concert photography

Northcote

Back in early June 2015 I got a phone call from Matt Goud. No not that Matt Good. Matt Goud is the guy behind Northcote. He was looking for some new promo shots for his upcoming record "Hope Is Made Of Steel."

How could I turn down shooting one of my favourite local musicians? I made arrangements to do a shoot with him that night. Shortly after a quick haircut at Victory Barbers and an interview for Musique Atomique (you can read that here).

Now that Matt has been sharing the photographs to promo his record I decided it was time to add them to my portfolio. Check out a bunch of the photos in the new "Promotional" section in the left hand sidebar. 

The photograph at the top is a screenshot from the front page of Northcotemusic.com. I've also been seeing the photos on various music blogs. It's a pretty exciting time for me. 

Also thank you to Webmeister Bud for the assist on this shoot. 

Otalith Music Festival 2014

Previously posted on Victoria Music Scene. 

There is something magical happening in the wilds of western Vancouver island, the Otalith Music Festival.

It's rare to have such a well curated yet organic feeling music festival, but they've certainly done it with Otalith. Their band music selection blends perfectly with the surrounding wilderness and laid back atmosphere of the surrounding communities.

For the second year of the growing festival the organizers decided to add a second stage at Tofino Brew Co. for the locals who couldn't quite make to Ucluelet's main festival grounds. Here you could find the freshest beer the brewery had to offer on tap. Including their Spruce Tree Ale and seasonal beer, Fogust. 

Paperboy hammered out a White Stripes cover with more passion than Jack White while dressed as matching old-timey paper boys. They even had bow ties for sale at the merch table. Austin's Bright Light Social Hour headlined with an evening of festivities at the brewery with an arguably more intimate and energetic performance than Rock The Shores. The 250-300 people in attendance of that set were certainly in for a rare treat when it comes to live music. 

When the brewery wound down folks headed to Tofino's Coho Room for DJ sets or raced to catch the headliners Dear Rouge and Bear Mountain at the festival grounds in Ucluelet. 

Unlike the last time Vancouver Island had a chance to see Bear Mountain at V.I.C. Fest this set wasn't full of technical difficulties. As faery lights filled the perimeter a dance party broke out in front of the main stage. Confetti, inflatable pirates, and arms were thrown in the air as Bear Mountain slipped into a cover of the Tears For Fears song, "Everyone Wants To Rule The World."

As the night ended the party atmosphere followed the plethora of people camping at the nearby Ucluelet Campground. Bands and friends joined in the after parties, campfires, s'mores, and keggers. while It was certain that festival goers didn't want the fun to end. 

The second day of the festival started off slowly for some after the parties from the night before, but all it took was the wafting smell of pulled pork from the food vendors to lure everyone back. 

Jon Middleton fresh from Roy's wedding (his music partner in their band Jon & Roy) filled the festival grounds with his brand of west coast folk reminiscent of days spent on the beach around a fire waiting for that big wave. Jon Middleton is certainly a favourite on Vancouver Island for his unique voice and west coast vibes. 

Throughout the day the word "bestival" was thrown around by first time Otalith Festival goers who had never experienced a music festival like this before. Before entering the grounds you knew it was relaxed and family friendly. 

Victorian indie rock bands like Freedom Pony and Carmanah stood out with larger than life sounds. Both bands have grown more confident with their craft over the last year, and it shows. 

The choral pop sounds of Portland's Ages & Ages floated through the air effortlessly like the fog that had rested over the grounds earlier in the day. Children and adults danced at the front of the stage as the sun went down on the final day of the festival. 

Headliners, The Allah-Las sound is reminiscent of a different time. A psychedelic shoegaze pop that is deep and meaningful in the vein of The Yardbirds or The Zombies.  There was no better way to close down this year's festival than watching this talented band perform in such a beautiful setting. 

After an amazing Allah-Las set the festival organizers came out to a cheering crowd to take a bow. It's worth noting that all the organizers volunteer their time to put Otalith together and that they donate the proceeds to three local charities at the end of the festival. 

With well curated sights and sounds it is clear that the Otalith Music Festival is here to stay and ready to put their mark on the map as Vancouver Island's premiere destination festival.

Recovering from Otalith

As I recover from another whirlwind trip to Ucluelet and Taofino covering my absolute favourite destination music festival, Otalith my camping gear is spread out all over my carport drying. 

Right now I'm writing a review of the festival, editing photos, doing laundry, and prepping for a speaking event I'm doing tonight with Jordan Oram and Webmeister Bud. If you read this on August 25th, 2014 come to Al Smith's Studio at 660 Discovery St. from 7pm-8pm to hear some stories about travel, photography, and be inspired to do creative things. Facebook event page.

More to come in the next day or two. 

Kathryn and Robbie @ Pizza Prima Strada

In my last post I mentioned this little project I've been working on with Adrian Chalifour of Towers & Trees for Music BC's Songwriter Workshop happening on June 14th, 2014 at St. Ann's Academy during this year's VIC Fest. We are pairing up an established artist with an up and comer in the Victoria music scene to talk songwriting while eating great food at VIC Fest food vendors. 

The second session of VIC Fest Profiles happened at Pizza Prima Strada's  Bridge St. location with Kathryn Calder and Robbie Aylesworth. Both wonderfully talented musicians. I've followed Kathryn Calder's career since I first saw Immaculate Machine play the their cd release party for Transporter, and Robbie Aylesworth I'm just starting to get to know. The following night after this interview Robbie played a last minute gig with a full band for the first time here in Victoria. Let's just say it kicked some serious ass. This guy is going somewhere, like The Zone's Band of The Month. 

Oh, and Robbie played another last minute gig at YYJ Rocktographers. That pretty much makes him the best in my books. 

Here's VIC Fest Profile #2 with Kathryn Calder and Robbie Aylesworth at Pizza Prima Strada.

Also more photos on my flickr. 

Otalith 2014 Launch Party

Previously posted on Victoria Music Scene.

UCLUELET – On May 16 and 17, 2014 the Otalith Music Festival threw two amazing launch parties in Ucluelet and Tofino respectively. The first featured The Slack Tide String Band and Jon Middleton at the Ucluelet Aquarium, and the second hosted Victoria’s Carmanah at the Tofino Community Centre.

2013′s Otalith Music Festival hosted acts like The Cave Singers, Current Swell, White Buffalo, Kathryn Calder, Northcote, and Yukon Blonde among others in arguably the most intimate settings you’ll ever see any play in. Otalith is the festival for the people looking to escape the crowds, but still enjoy the community feeling of any major music festival.

Unlike last year, the second annual Otalith Music Festival not only takes place at their beautiful festival grounds in Ucluelet, but in various locations throughout the Tofino area as well. Taking full advantage of indoor clubs, bars, and a brewery on the Friday night of the festival.

This year the second annual Otalith Festival taking place August 22nd and 23rd will feature Bright Light Social Hour, The Allah-las, Ages & Ages, Wake Owl, Shred Kelly, Carmanah, Bear Mountian, Coal Moon, Wil, Dear Rouge, Old Man Canyon, Scouts, Prestors Pistols, Jon Middleton, DJ Honrat, High Tide Collective, Paperboy, Freedom Pony, and more to be announced in the coming months.

Austin’s Bright Light Social Hour has remained one of the most talked about acts in Victoria since their appearance at 2012′s Rifflandia Music Festival. While this won’t be their only visit to The Island this summer it will certainly be the most memorable as there are rumours of a brewery performance in Tofino on the Friday night of the festival.

Another band still making waves after their Rifflandia 2013 performances is Bear Mountain, a band that was formed as a side project to Ian Bevis’s Top Less Gay Tekno Party. Bear Mountain has seemed to have gained more traction that their predecessor and have notably opened for Hot Chip, Bloc Party, and MS MR as well as playing major international music festivals like Lollapalooza and Sasquatch. Certainly a must see at Otalith.

The Otalith Music Festival continues to strive for a uniquely west coast feeling festival. A vibe that can only be felt and not described. If you are looking for an intimate music festival experience in one of the most beautiful places in the world while drinking amazing craft brews and making new life long friends this is the festival for you.

Otalith not only promises you an amazing festival experience, but something you will remember and cherish for the rest of your life.

Otalith Music Festival: http://www.otalithfestival.com
Tickets $80 Saturday Pass/$100 Weekend Pass – available at TicketFly.com

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

Back in ApriI caught Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks at Lucky Bar here in Victoria, BC with some friends. I wasn't shooting that night, but I did have my Fuji x100s with me. Luckily I snapped a handful of pictures of the show including the opener Speedy Ortiz and for some reason I forgot to share them here on rocktographer.ca. Also check out my pal David's review of the Vancouver show on Concert Addicts. 

Hope you enjoy these shots and please check out the rest of the Stephen Malkmus and Speedy Ortiz photographs on my flickr. 

YYJ Rocktographers

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I've had just under a week to come to terms with how the YYJ Rocktographers event went. Personally I'm still a little awe struck by the turn out and response from everyone who came out on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. 

Having 300 people walk through the door on Friday night was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I know established bands in this town that don't even get a third of that at their concerts sometimes. When there were already people heading to the show before we had the pictures hung I knew we were in for a good night. Even if that meant not eating my phad thai until the next morning. 

On Friday night there wasn't a single moment when the studio was empty. There was constantly 40+ people in there milling about, talking, drinking, and having a good time. Saturday was also pretty busy, but quiet enough to give people more of an opportunity to really check out the photos. Overall I think the event probably had close to 500ish people through the door. 

Were there things I'd change about the event? Of course, but they are small and trivial in the grand scheme of things. What I'd most certainly like to change is the amount of stress I had in the week leading up to the event. Somehow that last week not the months of planning beforehand got to me. Certainly next time things will be more automated. 

What's in the future for YYJ Rocktographers? Well, that's a good question. I'm already starting to toy with the idea of "what's next" for us. Without a doubt another show is on the horizon. It's just a matter or when. Do we keep the event annual? Do we make it semi-annual? Do we start doing installations elsewhere too? There are lots of questions popping up right now, but I think that's part of a successful event. 

Personally I'm still floored by the good folks in this town for coming out. It was mind blowing seeing people coming through that door for two days straight. Old friends, new friends, bands, promoters, other photographers, and everyone else. We have a crazy supportive community here in Victoria, and it's certainly worth not taking for granted.

I can't thank everyone enough. Espeicially Al, Teresa, Hawk & Steel, Carlines, the photographers, and everyone else who helped out over the last few months 
 
The future has big things in store for YYJ Rocktographers and I can't wait. 
 
Check out some of the photos on our Facebook Event Page. 

YYJ Rocktographers

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It's been a lot of hard work, but today is finally the day. Today is the opening of YYJ Rocktographers at Al Smith's Studio here in Victoria, BC.

I've been wrangling photographers, the studio, and musicians for tonight's event for a few months now. More recently I've been doing radio interviews, newspaper interviews, and various other media outlets to do press for this event. A big thank you to my friends over at The Zone and The Q for all the support this month. You guys rock!

If you don't know what YYJ Rocktographers is you clearly haven't been following me on social media lately, but I'll talk about it again. YYJ Rocktographers is an event celebrating over twenty local concert photographers. Each photographer selected one of their best concert photographs to display in the gallery event. The photographs range from local bands like Acres of Lions and Towers and Trees to huge international recording artists like The Flaming Lips, Kiss, Bruce Springsteen, and Marilyn Manson.

Tonight will also feature the amazing talent of local musicians Hawk & Steel and Carlines. Both have agreed to do some acoustic versions of their songs and that kicks off around 8:30PM, January 24th, 2014.

Come down and hang out!

Gallery Hours: 
January 24th, 2014. 7PM - 10PM 
January 25th, 2014. 12PM - 5PM


YYJ RocktographersFacebook Event Page | Twitter
Al Smith's Studio (660 Discovery St. Victoria, BC)