FOH Photo’s “Shit that made 2016 tolerable” Post – part II

For Part I – see here PART I

One of my resolutions for 2017 is to increase my wordiness. I don’t enjoy writing, especially about live music. There is no way I can properly convey the sheer energy, enjoyment or spectacle with my verbage. First of all, I have no business critiquing any live performance. However I do want to share my enthusiasm in some way.That’s why I take photos. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s what this whole FOH deal is about!

I didn’t do a count of all the shows I covered this year, but there was alot. My travels took me to the deep south in Tennessee to our beautifully bland nation’s capital, brought to life by the likes of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and remaining two Monkees! Between the clubs, arenas, theatres, main stages, tents and radio stations, I’ve been everywhere, man.

As i stated above, I do not like the written description of live music. I will probably cut and paste this whole preamble across the 4-post recap. The photos chosen represent some of my favourite acts, experiences, visual performances and just the general vibe that i took away from 2016. This isn’t a ranked list, and all acts get equal billing. That’s not to say there aren’t a few personal highlights.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself in the middle of a set because the experience is so surreal. Not only bearing witness to, but being privileged to capture some of my musical heroes and world icons, well it’s beyond words. Robert Plant, The Who, Noel Gallagher, Pearl Jam, Flea, Stevie Nicks…musicians I have admired and enjoyed for decades in various forms, I can add them to my ever-growing collection of digital memories.

The standout of the year has to be, no shocker, The Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem Tour. Much as been said about Gord Downie’s work over the year and I do not intend to dilute those words with my own. The experience and privilege was to say the least, humbling.

I’ve already said too much! Just look at the photos. If you like what you see, please feel free to share, tag, reblog or fax them around. Another year goes by and another year I am thankful for all of the readers, followers, friends, supporters and outlets that have allowed me to keep on rollin’. Special thanks to A Music Blog, Yea?, Q107/Edge 102.1, Spill Magazine, Canadian Musician, and Polaris Music Prize for the opportunities and trust.



Lampedusa: Concert for Refugees – Massey Hall. Toronto

Toronto’s famed Massey Hall has seen more than it’s share of incredible performances and legendary collaborations, and last week was one for the ages. Spearheaded by Emmylou Harris, the Concert for Refugees series brings to light the mission of the Jesuit Refugee Service’s Global Education Initiative.  Emmylou, along with Steve Earle, Patty Griffin (who was absent from the Toronto show due to an illness) and The Milk Carton Kids embarked on an intimate theatre tour in the style of a songwriter’s circle with special guest appearances along the way.


Toronto was treated to two hometown boys; Ron Sexsmith and Daniel Lanois as well an English lad of some notoriety: Robert Plant


For more information on the Lampedusa initiative please visit the link above.


All photos Copyright 2016 Front of House Photography.

Rival Sons – Lee’s Palace, Toronto

I don’t fancy myself as a writer. In fact I dread the little intros I write here before I present the photos. I can’t just say NOTHING, but what I do write needs to be witty and engaging, right? Well today I actually DO want to express myself. I need to talk about this Rival Sons show at Lee’s Palace last Friday. for those of you already bored, feel free to skip to the photos, but be sure to click the links to download their albums from iTunes first, thanks.

I go to alot of shows. I haven’t been wowed like this in years. (Prince shows aside, obviously). The energy in the room before Rival Sons took the stage was incredible. i felt excited to be there and not just because I scored a great spot for shooting the band. Sadly that tends to be all that excites me about live music these days, but it’s good to feel alive again!

I’ve written about this band recently, when I was lucky enough to see them at Club 279, performing five acoustic songs to about a hundred people in the audience. The Lee’s Palace show was a full on, rock extravaganza. It was one of those rare moments when you felt like you were witnessing SOMETHING. A band just before their peak? A crowd completely floored by a group of real rock musicians? A heart warming homecoming of sorts? All of that. Going through dozens of photos I took that night I’m reminded of a photo my friend Doug McClement took back in 1969 at The Rockpile (now The Masonic temple,  MTv studios or something). I’m not making a direct comparison to RS and LZ, but it’s definitely hard to not see similarities. And I wonder if Doug knew what he was witnessing or capturing that day.

photo by Doug McClement

Rival Sons are from California but they’ll be the first to admit Toronto has been their significant home away from home. Specifically at Cherry Cola’s Rock n’Rolla Cabaret. The only bar to book them over and over again, crucial in securing them their Canadian distribution. When lead singer Jay Buchanan stopped the show to give a sincere warm thank you to Cherry’s, it’s owner Cherish Stevenson, booker Dave Holender and my good friend Bob Segarini, who has championed them from day one in his column, it was a beautiful, heartfelt moment.

Please be sure to grab all 3 of the Rival Sons albums as soon as you can, including their latest “Head Down”. They are available on iTunes (see link below) or CD/Vinyl from the bands website

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