“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo

Music has the power to transcend time, language, and culture. Music has the ability to touch people at their core and speak to their emotions. 2016 has been an emotionally difficult year, and live music allowed people to escape reality, even if just for a moment. It’s difficult to narrow this year’s shows down to a top 10 list, but here are some of my favorite shots from 2016.

10. One-Eyed Doll / The Whisky
This show was completely unexpected in the best way. It was my first time seeing and experiencing One-Eyed Doll, and the photos don’t do Kimberly justice. They’re a must-see next time they’re in town.


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9. Between the Buried and Me / The Roxy
The crowd at this show was one of the most enthusiastic I’ve seen this year, and without a photo pit at The Roxy, it was definitely a challenge keeping my gear and myself safe.


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8. Disturbed / The Observatory
I had the fortune of seeing Disturbed twice this year, the first time at The Observatory. The venue wasn’t set up for the pyrotechnics that Disturbed usually has present, but that didn’t stop them from putting on a killer show and having amazing lighting.


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7. The Used / The Observatory
Third time seeing The Used, first time photographing them. Bert McCracken was dynamic as ever, interacting with the crowd and really showing the audience how much these albums mean to him personally.


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6. Rancid / The Roxy
Punk legends and icons. I was truly fortunate to be able to see them in a venue as intimate as The Roxy, and the energy was insane. The Roxy is small and usually lit with a few red lights, making it challenging to capture photos, but the ability to get close to the stage and really immerse yourself in the show is absolutely worth it.


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5. Korn / Irvine Meadows
Rob Zombie was a tough set to follow, but Korn had such a strong stage presence that it was no problem at all. They had an AMAZING lighting director, and there wasn’t a moment that the audience wasn’t on their feet.


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4. Slipknot / The Forum
With so many members, you would think that a live show by Slipknot would be overwhelming. But with years and years to perfect their craft, Slipknot expertly maneuvered around the stage, fluidly bringing focus to each member for an epic experience.


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3. Rob Zombie / Irvine Meadows
The Return of the Dreads Tour was so epic I had to include two photos from this show. As a director of feature films, Rob Zombie really knows how to put on a show and visually communicate his message to his audience. He moves around a lot, and his lighting is typically red or green (challenging), but he is a blast to shoot.


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2. Eddie Vedder / Ohana Fest
Festivals are often a mixed bag. The downsides are that there are a lot of people, meaning you likely won’t get close to the stage, the artists’ sets are shortened, and the crowd doesn’t get to witness the full capabilities of the lighting designers unless the artist is headlining and playing at night.

The upside is that you get to see lots of huge artists that you normally would have a hard time seeing if you tried to catch them on their own. I could have done a top 10 photo series with just the artists that played at Ohana Fest, but I feel like Eddie Vedder was a great representative of the musical talent and personality present at this year’s event in Dana Point.


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1. Circa Survive – The Observatory
Anthony Green puts on a fantastic show. The music is hard and fast, but his movements on stage are fluid and transfixing to watch. He feels the music, and it’s impossible not to be drawn in with him. His lighting designer is also wonderful, creating a mood that complements the auditory aspect perfectly.

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