–By Sean Derrick, Editor in Chief
As both an editor and a photographer I get the chance to showcase not only my favorite shots that I took from the past year but those of my staff as well.
First up, my shots.
We had some great shows to shoot this past year. Choosing just ten from my own catalogue has been a challenge. BUT, I did it. Here they are, in no particular order (Picking just one photo out of hundreds or thousands is like picking your favorite child…if you have more than one).
Do you think one rises above the rest? Comment below and tell me about it.
Scott Ian of Anthrax
I love this shot. Apart from their fantastic visual show at The Pageant, I just happened to maneuver myself in front of the front center monitor that had their name emblazoned on it when the light went out except for the “A” out of spotlights behind Ian.
I was jockeying for position throughout Cole’s set opening for Dierks Bentley at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre when I saw a kid hoisted up and Cole advancing towards him. I was hoping for some interaction and boy did I get it. (I would still like to know who this kid is so I can give him this shot. If anyone out there knows him please let me know. Thanks!)
Later, after I snagged that shot of Cole above, I happened to be on the other side of the walkway where the photographers were stationed for Dierks’ set. Someone handed him a beer, and I just love the reaction he gave before taking a swig from it. (It’s OK Dierks, That beer is made here is Saint Louis. )
Kelly Hansen of Foreigner
This dude is a bundle of energy and his showmanship abilities are through the roof. I just happened to be positioned at the right spot for this shot at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in August to capture a great moment.
Guns N’ Roses
Oh Axl, Axl, Axl. First there was the Riverport Riot in 1991, then you make us wait 26 years before returning for a 3 hour 30 minute marathon at The Dome at America’s Center in July. Then the first song in this happens. Thankfully, I got the shot. Rock and Roll, baby!!!!
In This Moment
If you have never seen In This Moment live before, you should. The theatrics are fantastic, and with more set changes than your average Broadway musical the scenery is breathtaking as well. This was captured at just the right angle during a pivotal “point” in the song “Black Widow”. I think guitarist Randy Weitzel got the point here. 😉 (Ok, enough puns)
Bret Michaels of Poison
Bret Michaels is still in shape at 54 (much to the delight of the ladies), and his high energy levels at shows are legendary. Here I got him in mid-jump, while wishing I could just jump without hurting myself.
Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon
Admittedly, this was the first time I got a chance to catch the great REO Speedwagon live (I know, I know). And boy have I regretted not doing so sooner. Vocalist Kevin Cronin was a crowd pleaser, and in this shot you could feel the energy from the crowd.
This was another act I that had eluded my camera until now, and yet another act that I kick myself for not covering sooner. Rick does this bit where he strums his guitar with a bouquet of roses, causing them to explode and rain down rose petals. I did not know this, but I quickly adapted and got a good position to get the shot anyway when I saw him pick up the bouquet.
Emma Anzai of Sick Puppies
Emma is marvelous in her abilities on the bass as well as the eyes. At each show she is full of energy and loves to hair-whip. Luckily, I have seen her enough times that I can gauge how I want a shot of her to look. And she never disappoints.
While it is always a blast choosing my favorite photos from the year I would like to give a shout out to my wonderful staff and let them know what my favorite photo from their collection of shots for the year were.
Keith has been my go-to photog and has gotten the majority of the work. His enthusiasm to tackle anything from country to hip hop to metal has been well-noted and appreciated. He has a keep eye for getting the shots we need. One of my favorites was one he just took this week of Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Scottrade Center:
My other two favorites come from the same show- New Politics at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. From the lead vocalist break dancing:
Or the guitarist looking like he is having a hair-raising good time, great job Keith. Keep them coming!
I love Ryan’s artistic interpretations at shows. He knows how to get the angles and deliver emotional pics. I especially love the raw energy his pic of Samantha Fish brings.
Or the pure fun and enthusiasm of Stacked Like Pancakes brought to Warped Tour:
Ryan is getting a great feel for this gig. Great job, Ryan!
Though Greg has only shot a couple shows with us we are excited to see what else he can bring in the next year with more shows under his belt. This is my favorite of the many shots he got in on the first day of Lou Fest. Vocalist Matt Shultz airborne is always a classic. Greta job, Greg!