Best of shows – 2013 edition

As I take a few days to catalog and update my images from 2013, I figured I’d post up some of my fave concert shots of 2013.  With over 180 bands photographed in 2013, the pickings were a bit difficult.  Not doing a top 10, just simply looking over 2013 and reminding myself that I have a pretty damn cool job.

Now not all of these shots are award winning (although some are pretty damn cool). Some are there because they remind me of an awesome show, an awesome time or an awesome venue.

Speaking of awesome venues, shooting at the Eglise St-Jean-Baptiste is always a treat… almost as cool as seeing a show there.

Matt a& Kim were a band that I knew of but didn’t know. After having shot their show (they were opening for Passion Pit), I was an instant fan of shooting them.  One of my top shows of 2013

The connection between fans and artists in a show is really important. The more an artist tries to connect with their fans, the more intense the show usually is…. and the more the fans want to connect with the artist ๐Ÿ™‚


Ah… Tame Impala.  Psychedelic rock.  Stoner rock.  Call it what you want.  The show was pretty low light and tough to shoot, but still managed to capture this little diddy


If you know my photos, you know I’m a fan of jump shots.  And this one from Polar Bear Club was my best of 2013.  Actually, it was probably my best of all time.  Captured with a single click, timing, and a weeee bit of luck.


I shot a half a dozen shows from the soundboard at our local arena (Le Centre Bell).  Usually, these shoots aren’t the best as you are stuck way in the back.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t take your time and wait for a moment… like this one I love from Alicia Keys.  Who needs to riffle off 800 shots in a show…


Another on my top list of shows for 2013… Airbourne!  Non stop fun, both shooting and watching.  I got drenched in beer for this shot.  I had no idea that the rest of the year meant being also drenched in fake blood (at Gwar) and by champagne (Waka Flocka Flame)


Some somewhat old school shooting with Fall Out Boy.  Everyone put your hands up!!


Shooting summer time in Montreal is great with the loads of festivals.  I was shooting Les Francofolies and they had a 25 artists, 25 year special on their main stage.  Love this image for not only capturing a moment, but also seeing the city I love so much


Liking this shot of canadian rocker Sam Roberts.  Emotion in his face is great, and yep, it’s in black and white!


Sam above was opening for The Tragically Hip below this summer.  It was an outdoor show and we got soaked.  Gord Downie remains one of my fave front men.  He sings with passion and his face shows it


The Jazz fest was in town and one of the better show was Cat Empire.  This shot is a bit in contrast with the energy and colour of their show, which is why I like it ๐Ÿ™‚


And still at the Jazz festival… The Specials.  Gotta love ska bands for fun images.  Hard shoot, but love the light in this one.  Another of my top for 2013


So after the Jazz fest, I made my way down to Hartford to shoot the Vans Warped Tour.  The first image of Reel Big Fish is what most concert shooters seek… a really quick moment where you lock with the artist.  If you are lucky, you get a smile, a wink.  If you are shooting metal, you usually get someone pointing at you.  But here, in the true nature of the band, he gave me a fun pose!  Be quick, these poses and stares last a few seconds only!


Another of my fave jump shots (and the dude responsible for me shooting Warped this year – no, I’m not playing favorites… I sweeeear) is Brandon from Handguns, closing out the festival


I got back from Warped and that same night was shooting Alice in Chains.  However, I had the pleasure of shooting their opener, Monster Truck, for the first time.  Sad I missed them a few weeks ago in a small bar.  Still love this one for the mix of up close on the guitar, but still see emotion in his face


Now we are early August… which means one of my fave times of the year! OSHEAGA!  My editor at Cornershop Studios was great in giving me the green light to cover the festival in a different way… using my photojournalistic skills in capturing the festival.  So instead of being in the photo pit with 15 other photogs, I had the chance to be a bit more creative.  Which was probably one of the best times I had shooting all year!




I was also asked by Evenko (Osheaga’s promoter) to cover their after parties.  The first one on Friday night was intense.  It was Rich Aucoin.  While I was beat from shooting from 10am to 11pm, had to suck it up to shoot from 12:00 to 2:00… but shooting Rich just brings you energy level up.  Another top show of 2013.


And a week after Osheaga, it’s Heavy MTL time!!!

The metal festival is 2 days (compared to Osheaga’s 3 days) but they have a preview night at Metropolis with a few bands.  This year’s headliner was The Dillinger Escape Plan.  The show was… horrible to shoot.  3 songs of nothing but strobes.  But I still managed to snap this one!  Funny thing… I had no idea that I caught it until I checked my images when I got home. haha.


Gwar was pretty awesome to shoot… well, I thought so.  I hope the fans were expecting to be drenched in fake blood


I know I was expecting it! (thanks to Tim Snow for capturing me cleaning my lens between blood spurts)


Shooting day time doesn’t mean that you can’t play with pretty lights!  Love this shot of Baroness on the small stage!


And I guess I still had some Osheaga photojournalism stuck in my creative self when I shot this one of Danzig’s guitarist.  Considering the stage is about 10 feet high, was fun to try and grab this one.  This shot reminds me that shooting shows isn’t about just being there and snapping, you can still try and make something different ๐Ÿ™‚


And on the same line of though, here’s a shot of Oh Land I really like.  We often aim to get a face in a shot, but that’s not always necessary.  I really dig the light going from bright purple to black in the back.


I was psyched to shoot one of my favorite metal bands… Killswitch Engage.  I was annoyed that the lights there were mostly from the bottom.  The camp fire horror story feel isn’t always the best.  But this one I just love


And then came the Steve Aoki show.  It was like a show photographer’s wet dream.  Cake tossing into the crowd, giant smoke shooting robots, and this… balcony diving.  I had stayed for a bit as we were given the ok to shoot the whole show (but only 3 songs in the pit).  Talk about right place, right time.  I guess a better place would of been capturing Steve’s face close up with the crowd below..


And as a final shot, Gojira, opening for Slayer.  This is another contrast that I love.  A metal band, playing hard and fast, the crowd loving it, body surfing going on… and capturing a quiet moment with nice lights



So that pretty much wraps up my favorite concert photos in 2013!  Already have a few of these hanging on my wall of fame at home.  Huge thanks to the medias I work for for their trust in what I do (Cornershop Studios,, La Bible Urbaine), the artists who like my work and hire me on and everyone else who likes, comments and shares my photos.

See you in a photo pit in 2014!!

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