prism

AWOLNATION Concert at The Wiltern

AWOLNATION played the final concert of the first tour backing their latest release, Here Come The Runts, at The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles Friday night. The crowd showed just as much enthusiasm for new songs as for tracks off previous albums. So much enthusiasm that at times you could feel the balcony bouncing up and down (I won't even try to pretend this didn't scare me).

I've got a soft spot in my heart for AWOL. Most reasons are romantic and nostalgic, but one is actually about anxiety. I read in an interview years ago (at the pinnacle of dealing with my own anxiety) that AWOL's founder, Aaron Bruno, experiences social anxiety which led to struggling to release his music and later perform live. The first time I saw AWOLNATION was at Center of the Universe Festival in Tulsa in 2014. During the set, Bruno was reserved and stayed in the dark, literally dodging shafts of light. I can't know for sure, but I always wondered if this was him dealing with his anxiety. If that's the case, Bruno has come a long way because he was the total opposite on stage last night. And that's pretty freaking cool to see.

Click and scroll through the images to see them big.

Air + Style Festival 2018

Last weekend, LA was treated to Air + Style, the global snowboard and skateboard competition and music festival that features world-class action sports athletes and musicians during a two-day event series with stops around the world including Los Angeles, Australia, and Beijing. 

 
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For the most part, I focused on the music. It's been a long time since I've been to a festival where it's been possible to see every single artist; two stages and no overlap meant no tough decisions on which set to see and which set to miss. The lineup was a stellar blend of musicians I love, have and haven't seen, and a few I'd never heard of. Sometimes, less really is more.

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Click the icons to scroll through the photos of the festival. Threw some film into the mix, too.

 

Superorganism Concert at Moroccan Lounge

Eight-piece band Superorganism have found their quirky niche and settled right in to captivating listeners world wide. The air of mystery surrounding Superorganism is thick; some faces are yet to be revealed, their members are from nearly every continent, and the fact that they may be fronted by a 17 year old is up for debate. Armed with catchy as fuck songs and a live show full of whimsy, that crawl-under-your-skin-so-good nature of Superorganism is impossible to resist.

Managed to hold back dancing just long enough to get these shots from their concert at the Moroccan Lounge in Los Angeles. Enjoy.

Slow Magic Concert at The Roxy Theatre

Slow Magic describes themself as "music by your imaginary friend," and that concept seems even more fitting after shooting their show at The Roxy last night. Of course, anyone that performs in a light up tribal zebra (I think?) mask is gonna have an air of mystery lingering around them. But Slow Magic's ability to command one of the kindest and highest energy crowds I've seen (on a Sunday night, no less) was the stuff of dreams.

Here are some photos I got. Enjoy the magic; I certainly did.

Khruangbin Concert at Proof Rooftop Lounge

Every concert I get the opportunity to shoot is an absolute honor. I've been doing this a couple years now, and there are still moments in every set that it hits me just how lucky I am to be doing something that ignites passion and gratitude and amazement in my soul. But there were a few more things that made shooting last night's hometown show for Khruangbin even more special.

It was my last concert to shoot in Houston for the foreseeable future. This big city has cradled me and grown to feel cozier than I could have ever imagined possible. But tomorrow I head west for Los Angeles; a new big city of hopes and goals and fears and artists to shoot and lessons to learn and new faces to meet and grow familiar with. I'm not saying this is my last Houston concert shoot ever, but it feels more like graduating than either of my actual graduations ever did.

More significantly, the name of one of Khruangbin's albums, The Universe Smiles Upon You, has become a sort of mantra of mine. Over the last few years, I've dedicated myself to practicing positivity and mindfulness. As a natural born pessimist, it's a battle hard fought every moment of every day. It began slowly, a simple reassurance I'd repeat in my mind, and progressed to actually telling people the universe smiles upon them when they were facing hardship and success alike. It snowballed from there. Now I could sit here typing an avalanche of all the ways those words bring me clarity, and it would get weird and spiritual and scientific and philosophical and a lot of other things, so I won't (for now). Just know, the universe smiles upon you.

There are a handful of other reasons this show was so special to me, but let's be real, you came here for the photos (and I really should start packing). I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.

To see more of my shots from other Khruangbin sets, click here.