Monday, December 27, 2010

Lab Report 2010: The Year In Review

2010 seemed just as busy as 2009 and 2008.

Total number of concerts for 2010: 176.

Average of seeing a show every 2 days.

Total number of reviews/photos for Amateur Chemist: 37.

Total number of contributions to OC Weekly: 85.

Total number of contributions to Stereogum: 55.

Assuming a concert lasts roughly 3.5 hours, I listened to live music for approximately 25.6 days of the year.

Highlight shows of the year by month:

January: Radiohead at the Music Box
How can you really top this show? Radiohead at the tiny Music Box? It still seems like a dream. Those lucky to be in attendance will never forget. I know I won't.

Runner up: Sonic Youth at the Fox Theater in Pomona
Thurston Moore is one of my many guitar heroes. Bonus points for seeing Mark Ibold of Pavement slaying on bass.

February: Phoenix at the Joint at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas
Phoenix continues to soar high off their album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. I thought this show would be the end of their touring cycle. I was obviously wrong as they toured relentlessly till the conclusion of the year.

Runner up: St. Vincent at the Belly Up
I didn't get the chance to catch as many shows at the Belly Up this year but this was definitely worth the drive to see Annie Clark weave her guitar magic up close and personal.

March: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at the House of Blues Anaheim
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were on fire on this particular night. I quickly regretted missing their prior shows at the Echoplex after seeing them burn down the House of Blues Anaheim.

Runner up: Paul McCartney at the Hollywood Bowl
This would be a front runner but I only shot the three songs since I didn't have a ticket to stay.

April: Pavement at the Fox Theater in Pomona
Undoubtedly the best and longest set that I witnessed of the Pavement reunion shows. It was magical.

Runner up: Coachella Sunday 2010
It was difficult to catch full sets by all the bands since I was trying to photograph every band possible but even catching three songs of Spoon, Gorillaz, Atoms for Peace, Phoenix and Pavement is still mind blowing when I think about it.

May: Hum at the Old Rock House
Hum at the Old Rock House
Hum is one of my favorite bands. I flew a few thousand miles to see Hum destroy at a small club in St. Louis. It was worth every penny and I would do it again in a second.

Runner up: The National at the Wiltern
High Violet is one of my top albums of the year. The National performed brilliantly at the Wiltern. I can still visualize them playing "Lemonworld".

June: Hum at Millennium Park
Did I mention I like Hum? I flew back two weeks later to see them in Chicago. Crazy? Yes. Worth it? Obviously.

Runner up: KROQ Weenie Roast at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
When Scott Weiland is sober, Stone Temple Pilots put on a bona fide rock show. Spoon, Silversun Pickups, Deftones and Devo were also highlights.

July: Rage Against The Machine at the Hollywood Palladium
Easily the most electric atmosphere for a show all year. I have never feared for my life more in a photopit. The world needs Rage Against The Machine to come back and show bands how it is done.

Runner up: Tool at Nokia Theater
Tool have long been one of my favorite bands since I saw them open for GWAR in 1992 at the Hollywood Palladium. Getting a photopass for Tool is on par with finding the Holy Grail. Hearing "Intolerance" gave me chills and flashbacks.

August: Silversun Pickups at the Greek Theater
A grand homecoming show for LA's favorite fuzz pedal loving band. Can't wait for their next album.

Runner up: Rush at Verizon Amphitheater
Slapping da bass! Rush rocks. You haven't seen them live if you disagree.

September: Muse at the Staples Center
Rivaling Rage Against the Machine in electricity, Muse had all of Staples Center buzzing throughout the evening.

Runner up: The Black Keys at the Hollywood Palladium
It is nice to see the Black Keys finally receive some acclaim after putting out numerous solid records. Two sold out nights at the Hollywood Palladium show they are well on their way.

October: Gorillaz at the Gibson Amphitheater
How did I end up photographing Lou Reed? I owe it all to Damon Albarn and Gorillaz. Watching Mick Jones and Paul Simonon was icing on the cake.

Runner up: Arcade Fire at the Shrine Auditorium
The Suburbs shows that Arcade Fire is up to challenge of becoming one of the bigger bands in rock today.

November: A Perfect Circle at the Avalon
Mer De Noms in its entirety. My mind was blown being able to photograph Tool and A Perfect Circle within a span of a few months.

Runner up: Weezer at the Gibson Amphitheater
The Blue Album in its entirety. One of the few albums I still remember how to play on guitar. Weezer won't stop rocking.

December: Roger Waters at the Staples Center
Captivating from start to finish with unparalleled visuals and exquisite musicianship. Hoping this is released on Blu-ray someday. Best show of 2010.

Runner up: KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Night Two
Phoenix, Broken Bells and the Black Keys all brought their best sets. KROQ Acoustic Christmas is always a nice way to wind down the year.

Thanks for reading. See you in 2011.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Favorite Concert Photos of 2010

Take a quick stroll through my favorite pictures of 2010. More pictures will be posted in my year end review.

Spoon at the Village Recorder
It was funny that Britt was taking my picture as I was taking his.

Radiohead at the Music Box
Johnny Greenwood. One of my favorite guitarists.

The Cribs at the Glass House
Johnny Marr. I love you.

PIL at Club Nokia
Another legend checked off my bucket list.

Coachella Friday 2010
Don't have any Jay-Z albums but I like this photograph.

Hole at the KROQ Weenie Roast
Courtney Love actually seemed happy at this moment.

A Place To Bury Strangers at Spaceland
Embrace strobe lights. They can be your friends.

Rage Against The Machine at the Hollywood Palladium
One of my top 10 favorite photos.

School of Seven Bells at KCRW
Won't be able to get this shot again. :(

The National at Austin City Limits 2010
A majority of published photos of Matt Berninger from the National are with his eyes closed.

Muse at Austin City Limits 2010
It was nice to shoot Muse from the pit instead of soundboard.

Sonic Youth at Austin City Limits 2010
Thurston conjuring up some magic.

LCD Soundsystem at the Hollywood Bowl
LCD Soundsystem killed it.

Gary Numan at the El Rey Theater
Another legend checked off my bucket list.

Favorite Photo of the Year: A Place To Bury Strangers at the El Rey
One of my favorite bands. This picture was used by the band as a promo shot which is a big honor.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Passion Pit at the Hollywood Palladium


After tackling the herculean task of opening arenas for Muse, Passion Pit returned for another Southern California swing supporting their album Manners at the Hollywood Palladium for an impressive dance party.

Pepper Rabbit

Pepper Rabbit unfurled a crowd pleasing set of their off kilter folk pop replete with ukulele. Their debut album Beauregard on Kanine records has been slowly building a nice buzz. Rumor has it that they will have another new album in 2011 and will continue to tour.

We Barbarians

It was not surprising to see We Barbarians slay another crowd just as they did in Pomona. The Long Beach based locals released a highly overlooked debut album There's This There's That and have a new seven inch vinyl released on the label run by Matt Maust of Cold War Kids.

Mister Heavenly

Mister Heavenly had tons of buzz due to the addition of actor Michael Cera on Vox Phantom bass. A super group to start with consisting of Honus Honus of Man Man, Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse and Nick Thorburn of Islands recently signed to Sub Pop records. While I wasn't too familiar with their tunes, the band sounded fairly solid given it was roughly their fourth gig. Wonder if they make it onto the Coachella bill.

Passion Pit

Armed with tons of synthesizers, and Michael Angelakos's sky high falsetto, Passion Pit threw a high energy dance party from the moment they hit the stage. Having released their album Manners in May of 2009, it is impressive that Passion Pit can still tour and fill theaters off an album a year and a half old. The crowd was dancing all night to songs like "The Reeling", "Little Secrets" and their requisite show closer "Sleepyhead".