooting with G-Eazy and Miguel. Others include Jamie XX, Hitboy, Ava Max, 5 Seconds Of Summer, 070 Shake, Dan and Shay, Maroon 5 and many more. I’ve shot a lot of artists but I think a dream artist who I’d really like to be on tour with is someone who’s not even known yet to the public. I really like working with artists who are small and develop their brand image and creative. But a Billie tour would be fire too (shout out Matty Vogel) 

CS: What do you love about shooting shows and the whole touring experience?

DK: I just love tour and meeting new people all around the world who care about music and come together for that reason. There’s nothing like a live sold out show or festival or tour. 

CS: What would your advice be to young photographers just starting out?

DK: Find new artists and be in A&R. Reach out to people and offer your services for free at first and build with them creatively. The rest will come with time and just keep shooting every day no matter what type of camera you have or subject you shoot.  

CS: Love that. What’s next for you, and what are your plans for this year?

DK: Right now is a scary time for those in my industry. With the touring and music industry on hold we have to stay creative and get through this together. Hopefully in the next 6 months things get back to normal.

CS: Definitely. Anything else you want to add?

DK: I love hearing from new people. Send me a message on IG @dkessler.

You can follow Dusty on Instagram and check out his website here.