Augustana and Twin Forks at the Varsity Theater

Augustana and Twin Forks were in town and played the Varsity Theater this past weekend in Minneapolis.  

I counted the number of times in my head and I think this was my 12th time seeing Augustana live. I'm probably missing one time or another but 12 is pretty close.  It never gets old. Their live show rules.  This show in particular ruled even more because Gary Louris of The Jayhawks (who is a favorite song writer of Daniel Layus) came out and played two songs with Augustana.  You can see some shots of them playing together at the end of the gallery on this blog and you can see how happy Dan was to be playing with Gary. 

The opening band was Twin Forks.  If you are unfamiliar with the group, you might know the singer, Chris Carrabba.  He was Dashboard Confessional and also the first lead singer of Further Seems Forever.  Twin Forks were also awesome live. 

I got to catch up on life with Daniel Layus of Augustana for a bit after the show and that was nice. I also got a sweet photo of Dan and Lydia before they left which made her happy. 

I also got to talk to Chris Carrabba for a bit about the new group and how he's trying to move to Nashville from Florida.  We also chatted about the time he accidentally kicked a water bottle at my head while performing with Further Seems Forever.  We both had a good laugh about that. haha.  Everyone that I talked to in their band were so nice and down to earth.  It always makes me happy when it works out that way. 

Twin Forks:


Motion City Soundtrack and Steve Yeun Perform on Wits

Sometimes I get to experience really cool things.  Often times, it's a concert from up close where I get to see people (who paid a ton of money) experience their favorite band or singer from up close and personal.  Sometimes I get to see artists really lose themselves on stage, doing what they love to do, from less than a foot away.  Every once in a while I get to see something really cool, that's a little different.  

I have made friends with several different musicians over the years.  It's interesting when I get to learn what makes them tick and see what inspires them.  Sometimes I get to be a part of the moments where they experience something really great for themselves.

In this case in particular, I got to watch my good friend Justin Pierre, live out a dream of his.  He and his wife Lindsay really enjoy this radio improv comedy show from National Public Radio called, Wits.  They have gone to several of the live recordings and listen to it when it's on.  The band Justin sings in, Motion City Soundtrack, got the opportunity to be featured as the music group on Wits, a couple of weeks ago.  Steven Yeun (Glen, from AMC's The Walking Dead) was the guest actor on the show.  Justin asked me if I'd come hangout for the day and get some behind the scenes photos of the day as it unfolded.  To me, this is the ultimate cool.  I get to watch a friend (who also has a pretty cool life) do something that he is SUPER excited about.  Justin is a fan of the Walking Dead and was pretty ecstatic about sharing the stage with an actor from the show.  

The day went super smooth.  Everyone had such a great time.  The band played awesome and everyone really clicked.  Steven Yeun was a super nice guy and completely down to earth.  He grew up outside of Detroit, and he's definitely a midwestern guy at heart.  He was very welcoming and I got to eat dinner with him.  I asked him if he was good at a certain zombie Super Nintendo video game and he confessed that he was not.  This was a surprise to me.

The whole day was an amazing experience for me, watching this all come together, but especially cool for Justin and Motion City Soundtrack.  Playing concerts is awesome, and for me, shooting concerts is a lot of fun.  However, after you do it often, it looses a little bit of cool factor.  This was the ultimate cool.  When talented people (the Wits band and staff included) get to come together and perform, you get something really magical.  

You can listen to the show and watch videos from it here.

Enjoy the photos. 

Mumford and Sons with The Vaccines

Had the awesome opportunity to shoot Mumford and Sons and The Vaccines last week at the Xcel Energy Center. These guys have done something really great for music in bringing folk and bluegrass into top 40 music again.  Music trends go in waves and I'm glad to see that this is where it has been heading.  Their show was great and the Vaccines were awesome, too!  My girlfriend, Lydia, had a friend on tour with Mumford and Sons and he set us up with some great seats to watch the show after I was shooting.  Had a great time. 

Lydia at The Outing Lodge in Stillwater

My adorable girlfriend and I had a recent getaway to the Outing Lodge in Stillwater, Minnesota.  This place is amazing.  It was built in 1858 and is beautiful.  The area that the bed and breakfast sits on is so cool.  We had breakfast with the owner in the morning and she was the nicest lady.  She told us about the history of the place and how she ended up with it.  I can't wait to go back.  It'd be a gorgeous place for a wedding, if anyone is looking for a venue or even a quiet weekend retreat.


Mason Jennings and Cloud Cult - Twin Ports Music Festival

I was in Duluth a couple of weekends ago for the Twin Ports Music Festival.  I had the opportunity to shoot both Mason Jennings and Cloud Cult.  Both awesome Minnesota based acts.  

The second that Cloud Cult came on the stage, it started raining.  The crowed loved it.
At one point they had to stop playing because of lightning and their safety.  I was at the back of the stage when the band came off and they were upset that they had to let their fans down.  So the whole band went to the edge of the stage and played acoustic to the people who stuck around.  It was a pretty cool experience.  

Farewell Continental at First Avenue

My good friends in Farewell Continental had the opportunity to open for New Found Glory this past weekend at First Avenue in Minneapolis.  They are one of my favorite bands and they don't play often enough.  The lighting at First Ave is hit or miss and last night I would say it was a HIT.  Such a great group of people and had a ton of awesome friends there.  It was my friend Melissa Kraemer's birthday and Justin Pierre's birthday eve, too.  

Also, if you are into literature and books check out Justin and his wife Lindsay's new website and their newest podcast.  It's called Book Narcs.  Check it out here.

Augustana Acoustic Tour

One of my favorite bands came to Minneapolis on 01/14/2013 at the Varsity Theater. I first started listening to Augustana in 2005. I met them at their show when they played the (no longer exsistant) Ascot Room. After that they blew up and had an album go double platinum. I think I have photographed them about ten different times but it never seems to get old. They have this old soul feel to them that is timeless and that many bands don't have. This time Augustana came to play acoustic with just Daniel Layus and David Lamoureux.  It was super intimate and they killed it.  It was like listening to a vinyl in concert form. 

I hungout with Dan and David for a few minutes after the show in their green room and got a couple of cool shots of them and got to catch up a bit.  If they come to your town, I HIGHLY recommend seeing them.