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Year in Review: Editor’s Choice Pics of 2018

Christina Aguilera at Stifel Theatre. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

–By Sean Derrick

 

Well, another year is in the books. And another year of looking back on what you have accomplished. Some items you may look on with regret, and some with fondness. Obviously, I am posting some of the shots I took this past year with fondness.

Yes, (cliché coming) These are my favorite 18 photos of 2018.

They may not be “the best” in some eyes, and that is fine. That is why I won’t call them the “Best of”, instead it is why I call this the “Editor’s Choice”. Why? Well, frankly because they are my choice as to my favorite and, um I am the editor. haha.

So, with that being said here are my favorite shots, in no particular order:

First up, the synchronized bull dancing, er, I mean bull riding that Keyshawn Whitehorse performed with this bull during the PBR Invitational series event in Saint Louis in February. Keyshawn liked this shot so much it is hanging in his house. That just solidified it as one of my favorite photos of the year.

Keyshawn Whitehorse competing in the PBR Saint Louis Invitational. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Next up is from Cheap Trick’s performance at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in May. I love this shot so much because not only do I get to show Robin Zander performing from the stage point of view, but in this shot he is singing right to some friends of mine.

Robin Zander singing to some happy fans during Cheap Trick’s performance at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Christina Aquilera has turned heads while being a judge/coach on The Voice, but live she turns heads with a visually stunning performance that some may not like, but I find it amazing to photograph. Especially, this shot. I happened to catch it at the right moment and knew instantly this had to make it into my list,

 

Christina Aguilera put on a visually stunning performance at Stifel Theatre. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

Being a Cyndi Lauper fan my whole life I was super exited to be given the chance to finally photograph this awesome entertainer. I had missed out due to scheduling conflicts the handful of times prior she has made her way to the Gateway City. Her performance was amazing and loved the imagery I was able to get from her show, especially this shot of her singing while laying on a chest.

Cyndi Lauper was exquisite during her standout performance at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

In one of the best shows of the year, David Byrne just blew the Stifel Theatre down with a poignant and powerful, yet simple show. The fact that Byrne had next to no props but could still speak volumes with the visuality (I know, it’s not a word. Don’t try to look it up) was super impressive. The choreography and positioning of the band/dancers was such that it was hard to look away.

David Byrne put on one of the best shows of the year at Stifel Theatre. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

I love this shot of Amy Lee performing with Evanescence in front of an orchestra. I love the contextual aspect of this shot.

Amy Lee performing with Evanescence and a full orchestra at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

If you have never seen Flogging Molly perform, well I feel sorry for you. I love this shot because it shows the intensity of lead singer Dave King gives for every show. Don’t believe me? Then go check them out at The Pageant this March 10. Then come tell me you disagree.

Dave King getting intense during Flogging Molly’s outdoor show at Pop’s. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

One of the best additions Mick Jones of Foreigner ever made was hiring bassist Jeff Pilson. The former Dokken bassist brings so much energy and talent to an already talented bunch that it is sick. But show after show Pilson leaves it all on the stage. Pound for pound one of the most consistently “into it” rockers I have ever witnessed. I have seen him live a couple dozen times and never seen him less than 1000% (OK, again I know you can’t give more than 100%, but you get the idea). I love this shot that it captures the essence of his performances.

Jeff Pilson of Foreigner doing what he does best, rocking out during the band’s performance at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Greta Van Fleet has taken the rock world by storm and watching their live show at The Pageant this August solidified why. They are one of the bands that are helping to bring back the vaunted guitar solo, a part of music that (this veteran music critic thinks, anyway) has been sorely lacking for far too long. I love this shot because it captures Jake Kiszka just shredding on the axe, tearing the roof of The Pageant.

Jake Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet shredding during one of his many guitar solos at the band’s performance at The Pageant. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Ahh, Lzzy Hale. The hard rock badass with the looks and the licks (guitar, you pervs) to appeal to just about any rock critic. Their performance at Stifel Theatre was a great example why they are a staple for any rock fan to see. I love this shot because I like how it captures her intensity in a live setting.

Lzzy Hale during Halestorm’s performance at Stifel Theatre. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

My advice for Flogging Molly works well here too: if you have never seen In This Moment then you are missing out on something special. Maria Brink’s visual performances night after night separates her from every other metalcore band out there. Couple that with kick ass songs with melodic bridges and intense structure and this is a band you can’t look away from as you are banging your head. I like this shot as it shows her deep performance in gloriously haunting way.

Maria Brink of In This Moment capturing the essence of her performance at Stifel Theatre. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Randy Blythe getting some serious air during Lamb of God’s performance at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in August. Need I say more?

Vocalist Randy Blythe getting some airtime at the band’s performance at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Pink flying high above the crowd at Enterprise Center (formerly Scottrade Center) in downtown Saint Louis in March. She always puts on a visually stunning show and I love this shot as it captured her fearless attitude during her shows.

Pink soaring high at Enterprise Center. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Poison in the light. Poison’s bassist Bobby Dahl and guitarist C.C. DeVille from the stage point of view. I love how the spotlight envelops them as they play during their May show at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.

Poison in the light. Bassist Bobby Dahl and guitarist C.C. DeVille performing in the spotlight at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

While this may just look like a normal photograph of a band look closer and you catch the enthusiasm of Ringo Starr, the energy of Toto Guitarist Steve Lukather, as well as the versatile drummer Gregg Bissonette, and the perfection (not caring about showmanship) of Men At Work’s Colin Hay. This was shot during their performance at The Fabulous Fox Theatre in September.

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr band performing at the Fox Theatre.

What better way to be a baddass than the way Brent Smith is summoning the fire coming from behind Shinedown’s stage as drummer Barry Kerch screams encouragement.

Shinedown’s Brent Smith summoning the flames like a beast as drummer Barry Kerch screams support during the band’s performance at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Slayer is done touring and even though I have seen them nearly a dozen times dating back to the late 80’s it still was awesome to see their shows. I love this shot of Tom Araya during their final show at Hollywood casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis in August and feel it captures the “Reign in Blood” mentality of their performances.

Tom Araya basking in the red glow of Slayer’s farewell performance at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Finally, also during the Slayer farewell show I captured this image of Scott Long, who helps keep us and the band and the fans safe at shows, standing guard in front of his doppelganger – Slayer guitarist Kerry King. Rock on Scott!

Scott Long stands guard in the pit as Kerry King shreds behind him at Slayer’s farewell show at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo By Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this and everything we have brought you over the course of the year from not only me, but my wonderful staff of Keith Brake, Michael Pierce, Jen Cunningham, Ryan Ledesma, Greg Artime, Ashley Cox, Marie Taylor, Valerie Helton, and Jennifer Pinckney. Have a wonderful New Year and here’s to a fruitful and exciting 2019!

Cheers!

 

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