Them Crooked Vultures – May 13, 2010 at Metropolis in Montreal

Metropolis was one of my favourite music venues in Montreal. Not only for its beautiful stage and great sight-lines but there's a super creepy, filthy (probably haunted) basement that has piles of dirt instead of a floor. I couldn’t pass up the chance to get some photos of the guys down there.

The show was awesome. It was TCV's first time playing in Montreal and the crowd was pumped.

After the show a group of young French-Canadian folk musicians came backstage to meet John Paul Jones. They must have been in touch with him about jamming because next thing I know JPJ grabbed his mandolin and the two of us hopped in a cab. This man lives and breathes music. It was after midnight and everyone else had turned in, but he wanted to play.

The pub's floor had been cleared of its tables and they’d formed a big circle the size of the room with chairs. There were at least a dozen musicians already playing when we arrived. When they saw John they gave him a warm welcome and invited him to sit in.

It lovely to witness. Someone called out a key and began playing, and John joined in. Everyone in the room was well aware of the living legend they were jamming with, but no one put any pressure on him to take the lead, or break into Stairway To Heaven. There were no fans lined up outside, or anything to take away from the purity of this moment. We were in a magical bubble hidden from the outside world.

The session was still going strong at 3am and it was way passed my bedtime. I shot John look as if to say “you good?”. He gave me a smile and a nod, and played into the night.

Them Crooked Vultures – May 13, 15 in Ottawa and Toronto

For me the big story about Toronto was that my pals Arkells from Hamilton, Ontario opened for Them Crooked Vultures, and they killed it! Nowadays Arkells are no strangers to headlining sold out arenas but at the time I think this was their biggest show yet.

My favourite spot on stage with Them Crooked Vultures was sitting on the floor next to Dave. When the band got into a groove Josh and John Paul Jones would often post up in front of the drums and face each other. Perfect place for me to be. It still blows my mind. Anyone who saw them live knows what exactly I’m talking about it. It was truly something to behold.

The final photo is of Arkells (and Dave's drums).

The Dead Weather – Coachella and Toronto

My friends headed to the Coachella main stage but I stayed at the Outdoor Theatre stage for The Dead Weather. I hadn't seen them live and heard they were incredible.

After shooting a few songs I stood further back to take in the spectacle. The live video playing on the screens looked like a fully produced concert film. High contrast black & white, beautifully shot and perfectly edited on the fly. I highly recommend checking out the entire performance online.

When I caught up with my friends later I let them know they'd just missed one of the greatest fucking Rock & Roll shows ever. All these years later, I still stand by that statement.

A few months later I saw them in Toronto and they reaffirmed my belief that they’re one of the most badass Rock & Roll bands on Earth. I mean look at them! Each one of them is cooler that anyone you'll ever meet.

1-8: Toronto 7/15/201. 9-13: Coachella 4/17/2010

Deftones – September 19, 2010 in Toronto on the set of You’ve Seen The Butcher

On a lazy Sunday afternoon I got a text from a producer friend of mine that went something like “Deftones are shooting a music video. It's going to be wild. Bring your camera.”

I love Deftones so that’s all the convincing I needed. When I got to the studio I walked through the extras holding area and it was filled with young women in their underwear. I thought I was in the wrong place but then I heard music and followed it to the set.

The band had just finishing filming their performance in the room alone. Then they brought in the extras who were slowly sprayed with fake blood as the song went on, and by the end they were absolutely drenched.

A few hours ago I was sitting on the couch watching TV. What the hell happened?

At the end of the day everyone in the room seemed to have that kind of look on their faces. The last two photos say it all.

It was my first time meeting Deftones, and next time I saw them I was pretty sure they'd remember me if I said “I shot stills on the Butcher video.” I was right.

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