Tag Archives: los angeles

Infantree at the Satellite, Silver Lake, Ca

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Infantree played a free show Monday August 9th opening up for Whispering Pines (look them up,their drummer is rad).

It was a fun friend affair. I headed out with my brother, Blake, photographer/cinematographer, Paul Mocey-Hanton, and “Steech” Steve Davis. It was a blast just hanging out before the show and would have been a great night no matter what. But, it turned out to be an amazing night.

Infantree played the best show I’ve ever seen them put on. Not only was it their best but I think it is in my top 25 list of concerts. When you are like me and you have seen well over 500 concerts with many bands performing at each concert that really counts for something.

The band put on a performance that kept the energy flowing. Almost all the songs they played were re-crafted in a manner to allow them to seamlessly transition into the next one without stopping.

They also seemed to be jamming a bit more than I had seen before. It was fantastic!

They play pretty often around LA and are slowly touring more and more so be sure to keep your eye out for them. =)

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Ashley Tisdale at The Grove in LA



My best friend Jacob plays with a lot of different bands and musicians.

Most recently, Ashley Tisdale. haha.

I got to hang out with her band and catch the warm up and concert at The Grove. Her band is full of great guys and a cool ass lady. It was awesome.

We had some good catering, hijacked the offices of The Grove, made our own name tags, and got some sun.

It was a really fun show for what it is. A pop show.

I did love the chemistry between her and Jacob. That made the show a blast to watch. haha.

Enjoy the photos.

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After Midnight Project at Key Club



I got to catch up with my pal Jason Evigan and his band After Midnight Project playing a bon voyage show at the Key Club.

They are currently on the Warped Tour and worth checking out if you’re looking for a fun rock show.

Jason has spent a long time trying to find his way with his music and it seems like he finally found it.

The tunes are solid and the live show is great fun. He’s landed a good record deal with a label that seems to be in full support of the band and album, they’re getting some radio play, and playing non stop shows.

It’s exciting to see a lot of hard work and tenacity pay off for him. =) Well, for him and our other friend Charles “Cary” Garwood. Jason has hired him on as their tour manager and it’s equally great to see him along for the ride.

They have a new album coming out in August. Be sure to give it a chance if you’re looking for something check out.

Check them out here: Click

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Finch at Troubadour



Simply stated, the show was amazing. Finch is amazing.

The band reunited is as exciting as any other recent reunion (Far and Faith No More for example) and just as missed and welcomed back.

The crowd was singing along to all the songs. The energy exchange between the band and fans was off the charts. The band was super tight and a joy to watch.

You could see they were as excited to be playing in LA again as all the fans were to see them.

They played a good mix of old, really old, and new songs. There was a good feeling of nostalgia with a breeze of fresh air.

On top of being great musicians they are great guys too. It has been a really long time since I have talked to band members and overwhelmed with a warm, welcoming feeling. The guys spent a long time after the show talking to any and everyone that wanted to talk. Distributing hugs and pleasantries. haha.

It was a wonderful show. I can’t wait to see them playing again. Hopefully, they finish up writing the new album soon so none of us have to wait very long. =)

Check Finch out Here

Get their latest EP Here. It is for FREE currently on their site!!!

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Dredg at the Troubadour

Gavin of Dredg performing at the Troubadour

Gavin of Dredg performing at the Troubadour

Let’s get the bad out of the way. This show was yet another poorly lit, frustrating experience. The few moments that utilized the lights to create an interesting atmosphere in which to see the band was just barely bright enough to notice it happening.

It baffles me how lighting could go to the sidelines in terms of expressing one’s music. It is such an easy tool to utilize in order to increase the way and richness those in the audience can connect to the music.

I did what I could in a horrible situation for photography.

With that said, the show was amazing. Dredg is always a treat to see live. They do a great job with letting it all flow out naturally.

Gavin of Dredg performing at the Troubadour

Gavin of Dredg performing at the Troubadour

Gavin is a great front man. His stage presence is reminiscent of Jim Morrison to me. He has this fun swagger about him. His voice is unique and he has great technique with singing powerfully and in control.

Compared to the few outings I caught while they were still writing the new songs that require Gavin to play guitar, he looks a lot more natural up there with one in his hands.

He has never looked out of place playing on his slide guitar which rests on the table in front of him. It did at one point seem as though being strapped to a guitar was a whole new world to him. haha.

Not now. Now, he has that same swagger on guitar as he does the rest of the time without it. It’s quite fun to watch.

Dino of Dredg performing at the Troubadour

Dino of Dredg performing at the Troubadour

Dino is the most calculated person I think I have ever seen play. At times it is hard to not think of him as a robot. If you couldn’t happen to look into his eyes while he played I think you would believe he actually is a robot. The guy hits crazy hard and knows how to lead the rest of the band through dynamic build ups through out their set.

Mark of Dredg performing at the Troubadour

Mark of Dredg performing at the Troubadour

Mark’s guitar playing is probably the most easily recognized element in the music that notifies the listener they are hearing a dredg song. Until this show I was struggling with pinpointing just how far and away the batch of songs on their newest album have come from the last album.

Seeing them live and being able to fully focus on Mark made it apparent that distance is not far at all. His style has not changed although the influences for the music has.

Drew of Dredg performing at the Troubadour

Drew of Dredg performing at the Troubadour

Drew is definitely the ambassador of dredg. He is the guy that is always a beacon of fun. No matter how serious he can look, there are always moments of charm as he finds someone to quickly interact with in the crowd.

It was interesting seeing the addition of a synth in front of Drew.

A lot of times when you see a band member abandon their analog (well, analog enough) instrument for a synth it gets a little nerve racking. I mean, “keyboards have no soul!” Or, at least that is what I have read on numerous bumper stickers. haha.

The way Drew writes and plays quickly disproves that. It is a welcome addition to the soundscape that dredg creates.

Judgement Day on stage with Dredg performing at the Troubadour

Judgement Day on stage with Dredg performing at the Troubadour

The show was amazing. A lot of energy. A lot of heart and/or soul (haha). A lot of great songs. A lot of surprises too. With dredg that means guest appearances by friends. This night it was Judgement Day joining the band on stage to provide strings to a good grip of songs.

Well. That about sums it up.

Check Dredg out!

Enjoy the photos. I hope. ^_-

p.s. Gonna add this video of them at Coachella last year playing “Saviour” off their new CD to help give you all an idea of how great these guys are.

Goodness. <3

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Opeth at the Avalon

Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth

Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth



A friend of mine has been pushing the awesomeness of Opeth for some time now. I decided to go check them out as they passed through LA.

I only had a photo pass for the show. No ticket. In the few cases I have experienced only getting a photo pass it has given me access to entering the venue. But, not this time.

I was forced to sit outside the venue in between sets. Being escorted (very unorganized due to the media rep not showing up to the concert) to the photo pit for the first three songs of each band. As soon as the first three songs ended I was escorted back outside.

I did have the company of a few ushers. The one name I remember is Fred. That dude is solid. SHOUT OUT TO YA, FRED! haha.

You should understand that I was only present for the three songs before you read more because that is all of Opeth’s show I got to experience. My opinion is a bit biased at this point. I’m still going to share it.

The music Opeth creates is pretty amazing. It’s huge soundscapes built around metal. There is a lot going on and a lot of sound creating really rich atmospheres.

The downside of being so technically proficient is sometimes being a bit stationary on stage. Opeth was very stationary on stage. This isn’t always a problem and, like Rudy of Protest the Hero joked about, you can fake being energetic on stage with the help of lighting.

Opeth had no help though. The lighting was absolutely terrible. There was barely an edge light on Mikael in the center of the stage. The rest of the band was blanketed in darkness. And, there was only a few moments during the three songs where yellow flood lights would flash and light up everything from behind.

If the lighting matched the dynamics of what Opeth’s music is the show would have been a whole other experience. Instead, it was a pretty boring three songs that didn’t really require keeping my eyes open to enjoy the concert more than I would enjoy listening to their albums. They did sound great.

They sounded really, really, really great!

But, holy shit, I enjoy their albums. Hopefully, when they come back to the states from their home base in Sweden they have a new lighting technician.

Again, I was only able to get three songs to form an opinion. I caught some good energy being exchanged between the band and the audience. I wish I could have stayed longer to get a real taste of that.

Martin Mendez

Martin Mendez

The actual band’s crew was well organized and their tour manager and the band were really good people and helped me out with a favor before the show. If any of them find their way here, thank you.

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Protest the Hero at the Knitting Factory

Rody Walker

Rody Walker


Protest The Hero is one of those bands I could see anyone being able to find some enjoyment in seeing.

The guys are total showmen and know how to play to the crowd. Arif and Rody are especially engaging with the crowd.

Rody is almost like a stand up comic in his charisma and interaction with the people in front of him. Since I’ve known about the band I have gotten a lot of enjoyment from their blogs which showcased a sarcastic humor. Rody totally brings that same element to their live show. Rody can come off like an asshole at times but, he’s a really funny asshole. At one point in the show he saw a couple seemingly in a fight and called them out just to create an awkward moment for them. The man knows when he sees an opening. He doesn’t direct it all to the crowd though.

Throughout the show Rody was making jokes about their use of strobes to trick the audience into thinking they are as active around the stage as the opening band, Misery Signals. Not excluding himself from humorous commentary is what dismisses the “asshole” title. haha.

Arif Mirabdolbaghi

Arif Mirabdolbaghi

Musically, the band stands out in comparison what you typically think of as modern metal. There is a lot of influences from 80s metal in terms of the vocals. Protest the Hero isn’t just yelling but, the vocals when they are all about melody and harmonies are not over the top and up Rody’s own ass for the sake of showing he can sing. The rest of the band is just as proficient and diverse in how they utilize their instruments.

The whole time I was at the show I was wishing Trevor Martin was with me. He would have loved seeing Arif tapping up and down his bass neck and plucking away quickly without aid of a pick (haha).

Luke Hoskin

Luke Hoskin

All in all it was a great show. Hopefully, these guys keep on gaining momentum and take their place at the top filling arenas one day.

You can check them out here:

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Black Kids at the Henry Fonda

Reggie Youngblood of Black Kids

Reggie Youngblood of Black Kids

Black Kids closed the show after Mates of State. It was quite a contrast in energy alone and made me wonder how the alternating line up would have changed the perception of Mates of State’s set.

Had it been the next night and Black Kids opened before Mates of State I almost feel like I would have been disappointed with seeing them.

To go from the energetic and lively experience that was Black Kids to the mellow and collected Mates of State would be quite anticlimatic.

Good thing I went on the right night!

Black Kids totally brought it. The band is a fun poppy dance rock outfit. And, when bands like that are able to move me should feel safe in assuming they are that good.

Everyone on stage seemed to be having the time of their life. It was a great thing to witness. If you are lacking something catchy and fun check them out.

Kevin Snow of Black Kids

Kevin Snow of Black Kids

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Mates of State at the Henry Fonda

Kori Gardner of Mates of State

Kori Gardner of Mates of State

First, my complaint: This theater seemed entirely too big of a place to see Mates of State. The band was so spread apart from one another and stationary behind their instruments it felt like you were at a recital for school.

That said, the band was spot on and sounded wonderful. Kori and Jason have no problem showing off their chemistry with one another on stage and you can tell they’re having a blast doing what they love with who they love.

If not for that it would have been very hard to connect to the people making the music any more than if you were listening to the CD. Watching the small interactions between the two across the huge stage added a layer of intimacy to the event. Which, as a member of the audience allows you to feel a little special and a part of their world where wonderfully fun music is created.

Jason Hammel of Mates of State

Jason Hammel of Mates of State

Check them out here:

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These Arms Are Snakes at the Echoplex

Steve Sneer bringin it ©2009 Gary Livingston

Steve Sneer bringin it ©2009 Gary Livingston

This was my first time seeing the band in a real venue.  The last time I caught them they played a set on the floor of a cafe in Santa Barbara.  The show was pretty intense due to the band being mixed among the crowd.  I was kind of nervous about how the antics of singer Steve Sneer would translate from that environment to the stage of the Echoplex.  Would it feel as wild and chaotic? Well, I certainly got my answer.

These Arms Are Snakes at The Echoplex in Los Angeles ©2009 Gary Livingston

These Arms Are Snakes at The Echoplex in Los Angeles ©2009 Gary Livingston

Steve Sneer is King Maniac of a group of artists that all know how to let loose in front concert goers.  He completely went wild and there was no object within 20 feet of him that he was not determined to show his domination over.  From lighting setups to barricades to folding event tables.  Guitarist Ryan Frederiksen’s back was even the object of conquest at one point in the show. The man brought the chaos and sold the anxious energy of his band’s songs through his interpretive dance.

He attempted a few times to tell jokes inbetween songs too.  Unfortunately, the mic and overall noise of the venue made it really hard to understand what he was saying.  I have a feeling more people than me were having the same issue.  Instead of laughs there was more of a “what is this mad man saying?” awkward perplexity throughout the crowd.  I do suspect the jokes were funny though. The few people I noticed that heard did laugh.

Ryan Frederiksen © 2009 Gary Livingston

Ryan Frederiksen © 2009 Gary Livingston

The rest of the band were not as wild but, each of them were no less deserving of one’s focus.  They each played with intensity and it was fun to watch them all build off the energy of one another as the night went on.  TAAS is a really tight band and they do a great job at recreating the sound from their albums and bringing it to the stage.

Brian Cook ©2009 Gary Livingston

Brian Cook ©2009 Gary Livingston

Brian Cook does a great job building up the texture and power of the songs, jumping from bass to guitar to korg.  Chris Common makes use of every bit of his drum kit and drives the band forward with ferocity.  Ryan Frederiksen completes the picture on guitar, shifting from moments of wistfulness to all out sonic assaults.

Chris Common © 2009 Gary Livingston

Chris Common © 2009 Gary Livingston

Be sure to check out These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes at the Echoplex in Los Angeles ©2009 Gary Livingston

These Arms Are Snakes at the Echoplex in Los Angeles ©2009 Gary Livingston

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