Alexisonfire – July 16, 2022 at Festival d'été de Québec

Summer, 2022 did a great job helping me to forget my longest live music drought. There were familiar faces like Alexisonfire, and some really meaningful firsts for me as you'll see in the next few stories.

This was my first time on a festival stage in a loooong time. What better way to get reacquainted with my favourite place to be than shooting Alexisonfire at Festival d'été in Québec City?

The first time I saw them play there with Billy Talent, 55,000 people showed up. The second time there were 85,000.

This time AOF played with Rage Against The Machine to a crowd of 90,000!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Alexisonfire is my favourite live band, and this particular show was right up there as one of their best.

Access at this year's festival was different than usual because of protocols but Alexisonfire went above and beyond, allowing me to be on stage at the centre of their bedlam. Right where I belong. Thanks, Joel!

Rage Against The Machine – July 16, 2022 at Festival été de Québec

What better place than here?

This crowd was so fired up. I think it was the first time Rage Against The Machine ever played in Québec City, and with a crowd of 90,000 it must have been one of the biggest shows they've played anywhere!

With a broken foot, Zack de la Rocha was carried onto the stage just in time to deliver his infamous intro to every RATM show “We are Rage Against The Machine from Los Angeles, California!”. From that moment on they were energetically connected to the fans the entire set.

This was my first time seeing them since they reunited at Coachella in 2007. They're so fucking good!! I still can't believe I got to see Rage and Alexisonfire back to back! So rad.

The stage production was simple but stunning. Really awesome live performance footage on the massive screen behind them. Sometimes the screen just emitted a solid panel of bright light making for some really unique photos.

At the end of the show the band sat centre-stage with Zack and soaked up every ounce of love from the crowd. The guys were undeniably moved. They spent several minutes looking out at the sea of happy faces before saying goodnight.

** Explicit lyrics. The sound from my phone sucks, but you know the words...

Anthrax – August 23, 2022 at History Toronto

Do you have a favourite thrash metal band? I do. It's Anthrax. I checked off some big bucket list items in 2022, and Anthrax was one of them. I've seen them a bunch of times and shot a couple of songs here and there, but this was my first time getting to shoot a whole show so as far as I'm concerned it's official now.

This was their 40th anniversary tour and it was one of the most fun shows I've ever been to. I bounced around in the photo pit, singing along and having the time of my life. It's incredible that they've been going hard for so long and are still having this much fun every night. Smiling in almost every picture!

My friend Seb introduced me to Anthrax in grade 10 around the same time he introduced me to Metallica. It was a great year for music. When I was 15 I borrowed an electric guitar so I could learn Scott Ian riffs. The best in the biz. I sucked of course, but it was fun just to fuck around.

For me Anthrax is like Faith No More in the way that I never stopped listening to them all these years. They never had a bad phase. I'm always down to throw on one of their records. I got into them because of the music but also because they're hilarious. A bunch of knuckleheads from New York City. In '92 they guest appeared as themselves on an episode of Married...With Children and I must have watched it a hundred times.

As far back as I can remember Anthrax's singer Joey has used a microphone taped to just the top half of a mic stand, which ironically can't stand. So it was cool when he reached into my camera with it in that series of 4 photos. Something else that's rad about Joey is he's never NOT wearing an Anthrax t-shirt haha.

Man that was a great show. I've been doing this for 30 years and I still can't believe how lucky I am sometimes. Fucking Anthrax!!

If you know Anthrax you know this Scott Ian move. As an homage to Scotty and how stoked he gets on stage every night, I made this little stop motion animation.

Pearl Jam – September 8, 2022 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto

What better way to end this 30 year retrospective than with the band I spent every one of those years pursuing. Ever since getting my first photo pass in '92, Pearl Jam held the number one spot on my photography wish list.

Over the years I've met everyone in Pearl Jam individually and even shot some of their other bands, but somehow it wasn't until just weeks before my 30th anniversary that I finally seized my holy grail.

Pearl Jam Ten is a quintessential Gen X record that was released at just the right time in my life for me to fully appreciate it. I saw them twice on that tour, and a couple more times the year they released their second record Vs. which also made a huge impact on me. They were some of the most exhilarating shows that I can remember.

The show in September, 2022 brought back all of those deeply embedded memories, and this time I got to take them home with me so I could share them with you.

The first two photos in this set are two of the best I've ever taken. In my humble opinion anyway.

Thanks Kille, Sarah and Kristin for making it happen. And thank you Pearl Jam for waiting for me!

Aaron Judge hits Home Run #61 in Toronto. September 28, 2022.

"Drilled deep to left field, this could be it! See ya! He's done it! Number 61" - Michael Kay calling the Aaron Judge home run, as he ties Roger Maris' 1961 record.

Countless stars had to align for me to be in a position to get these photos of Aaron Judge's 61st home run.

It started with my Dad being born and raised in New York City, then raising me a Yankee fan and teaching me how to use a camera.

I'll spare you the emotional roller coaster of events that happened over the many years since, but I do want to thank Jon Eagan for putting the final piece of the puzzle into place by getting us these seats.

At the end of the game I pointed out to Jon that the seat to my left was empty the entire game which was weird because the field level was otherwise completely sold out! He said with conviction “It wasn't empty. It was your Dad’s”.

I know most of you are here for my music photography, but baseball is such a huge part of who I am and I want to share these moments with you. The most historic moment I’ve ever captured.

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