Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.
Editor (again): The very skillful Rashad Polk picked 10 of his photos as the best of 2019 — take it away, Rashad!
I started off the year covering Integrity at Metro Gallery. As the band was tuning up I had a vision of the shot I wanted to get – center stage, wide angle… It worked out, but I forgot to take the mosh pit into account when focusing the shot and quickly found myself pressed up against the wall of the venue after being knocked off balance and pushed aside.
One of my favorite parts of photographing Integrity was the chance to watch Domenic Romeo shred on guitar. Watching Dom play is something I’ve treasured ever since having the opportunity to play in a band together many years ago. From his past work with Pulling Teeth to his masterful solo on Magrudergrind’s Crusher EP, Dom’s technical ability has been astounding for quite a while now. Integrity’s latest full-length is basically a Master class on lead guitar.
I wasn’t able to catch much of the Pixies’ set at Royal Farms Arena (where the band appeared with Weezer), but caught enough of it to get this shot of Black Francis.
The Devil Makes Three had an interesting stage layout when they played at 9:30 Club. There was a circle of lights set up around the band that light up in different patterns. I got this shot just as one of the light flashes near Cooper McBean went off.
This shot of Roger Miret singing for Agnostic Front jumps out at me for how it embodies the spirit of hardcore. Singalongs, unity, tattoos, patches, raised fists, mohawks, and lots of all black outfits.
It may not be clear, but this photo is from Beck’s performance at Merriweather Post Pavillion. One metric for gauging how well a show is going, is how many cellphones are up in the air snapping pics, taking photos, and sharing stories. In modern times it’s a given that someone between you and the stage will be waving an i[hone or android. It’s just part of the concert experience at this point. I try to make a point of capturing these moments and they usually result in colorful images.
Another fan phone shot from the Con Brio show at the Hamilton.
This was a marathon of a show due to a 40 minute rain delay in the middle of Cage the Elephant’s set. There was a ton of doubt in the air if the show would go on. Admirably, instead of packing it up, CTE returned to the stage with what seemed to be even more intensity the second time around. I really enjoy this photo of bassist Daniel Tichenor even though he’s probably just tuning his instrument.
Dom Flemons’ performance at The Hill Center was a very mellow affair. This image pretty much captures the mood of the day – just Dom hanging out, having fun, playing some music and telling some stories.
Masked Intruder is most-obviously a really fun live band. It can easily be overlooked how talented they are, especially Blue’s vocals. With Yellow unavailable to tour, Purple has been filling in on bass, which luckily made this shot of my favorite color possible when the band opened for The Interrupters at The Fillmore Silver Spring.