Concert Photos: Hey Mama and Girls Guns & Glory at the Middle East Downstairs

Before officially moving on to new projects, Hey Mama reunited for two “Bring It Back Home” shows in Burlington, VT and Boston.

After calling it quits several months ago to move on to new music projects, Hey Mama reunited for a couple “Bring It Back Home” shows in Burlington, VT and Boston in early October 2011. See the concert photos I shot of Hey Mama and their old-school country rock and roll friends Girls Guns & Glory on Exploit Boston!

Photos: OldJack on the main stage at 33rd Annual Oktoberfest in Harvard Square

There are few things more awesome than making your way through Harvard Yard while hearing the old soul rock and roll sounds of OldJack hitting you from from Harvard Square. The band performed on the main stage at this year’s 33rd Annual Oktoberfest in Harvard Square.

OldJack perform at Harvard Square Oktoberfest 2011
There are few things more awesome than making your way through Harvard Yard while hearing the old soul rock and roll sounds of OldJack hitting you from from Harvard Square. The band performed on the main stage at this year’s 33rd Annual Oktoberfest in Harvard Square. See the rest of the photos at my event photography website and watch the slideshow video, too!

OldJack: websitefacebooktwitter

Photo Slideshow: “Chorus Line” by OldJack with photos from Oktoberfest

Photo: Cassavettes 5-year anniversary party at The Middle East Downstairs

[tweetmeme] Boston (via Texas) americana and rock band Cassavettes celebrated their fifth anniversary at The Middle East Downstairs on Saturday, January 17th. Check out their new website and join their email list! See more photos I’ve taken of Cassavettes at Sooz Photography.

Boston americana and rock band Cassavettes

Concert Photos: The Blizzard of 78, The Lights Out and Old Jack at Church

Somehow two of my favorite bands came together with limited intervention on my part: The Blizzard of 78 and The Lights Out shared the stage at Church on June 25th. They were joined by a new favorite, Old Jack. I had a day left on the Nikon 1.4 85mm lens I was renting this week and snapped these photos at the show. The lighting in the club seemed to be intentionally awful (too much red!) so I made most of the photos black and white. View the full set of photos on Flickr.

The Blizzard of 78

Nate / The Blizzard of 78 at Church

The Lights Out

Matt King / The Lights Out at Church

Old Jack

Dan Nicklin / Old Jack at Church

Social media and the WBCN Rock N’ Roll Rumble

The Lights Out with Rumble host Anngelle Wood on night six of the WBCN Rock N Roll Rumble Preliminaries
The Lights Out with Rumble host Anngelle Wood on night six of the WBCN Rock N' Roll Rumble Preliminaries. TLO won the night and will compete in the semi-finals on April 16.

The Boston Herald has a story by Michael Marotta about the impact that the internet and social media has played in this year’s WBCN Rock N’ Roll Rumble. I couldn’t agree more! But what is up with The Boston Herald only linking to one website in the story? They mention Boston Band Crush and Ryan’s Smashing Life but don’t link to each website.

I skipped the Rumble the first 13 years I lived in Boston and first checked it out a few of the nights in 2007. Last year, SoozFavorites Girls Guns And Glory competed (and then won) so I went to the two nights they performed plus maybe one more.

Mostly whenever I go to rock shows to photograph I just do my thing and leave. It’s not that I’m not a sociable person; but for whatever reason, at concerts, I always feel a lot more shy about saying hi to bands and other people that are there.

But this year’s Rumble has been an entirely different experience for me. After deciding to turn the lights out at Exploit Boston! (RIP 2002-2009), I collaborated with Ryan Spaulding who runs the popular music blog Ryan’s Smashing Life: his words plus my photos and video. We had an exhaustive blast covering the six nights of preliminaries last week. I still can’t believe I saw twenty-four bands on six nights (one night in the middle was designated as “day of rest”)! Mike, Sophia and the rest of the gang at Boston Band Crush have also shared speedy coverage of each night of the Rumble with lots of tweeting and video roundups.

The rock photographer’s cabal

Joe Harrington, Johnny Arguedas and I were at all six preliminary nights shooting photographs. Other photographers that were there for some of the preliminaries included Just Bill, Nicole Tammaro and Kelly Davidson.

Tweet, tweet, tweet

So many people are using Facebook and Twitter to share tidbits, accolades, pointers to their blog stories, photos, etc. (Not just “social media experts!!”) Everyone felt like they were part of something that was bigger than just four hours at a rock club.

A good host and organizer makes a huge difference!

Of course, there’s also this year’s new host, WBCN DJ for local music show Boston Emissions, Anngelle Wood. She is a long-time music tastemaker and very well respected within the Boston music community. Anngelle did a great job wading through lots of Boston bands to select twenty-four that would play in this year’s 31st Annual Rock N’ Roll Rumble. Her Boston Emissions cohort Shawn Sixx has also played a part in making this year’s Rumble so awesome.

Be there for the semi-finals on April 16-17 at The Middle East Downstairs

If you are in Boston on April 16-17, you really owe it to yourself to attend both night’s of the Rumble semi-finals at The Middle East Downstairs. Avoid the online fees and stop by The Middle East on Mass Ave in Central Square to pick up your tickets in person or buy them online through Ticketmaster.

Bands playing in the semi-finals on April 16th: Have Nots (9:30-10:00), Sarah RabDAU and Self-Employed Assassins (10:30-11:00), The Lights Out (11:30-12:00), Gene Dante and the Future Starlets (12:30-1:00).

Bands playing in the semi-finals on April 17th: Destruct-a-thon (9:30-10:00), The Luxury (10:30-11:00), The Dirty Truckers (11:30-12:00), Gravehaven (12:30-1:00).

Recap of reviews, photos and videos of the six nights of Rumble preliminaries

Ryan’s Smashing Life: night one, night two, night three, night four, night five, night six

Boston Band Crush: press coverage roundup

Sooz Photography (that’s me!): Photo sets for each night of Rumble preliminaries

Photos and video from the second and third preliminary nights of WBCN’s 31st Annual Rock N’ Roll Rumble

The Motion Sick / WBCN's 31st Annual Rock N' Roll Rumble / Preliminary Night #3

(The Motion Sick competed on the second night of preliminaries)

Ryan’s Smashing Life has reviews of the second and third preliminary nights of WBCN’s Rock N’ Roll Rumble at The Middle East Upstairs including my photos and videos.

Video of The Dirty Truckers performing “Boston Wrangler” at Rumble preliminaries

Here’s the video I shot of The Dirty Truckers performing “Boston Wrangler” at the third preliminary night on April 7th. They will compete in the semi-finals on April 16th at The Middle East Downstairs.

Sometimes you never know who will show up

Last weekend I was at the Lizard Lounge to see the final night of Boston Pop Underground’s Fall Residency with Mike Viola. There was little doubt it would be awesome since he was reuniting his band the Candy Butchers and Lori McKenna would be there to sing a bunch of songs. And then Mandy Moore was there, too. She’s collaborating with Mike Viola on her new album so they sang a few songs together. I shot some video that you can check out at Exploit Boston! To add to the fun, Mandy Moore (or whoever writes for her on her blog) gave me a shout-out regarding the videos.

So… thanks to my newfound friend (who I still haven’t met), SOOZ, there are a few videos posted on Youtube… Check them out. If anything, I am hoping they are as fun to watch as it was to just get up and play them…

Last night I was at Ray LaMontagne’s first of two nights at the stunning Boston Opera House. Yes, more awesomeness. It’s just been that kind of month! Some of the photos I took of LaMontagne and his band of cohorts and a review-of-sorts are over at Exploit Boston!.

Update about Exploit Boston’s Concert Photos in July project

Concert photography cohorts and I plan to get out as many nights as possible in July to take photos at Boston concerts. I’ll be curating it daily throughout July via Exploit Boston. So far I’ve lined up complimentary admission every night in July for participating photographers at the following Boston, Cambridge and Allston music venues: The Middle East Upstairs, The Middle East Downstairs, Church, The Lizard Lounge and Great Scott.

If you’d like to get involved, let me know! I wrote about the photo project at sooz.com previously and you can also sign-up on the event page at Facebook. Obviously this is for people who are (most likely) not pro concert photographers. No one is getting paid for the photos outside of free admission to the club. It’s fun.