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Tahoe Concert Photographer | Gary Clark JR

I’ve been a huge fan of Gary Clark JR every since we stumbled upon him at Voodoo Music Festival a few years ago in New Orleans.   Clark’s blend of bluesy fuzzy guitar mixed with smooth vocals is simply amazing.  I’m surprised I hadn’t ever come across him while living in Austin, as he was born and raised there, honing his musical chops in iconic locations like Antone’s.  His recent album Black and Blu is an absolute delight and I highly recommend it.

Clark came through Tahoe South a few months (okay 6) ago while on tour opening for Dave Matthews Band.   It was nice to have a bit of my hometown in my [new] hometown.

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Tahoe Concert Photographer | Dave Matthews Band

When I was in high school, my good friend James bequeathed to me a copy of Dave Matthews Band‘s first studio album.   Under the Table and Dreaming completely changed the way I listened to music.  I was a typical music listener for a teen: radio obsessed and repetitive.  With my introduction to this album, I was ushered into a world of complexities and layers like I hadn’t heard before.  It was my start of musical appreciation.   Under the Table and Dreaming remains, to this day, one of my favorite albums of all time, book-ended by Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Ryan Adam’s Gold, and LCD Soundsystem’s self-titled debut.

After that, I spent a good portion of my high school summers touring DMB shows, from city to city, where every night they would play completely different sets and completely different songs, all the while managing to sound like an orchestra was on stage.  I can say with 100% confidence that I have seen more DMB concerts than any other band in the short history of my life.

I loved their shows and while I hadn’t seen one in over ten years, the moment Dave started playing and tapping his toes, I was transported back in time.  I had briefly doubted if the DMB I heralded in my head after all this time would live up to the musical memories of my nostalgic mind and instantaneously this idea was proved totally baseless.

Dave Matthews Band was an impeccable gorgeous spirited show when I was young and he is the same today.  While no album of his may live up to the aggressive complicated ambitiousness of Under the Table and Dreaming, his catalog of music remains impressive, varied and filled with everything crowd pleasing jingles to southern rock ballads.

After this experience, I’m not sure if any band I photograph for the rest of my life will live up to Dave Matthews Band.  The unparalleled excitement I felt in that photo pit was fueled by awe and devotion.

Dave Matthews was and clearly still remains the King of my Satellite Castle.  I may not purchase all his music anymore, but he proved his place on a pedestal in my musical library.

Thank you Tahoe South for the opportunity to photograph my musical legend.

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Tahoe Concert Photographer | The Devil Makes Three

I have always loved The Devil Makes Three.  I was thrilled to see them on the list at SXSW in 2013 but didn’t get a chance to catch any of their shows; I’m sure they impressed the Austin crowds.  Despite being an acoustic trio of three, their sound is rich and dynamic.  Their music at live shows rolls over the theater like a thunder and offers my favorite breed of bluegrass: mandolin-less.

The trio is made up of  frontman Pete Bernhard, upright bassist Lucia Turino, who returned for their encoure with a really awesome trucker hat and a smirk, and guitarist Cooper McBean.

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Tahoe Concert Photographer | The Brothers Comatose

I love a frontman that makes great faces.

I especially love a band that makes great faces and great music. The Brothers Comatose is made up of literal brothers, Alex and Ben Morrison, whose raucous and rollicking acoustic set had the sold out crowd at Montbleu dancing.  Their superb rendition of one of my favorite Ryan Adam’s songs, “To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)” was a treat.   You can catch them on tour with The Devil Makes 3 on the west coast through mid-Febuary and then with Younder Mountain String Band throughout the West Coast and the Southern US through mid-April.  All you Texas folks: they’ll be at Stubbs and the Granada in March and it’ll be a great show!

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Tahoe Concert Photographer | The Devil Makes 3 Sneak Peek

The last time I saw Devil Makes 3 was in 2011 and the experience didn’t end very well for me, though it wasn’t any fault of theirs.  It seemed like all of South Lake Tahoe turned out for their sold out show on Saturday at Montbleu.  I had a blast and I can’t wait to share the rest of the photos.

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Best Music Photography of 2013 | A Year in Review

From ringing in the New Year at Snowglobe to SXSW to Dave Matthews Band, it’s been an amazing year for me.  Here’s a selection of what I consider to be my best music photography images of 2013.  Happy New Year! I can’t wait to do it all over again!

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Snowglobe Music Festival Highlights, Day 3

Snowglobe Music Festival rang in the New Year with an amazing set from one of my favorites, Australian band Cut Copy, who played a mix of old favorites off and and new gems from their recent release, Free Your Mind.  While the crowd that stuck around to watch the fireworks and enjoy the last set of the evening were certainly happy and dancing, the largest throngs that evening at the fest amassed for the earlyish DJ set provided to the main stage by meglomaniac Dillon Francis, whose face is so popular it graced the front of many of the audience’s flags.   The energy he brought to the crowd was certainly contagious and dance parties erupted in every corner of the field.

Snoop Dogg arrived in a mass of dark lights and smoke, true to character and seemingly the entire crowd took a cue from his suggestions at the onset.

The highlights of my day came from the frenetic energy of Beats Antique and Vokab Kompany, whose dynamic shows never fail to enthrall me.

In short, day 3 at Snowglobe Music Fest was an wondrous way to end 2013 and welcome the new year.  Cheers!

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Snowglobe Music Festival Highlights, Day 2

What an awesome day!

Music festivals are such a fun way to find new music that you wouldn’t normally come across and Day 2 of Snowglobe Music Festival certainly proved my point.  The Floozies kicked off my day with a nice surprise.  This duo of two brothers from Lawrence, KS play a blend of electronic music, accompanied by live drums and a guitar and self describe themselves as  “party rocking funk.”  I can attest to that description as they had the entire early afternoon crowd at Snowglobe movin’ and groovin’.

The next awesome of the day came from Zion I whose new EP “The Masters of Ceremony” will be released on January 14, 2014.  This musical group from Oakland, CA consists of producer AmpLive and MC Zumbi and they apparently had such a crowd amassed to see them in the Igloo Tent at last year’s Snowglobe Event that the walls were torn down!  They were right at home on the main stage and totally electrified the crowd.  The crew was so adept at engaging the crowd, despite it’s massive size and even I couldn’t sit still to their unique blend of hip-hop and electronic.  They were super fun to photograph and I hope that our paths cross again one day.

Zed’s Dead and Kaskade closed out the night to a sold out crowd of raucous screaming fans.

Today is the last day of Snowglobe Music Festival and single day tickets are still available.  I’m looking forward to Vokab Kompany, Beats Antique, Snoop Dogg and Cut Copy.  Happy New Year’s Eve!