The National at the Chicago Theater, Night 3.

Photographing this show was a challenge. I’ve shot The National before but The Chicago Theater was a different set of circumstances. It was an unbelievably beautiful venue, but seated. And The National ask that photographers not block anyone’s view, which as a diehard concert fan, I appreciate. As a photographer, this becomes a challenge. Especially the way I shoot- in prime 50 mm which works best close up (as you can see from the style of every other concert here). However, shooting from afar allowed me to capture some of the gorgeous stage lighting and video presentation that made these shows spectacular. Anyway, I hope you enjoy these!

I know this blog has been super quiet in recent times and a lot of that is due to me traveling like a crazy person and preparing to do so. The very first of my trips put me at four National shows in a row at The Chicago Theater. The experience was beautiful, transcendent, gutting, and heavy and I’m so thankful for every second of it. More to come, but here’s a shot from Thursday’s show.

I’m sorry I missed you, I had a secret meeting in the basement of my brain

Frank Turner Fridays: Frank Turner at the Electric Factory Philadelphia November 2013.

6 plays
Antarctigo Vespucci,
Soulmate Stuff

I’ve been listening to this over and over again, hoping I can possibly begin to put into words how amazing this project is, but as usual, I’m at a loss. I guess I could tell you how much I spent on a plane ticket to fly to New York at the end of the month to see the first (possibly only/last) Antarctigo Vespucci show, but that’s not enough either. I suppose I can begin with telling you that Fake Problems is my favorite band and Bomb the Music Industry! isn’t far from the top and therefore Chris Farren and Jeff Rosenstock making music together is enough to blow my mind. But maybe you should just listen. (Download the whole thing here, pay what you want. Buy the vinyl here.)

Frank Turner at the Marquis Theater October 2011

A couple years ago I was walking between venues at a music festival and I was struck by a particularly lovely voice coming from The Hornet. I, of course, had to go in and check out the artist producing such gorgeous vocals. It turned out to be a very young and very talented English girl that goes by the name Birdy.

Since then I’ve been keeping tabs on Birdy. She’s made some real notoriety for herself with an epic cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” which I’m sharing here because if you’ve heard it, you’ll be happy to hear it again. And if you haven’t, you are in for a treat.

On Friday, Birdy will be at the Ogden Theater in Denver supporting Christina Perri. I can’t wait to see her perform again. Tickets here.

I don’t know that I will ever be able to adequately put into words what Chris Stowe’s music means to me. Having this record see the light of day is almost too much to believe on a day like today. Here’s a new gutting song in the usual style of Chris Stowe, a pre-order, and a Fest 13 announcement.

Connie Hong is a unique and clever song writer and has the enchantingly beautiful voice to match and make Ivory Circle truly something special. The group is celebrating the release of their second EP, Equilateral, at the Walnut Room on Friday. You should go.

A couple more to share of Ms Laura Jane Grace from Denver’s Against Me! show.

Photo shoot this morning.

A special edition Frank Turner Friday picture: jennyowenyoungs on harmonica in New York, September 2012.

Last year I drove out to Montauk for the first time and listened to all three of laurastevenson's albums. It was a bit of a spiritual experience for me, as Laura often is. Here are a couple photos from her performance Friday night at the Summit Music Hall in Denver.

So Friday night was absolutely amazing. I am still comprehending how amazing the set list was unbelievable. Much more to come from this show, but here is a picture of Laura Jane Grace, rock goddess.

(Yours truly, Bryan Koo Koo Kanga Roo, and a new friend from the Koo Koo Kam)

Last year was a very strange and difficult time for me. It ended with a series of shows in the northeast over the end of November, thank you to some amazing friends. This is how a little band called Koo Koo Kanga Roo came to be a part of my life. After a crazy drunken Thanksgiving dinner in New York City, I am happy to call two of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever met friends. As you know if you’ve come into contact with me since that time period, I consider the Koo Koo Kanga Roo live show to be the happiest place on earth. So when Koo Koo (Bryan and Neil) got in touch with me about playing a show in Denver, I was ready to move heaven and earth to make it happen.

I didn’t quite have to go that far, but I did end up throwing a house show. I’d done something along those lines for my 30th birthday, but that was very different (and much more obligatory for my friends and acquaintances) and possibly most importantly, not at my house. So I consider this to be my first real gig. I reached out far and wide in that pool of friends and acquaintances, encouraging them to invite their significant others, children, mailpersons, hairdressers, and more. I was determined to give one of my favorite bands an audience they deserved. Somewhere along the way, word started to spread and Colorado Koo Koo fans came out of the woodwork, RSVPing to a strange little show on a Tuesday night in a suburb of Denver.

By the time the date rolled around, we had filled every spot in my condo complex’s clubhouse. I had baked several dozen cookies and had five pizzas ready to go. Neil and Bryan, exhausted from playing two shows in the last twelve hours (and if you are familiar with this band, you know their shows are no joke - I mean, they have a workout DVD), celebrating the holiday, and a good amount of touring.

Before “doors” even came around, people were showing up, eager to dance the night away. We were happy to put them to work setting up. A strange mix of coworkers, adventurous friends from the music scene, my roommate, small children, and people I’d never even seen before at a show soon filled the room.

Here I have to admit, even up to this moment, when I think house show, I think of a person with an acoustic guitar and people sitting on the floor, listening carefully. And most importantly, no one calling the cops because there’s thirty people jumping up and down to amplified music. This show was none of that. Well, we did not receive any noise complaints (Thank you neighbors! You are much cooler than I’ve ever given you credit for.). The only sitting was more crawling on the floor, for a dance move called “The Ninja Sneak”.

The beginning of the night started with some hesitance and strange looks, but I’m happy to report that by the end of the show, we had everyone in the room forming a circle and shaking their various body parts and full attendance at the cat party. Bryan and Neil were at an eleven- giving this show, as they do every performance that I’ve seen, their all.

Two days later, my office is still buzzing about the show, sharing YouTube clips. I’m getting messages from attendees talking about what a great time they had. My feet still hurt and I can’t stop smiling. This all feels like a dream come true. One of my favorite bands came to my house, I made some amazing new friends, and we even got to save some lives. The biggest thanks to Koo Koo Kanga Roo and to everyone who attended. This is a night I will never forget.

Made this poster for underthebridgemanchester's third anniversary show featuring Ben Marwood and oxygenthief.