2016 was another successful year for concerts for me. I got the opportunity to photograph some of my favorite bands as well as finally see some bands for the first time that I had been waiting to see. Along with that came lots of incredible photos I got while photographing bands. I tried to downsize it to 15, but after staring at my screen for 10 minutes, I just couldn’t decide on what to get rid of so I stretched it to 16. Because what’s one more photo? So with this article, I’ll be taking what I consider to be my favorite/best photographs I took from the whole year and write my thoughts on the photo. So, let’s get started:

Dani Filth – Cradle of Filth (England)
February 17, 2016
Mayan Theater – Los Angeles, CA

I was originally supposed to see COF back in 2013, but I didn’t since the tour was cancelled due to Visa issues with the band. So naturally when this tour was announced, I jumped at the opportunity to see this band that I had been wanting to see. I ended up getting this great show of Dani that I still like to look at. His makeup and outfit look amazing. The only downside to the show was the venue that had a tiny photo pit for photographers so I stayed in the same spot for the whole show. At least it was a good spot.

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Dave Mustaine – Megadeth (California, USA)
February 28, 2016
Hollywood Palladium – Hollywood, CA

Thrash metal legends Megadeth are one of my favorite bands and now that I was much more experienced with photographing bands, of course I wanted the opportunity to photograph them. Getting a photo pass no easy task, but I succeeded so I made sure to do a good job on it. The lighting was beautiful for the show and it was my first time photographing the Hollywood Palladium too so it was double the experience. I got this shot of Dave which I really like the colors too and how his face is partially hidden by his golden locks. I hope to have more opportunities to photograph them again in the near future.

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Eric Bass – Shinedown (Florida, USA)
March 9, 2016
Mayan Theater – Los Angeles, CA

Going to see a band like Shinedown was way out of my comfort zone. Normally I don’t listen to these types of bands, but I did this show as a favor plus I thought I’d give them a chance to change my mind on them. The result, let’s just say that I desperately wanted to leave the show since I have had enough of the mainstream radio rock going through my ears, but I couldn’t leave just yet since I can’t review a full show with just witnessing half the show. At least the majority of the audience were women ranging from my age to the slightly older fans. The one thing that really annoyed me was that for some reason the venue wanted us photographers to shoot from the side of the stage rather than use the photo pit that I had previously used from other shows. Security said that it was the band’s decision for that, but oddly enough I had literally been to this venue the day before for Cannibal Corpse and had been told the same thing. CC is more understandable because security would need the space to catch crowd surfers and such. Regardless, I ended up getting this nice shot of Eric jumping around as he had done throughout the show so I didn’t leave the show completely empty handed.

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Floor Jansen – Nightwish (Finland)
March 12, 2016
Grove of Anaheim – Anaheim, CA

Nightwish is another one of my favorite bands and since they had come back from their 2015 tour, I was more than excited to see them once again with their energetic live performance. Compared to the Greek Theater last year, this time they played the Grove in Anaheim where they earned themselves a sold out show so it was definitely about to get wild. Btw for those wondering, Floor Jansen is Dutch so her name has a different meaning than what us Americans are used to. I got lots of good shots from this show, but I was mainly fond of this one. The light is perfect and Jansen’s stance is perfect so you can see her outfit in full and her eye makeup she put on specifically for this show. I had a lot of fun singing along to the music and also met several new people I still talk to to this day.

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Kerry King – Slayer (California, USA)
March 25, 2016
Rabobank Theater – Bakersfield, CA

Slayer was another band on my list of bands I have to photograph. Surely enough, they announced a tour in support of their new Repentless album and I couldn’t wait to see where they would make a stop. Oddly, there was no Los Angeles date of any kind and my city was literally stuck in the middle between going to the San Francisco show or Las Vegas with both being six hours apart. Luckily a show in Bakersfield was announced two hours from me which was really weird, but I didn’t care as long as it meant not needing to drive to SF or LV. I love this shot of Kerry King that I got which was just perfect as you can feel the intensity of the photo. Only a concert like this would give me a reason to drive out to Bakersfield.

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Abbath – Abbath (Norway)
March 28, 2016
Regent Theater – Los Angeles, CA

As you could probably tell, yeah I had a lot of concerts in March which oddly was a very busy month for metal concerts. Especially for someone like me with a wide variety of metal genres. I ended March with this year’s Decibel Magazine tour and it was headlined by the popular and completely hilarious Abbath now formerly of Norwegian black metal legends, Immortal. For a lot of people at this show, it was their first time seeing Abbath perform including myself. Abbath released his self-titled debut album at the beginning of the year and wasted no time touring for it. Known his comedic acts, Abbath put on a lot of funny faces and did his traditional crab walk across the stage that always keeps people laughing at his performance. This show was extra special for me because during the performance of the second song Winter Bane, Abbath comes to the edge of the stage, slips, and ends up falling on top of me while I’m recording a video of their performance which officially makes it my greatest concert moment ever. I’ll attach the link to the video to viewed here you can watch the whole song or skip to 3:55 and watch it happen. In the end, I got plenty of photos of Abbath making his funny faces and got this one which has him with a very strange look to his face which is comical to look at.

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Johan Hegg – Amon Amarth (Sweden)
April 7, 2016
House of Blues – San Diego, CA

This was the first time I drove out to San Diego and what better band to photograph there than the Swedish melodic death metal vikings, Amon Amarth. They were a lot of fun to shoot and got this beautiful shot of Johan. If you enjoy vikings, tales of Norse gods and mythology, Amon Amarth is your go-to band. On top of that, they’re super nice guys to meet after the show. I can’t wait to see them again next time they come around and hopefully photograph them again.

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Adam “Nergal” Darski – Behemoth (Poland)
May 7, 2016
The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA

Behemoth is another band I love seeing live. Such an incredible stage presence. I managed to get in to photograph the show and apparently a lot of other photographers did too because the photo pit was packed to where I couldn’t move from my spot and was elbow to elbow with other photographers. Photographing this show was tough because not only could I not move, but lighting was very dark and so a lot of my shots came out dark so I needed to heavily edit them to make them look nice. One of the few good shots I got was this one of Nergal swinging the thurible back and forth for a bit which I was hoping to get a good shot of. It’ll probably be a couple of years or so before Behemoth comes back since they haven’t released an album since 2014’s The Satanist. Hopefully next time it won’t be so crowded with photographers and the lighting is better.

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Randy Blythe – Lamb of God (Virginia, USA)
May 28, 2016
Fox Theater – Pomona, CA

I really wanted to photograph Lamb of God on this tour since I wasn’t able to get a photo pass earlier this year in February with Anthrax. Getting a photo pass wasn’t easy, but ultimately I got my wish and was super excited to finally be able to photograph them. They were fun to photograph with Randy actively running around and jumping. This shot right here was my favorite as you can see Randy showing the ferocity he puts into his performance. Such a great shot and it still amazes me as to how good it came out.

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Hoest – Taake (Norway)
June 11, 2016
Regent Theater – Los Angeles, CA

For the first time ever, Norwegian black metal legends Taake (Taw-ke) played in Los Angeles so it was no surprise to see a huge turnout for the band on this night. The first part that was annoying was that their tour was part of the Sound & Fury fest to which Taake’s show was the after party and therefore started late with Wolvhammer the first opening band starting at 10:30pm and Taake not starting until just after 1 a.m. and by then, a lot of people were fed up with staying out so late for a show. For me, photographing the show was a challenge because there was no photo pit, but I got there early enough to where I was up front for the whole show with no song limit to stop me from photographing. The stage was dark most of the time and fog machines would regularly release fog so it made for both taking interesting photos and annoying as well. I ended up with this shot of Hoest staring right at me while crucifying himself with the mic stand. It made for an awesome photo. The show only got worse as the band’s set was cut short due to it being 2 a.m., right before the band was supposed to play Myr which was supposed to be awesome because it featured the use of the banjo and fans had been demanding that banjo to be played. Talk about that venue keeping its terrible reputation.

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Jonathan Davis – KoRn (California, USA)
July 24, 2016
Irvine Meadows Amphitheater – Irvine, CA

Korn is one of the most fun bands I’ve ever photographed so of course I was super excited to photograph them again as well as Rob Zombie for the first time and In This Moment all in the beauty of an outdoor venue during the daytime. One of my main focuses for photographing Korn was when Jonathan Davis headbangs while holding his microphone to where his dreads fly all over the place. The result was this photo which is what I was looking for. I got lots of good photos and this is one of my favorites from that night.

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George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher – Cannibal Corpse (New York, USA)
August 12, 2016
The Novo – Los Angeles, CA

Cannibal Corpse can be a fun and challenging band to photograph. For the second time this year, I was able to photograph them. This time I had full use of a photo pit being in front of them compared to shooting them from the side of the stage at the Mayan Theater back in March. I was aiming to get this shot of Corpsegrinder doing his infamous head-spinning with the band’s lit up logo in the background. The lighting was a bit challenging to work with, but I made it work and got this shot which I’m happy with. Most of the band members are also hard to photograph because their long hair gets in their face a lot so you really have to get in the right angles to gte shots of their faces.

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Dennis “Seregor” Droomers – Carach Angren (Netherlands)
September 21, 2016
Regent Theater – Los Angeles, CA

Carach Angren is one of my current favorite bands. With me being a horror fanatic, it was easy for me to be attracted to their music and have become a huge fan. I even saw them on their first USA tour in 2013 before I knew anything about them. since then, I’ve become a full fan of their and always looking forward to their haunting and energetic performances. Being at this venue, I was once again cursed to not have a photo pit for this show which also included Greek black metal legends Rotting Christ so I knew I was in for a good pummeling from fans around me. Even then, I beat the odds and got some good shots of the band and even got this shot of Seregor in mid-scream. I hope to see them again in the near future with the use of a photo pit so I’ll be able to get even better photos of the band.

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Papa Emeritus III – Ghost (Sweden)
October 18, 2016
Riverside Municipal Auditorium – Riverside, CA

To those that have been following my work, it’s no surprise I love Ghost. They came to Southern California for three shows and I went to all three. The first stop was in Riverside which I had only been there one other time in 2014. I picked to photograph this show because it has a photo pit for photographers whereas the Wiltern shows in Los Angeles, their photo pit is 20 feet from the stage which is hard to get up close photos even with a telephoto lens. Papa Emeritus proves to be very photogenic as he posed for photographers and caught him in this pose. Perfect timing for me. Ghost has only gotten better with their music and live performances and I will definitely be seeing them as many times as possible.

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Simone Simons – Epica (Netherlands)
November 19, 2016
Regent Theater – Los Angeles, CA

I was originally supposed to see Epica for the first time towards the end of 2014, but that whole tour with Machine Head and Children of Bodom was cancelled. They made another in the fall of 2015, but had to drop out after a few dates due to Simone having a family emergency in the Netherlands. Finally this year I got my wish and got to see the beautiful redhead in all her glory which was hard to keep my camera away from her. I know she head bangs a lot when she’s not singing so I used those opportunities to try and get good shots of her. I ended up with this photo which was completely unexpected. Her face and body is clear as day with no blurriness and I perfectly captured her hair waving in the air. Talk about right place, right time. I hope they come back soon instead of waiting another few years so I can see them again.

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Alexi Laiho – Children of Bodom (Finland)
December 6, 2016
The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA

This was the second time this year I got to see and photograph the Finnish legends Children of Bodom. Only this time it was a headlining set and the lighting was slightly better. It was still challenging to photograph them with so many dark lights being used. Somehow, I ended up with this shot. It was purely accidental. I just aimed at my camera at Alexi to focus it and snapped some random photos and wound up with this shot which I freaked out about once I scanned through my photos. Another perfect shot where I was at the right place at the right time. Children of Bodom themselves loved this photo so much that they shared it on their Facebook page which is always an honor having bands share my work. This was the last show of the year I photographed so I have a break for sometime until the first week in January 2017 when I get back on track with shows already lined up.

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I mainly go to rock and metal concerts.
Misael
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Thursday, December 29th, 2016 at 10:34 pm.
Categories: Reviews.

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