Friday Top 5: Best Pics of 2011

The photo guy has to have his best of list, right?

The five photos featured are my favorite moments shooting music this year. I want to share some background about them, what was going on when they happened. These aren’t the “best” photos I have taken, but they are all my best memories captured. Thank you, 2011 Live Music, and thank you Austin Town Hall for inviting me to be part of the team.

Break it for the rundown and a gallery of other favorites…


5. A Place to Bury Strangers – “The Aftermath”

Their set was the loudest set all year (Colourmusic was a close second). The finale included smashed guitars and mics pulled from the drum kit and jammed into amps for more feedback. It was so loud that I checked my earplugs, yep still in. I snapped this after their set. The quiet was deafening as Oliver Ackerman picked up his gear, now strewn about.


4. Beirut – “Two Horns”

I noticed the French Horn tattoos on his inner-arm when Zach came on stage and waved. I had to get a good shot of one of them, especially holding a horn of any kind. It was late in the three songs that this moment presented itself. I locked focus, shutter slap. There is a sense of relief when you know you got the shot. Back at my seat with the wife up in the balcony, I was geeked about it. Such a beautiful show.


3. Duran Duran – “A View”

I had the flu, 104F fever just a couple days prior, missed SxSW Film. I didn’t have the endurance to chase bands, so I decided to camp at Stubb’s due to a solid line up of buzz-worthies, top notch live performers, pop legends and James Blake (heh). When else am I going to have a shot at getting up close and personal with Simon with a hundred other photographers? Had I been close enough, I would have grabbed his junk for the wife; I am just that good of a husband. “A View to a Kill”, that stance, John’s head in the corner – all caught on a 50mm fixed.


2. Cut Copy – “Waffled Cymbal”

Tim Hoey dropped the guitar, made his way to drum kit, climbed up and let loose with four cymbal crashes using that jangle device. I caught the moment of impact. Oh, how I wanted that. Flooded color, waffled cymbal, profile, make no mistake people, Cut Copy is a live band. A full on, no laptop lurking, live band. It was a great show, and this was my favorite shot from a night that included an awesome opening set from Holy Ghost and an extra encore from Cut Copy.


1. Arcade Fire – “Hold Your Hand”

What would we get from Arcade Fire on the big stage out at the Backyard in the first three songs? We got the best three songs to shoot of the year. Every photographer left the photo pit absolutely jacked up; it was probably the most fun I have ever had in a photo pit. This photo happened in a cool way. I was stage right, got a couple shots of Win on the speaker box, he turned back to the stage to ditch the guitar, I walked right in front of that speaker when he came back out. I took two steps back and he straddled the photo pit. The fan in the front row helped him catch his balance. Awesome moment during the best show of the year…


Check out some more favorites below, even more on the photo site.

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