Our 10 Favorite Live Concert Photos of 2016

Published by JB on January 22, 2017

Our 10 favorite live concert photos of 2016.  Click any pic to enlarge and be literally amazed at their high definition beauty!!!   

10.  Gary Clark Jr.
April 2, 2016 at First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
Photo by Jeff Becker

Someday I’ll be able to tell people that I saw Gary Clark Jr. when he was only 32.   The man is timeless and three decades from now he’ll be our generation’s BB King.   Born the year Purple Rain was released and photographed at Prince’s landmark First Avenue venue (a mere 19 days before Prince’s passing), it will probably be the final time in Mr. Clark’s career that he’ll be regarded as the 2nd best guitarist in Minneapolis for a night.

9.  Jehnny Beth of Savages
May 21, 2016 at the Fine Line Cafe, Minneapolis
Photo by Jeff Becker

Posting this photo on the weekend of the 50-state wide march for women seems so fitting.   Jehnny Beth bleeds strength, power and just rock and roll.   I’ve never seen a 90 minute show with more window-shattering passion than what I saw from this English band.  If their music ever catches up with their energy (it’s getting closer) they’ll be downright scary.   Highlight of the night was the mesmerizing bass playing by virtuoso Ayse Hassan.

8.  Zella Day
June 29, 2016 at The Frequency, Madison, WI
Photo by Jeff Becker

It’s not my best exposure of the year but shooting at The Frequency is like taking snapshots of bats flying into a black hole after being dipped in tar.  The youthful exuberance of Zella Day transcends her 21 years at the time of the show.  She’s no kid.  She’s no budding lead singer for a girl band.   She’s already this generation’s Jewel.  Being the only photographer at the show made it all the more special as this young lady has the songs, the moves and the charisma to rocket towards T. Swift like superstardom.

7.  Coldplay
July 23, 2016 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL
Photo by Jeff Becker

Rollicking thunderstorms cut the concert short after 90 minutes but not because Chris Martin agreed with the decision.   He pushed past recommendations from venue security to stop after 75 minutes.   Coldplay faithful were treated to a blistering run-through of Coldplay’s best; testament to a band that has earned respect the hard way after starting off as unlikable to a generation that busted ass listening to Nirvana, the Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead.   Coldplay has truly arrived.

6. Jónsi of Sigur Rós
October 12, 2016 at the Midland Theater in Kansas City, MO
Photo by Jeff Becker

Somewhere out there is a galaxy of advanced super organisms wondering when Sigur Rós is going to return to their planet.   Let’s hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon.  This band that is so far ahead of the curve that mere photography doesn’t do their live show justice.  They’re outstanding and the rest of us are….just mere humans.

5. Sarah Barthel of Phantogram
October 16, 2016 at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN
Photo by Joe Stadele.

Over the years, I have seen Phantogram progress from playing in the basement of a small Madison, WI record store to selling out venues like The Myth and First Avenue in the Minneapolis area.  While their sound has grown, so has their light show.  Strobes combined with high energy sets make Phantogram one of the more difficult acts to photograph.

4.Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips
June 18, 2016 at Rock the Garden in Minneapolis, MN
Photo by Joe Stadele

The Flaming Lips – a festival goers dream on acid.  Wayne Coyne and company always pull out all the stops; confetti cannons, beach balls, balloons, cosplay, etc…and in 2016, Coyne enlisted Chewbacca for a higher perspective at the Rock the Garden Festival at Boom Island in Minneapolis. 

3. Chino Moreno of Deftones
August 16, 2016 at the Myth Live in Maplewood, MN
Photo by Joe Stadele

Nearly 30 years in, Deftones continue to be a shining light among progressive acts to come out of the 1990’s alternative movement.  The band brought Gore to life at the Myth.  Moreno may not be jumping off stacks of speakers anymore, but he wasted little time involving the audience as he hung on the barricade, reached out to fans and even spent sometime in the audience.

2. Iggy Pop and Josh Homme
April 4, 2016 at Northrup Auditorium in Minneapolis, MN
Photo by Joe Stadele

Iggy Pop is a legend.  Just weeks after the passing of his friend, David Bowie, Iggy released Post Pop Depression; one of the best albums of a storied career.  PPD was a collaboration with Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age).  Taking that show on the road, Homme and company backed Pop on the road and put on a stellar performance at Northrup Auditorium.

1. Isabel Munoz-Newsome of Pumarosa
October 7, 2016 at the Myth in Maplewood, MN
Photo by Joe Stadele

Pumarosa were one of the most surprising openers I had the pleasure of photographing in 2016.  Isabel and company had Glass Animal fans bobbing their head as they entered the theater and fans throughout the audience dancing.  That in itself is a feat considering 99.9% hadn’t even heard of the band prior to the show.  Pumarosa are band to watch.

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