Thank you music, you may well have saved my life this year. Much love.
I have to send out a special thank you to all the wonderful industry people and artists who let me into the festivals and venues to make these photos and take in these shows, and to you for looking at the photos, reading my words, and listening to the music.
If you haven't checked them out yet, follow the links to my Favourite Songs of 2019 and Favourite Albums of 2019 posts. It was a great year for music!
July Talk are one of the best bands playing anywhere right now. They put on some of the most magnetic, engaging and empowering live shows. They're one of the most photogenic bands. No wonder they have two spots on this list. This is a shot of Leah Fay from July Talk's performance at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario.
Dizzy is one of my favourite bands, one of my most seen performers and one of the bands I've photographed the most. Katie Munshaw is such an emotive and passionate singer and performer, I always get amazing photos. This is one from the band's performance at The Great Hall's Longboat Hall for the Wolfe Island Winter Ball.
This is my most-liked photo of the year on Instagram, so it must be the best, right? This shot does capture Aimee Interrupter interacting appreciatively with the crowd at Rebel. The band's music is so positive and empowering, and their live show is so engaging and super-fun. I'd see them any and every time I get the opportunity. I caught them both at Rebel and at The Danforth Music Hall this year.
My daughter turned me on to Naked Giants and I caught their live show at The Baby G. It was a super high energy and engrossing show. This is just one shot that captures the band's manic energy and intensity.
I've loved Rancid since I first heard "Time Bomb". Their ska-punk style is energizing as is their live show. The jump shot is one of the pinnacles of concert photography and one that I consider something I pretty much suck at. But I seem to be getting better at it. This show at Rebel was one of the musical highlights of my year.
PUP is an awesome band with great energy and they're so humble of their ascent to bigger and bigger shows, like this one at Echo Beach. I loved seeing Stefan Babcock riding this inflatable swan across the crowd.
I've caught three Yungblud shows so far. He's an unstoppable force. This last show was probably the hardest to capture because of his sheer energy and speed. There are so many cool shots from this show, it was hard to pick from. This moody shot from the very start of the show at The Danforth Music Hall turned out pretty good, I think. Click on through for the rest of my shots.
Here's another shot from July Talk's Budweiser Gardens show. This time it's Peter Dreimanis in a shot of moody intensity, fully consumed by the music.
Chvrches has maintained their status as one of my favourite bands. And they put on a fun and entertaining live show. I liked this shot of Lauren Mayberry from their most recent stop in Toronto at Rebel.
Luna Li is easily one of my favourite discoveries of 2019. I love everything about her music, her performance and her guitar playing. I love this shot of her in bliss at Royal Mountain Records BBQ. I really hope to catch more Luna Li shows soon and I really hope Royal Mountain Records puts on more of these awesome summer shows every year.
Drummers have it tough from a photography perspective. They're usually at the back of the stage, often in darkness and obscured by cymbals. I just had to include this shot of the Bob Mould Band's Jon Wurster from their show at The Phoenix Concert Theatre. Jon is an awesome drummer with amazing energy and always seems to be having a great time. This shot captures that.
As I mentioned, a Yungblud show is an onslaught of energy and it's hard to tear your eyes and lens away from the man himself. However, there's lots of other fun going on with the rest of the band. This shot of guitarist Adam Warrington taking an innovative approach to in-song tuning is a moment I was happy I managed to capture from their Danforth Music Hall show.
The Effens have become one of my favourite bands. I love their tunes, I love the live shows. This shot from a show at The Baby G captures the mood and energy of an Effens show. Check out their music and get yourself to one of their shows.
Haviah Mighty is an intense performer. She had a great year with many great performances and winning the Polaris Prize for her album 13th Floor. This close-up shot of her performing at Royal Mountain Records BBQ captures that intensity quite nicely, I'd say.
Photographer Brad Goldstein has been capturing some great shots for One In Ten Words. I love this awesomely composed and captured shot of Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard from their moist show at Echo Beach.
SWMRS know how to impress with their live show. Their performance at The Phoenix Concert Theatre was easily one of the best live shows of 2019. I can't wait to hear what they come up with on their future albums and I know I want to be at all their future Toronto shows.
Reignwolf puts on an intense and engaging live show. At The Mod Club, he wasn't content to stay on stage to rock out. He came out into the crowd and wedged himself between the bar and the balcony. I love an artist who goes the extra kilometre to put on an unforgettable show.
The Twilight Sad are one of my favourite bands. Their songs are so emotionally rich and enveloping. The live show, like this one at Velvet Underground, is where it comes together; the music surrounds and swirls around and consumes my emotions. I think I spent most of this show crying in the crowd. It was great and much-needed therapy after being disappointed to miss their other Toronto show earlier in the year. It's no wonder It Won’t Be Like This All the Time came in at number one on my Favourite Albums of 2019 list and "I'm Not Here [Missing Face]" came in at number five on my Favourite Songs of 2019 list.
Hollerado are an awesome, high-energy band with amazing power pop tunes. 2019 was the year that they'd call it quits and left us with some amazing shows. This one at Royal Mountain Records BBQ, where they were the surprise special guests, was an amazing show. I decided to put down the camera and enjoy their last-ever show at Danforth Music Hall as a fan. Farewell, Hollerado, thanks for the tunes and all the best for a bright future of new adventures.
There's something special about catching a rapidly up-and-coming band in an intimate venue and watching them win over a crowd. It was like that seeing The Anti-Queens play the Elora Legion at a Riverfest Elora afterparty. This band is amazing and I can't wait to see them ascend.
Skinny Lister are always fun. This show at Rebel where they helped warm up the crowd for The Interrupters was awesome. It's always exciting to see bassist Scott Milsom toss around that double bass like it's nothing. And this time I didn't almost get it in the face. Haha.
I've mentioned Dizzy a whole bunch on these virtual pages. This shot is from their sold-out show at The Mod Club. It's so amazing to see this band go from the first time I saw them at Hillside, to a sold-out show like this. I'm looking forward to more amazing music and shows from them as we go forward.
I love live concerts. Could you guess? They're irreplaceable and unique moments in time that are always special. This shot from Telekinesis' show at The Drake Underground captures a special moment within a special moment where Michael Benjamin Lerner put on a solo performance of "I Saw Lightning". It's the song that the couple pictured used as their wedding song. Cool.