The Allman Betts Band performs at The Birchmere in June. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
2021 saw a gradual return to live music as venues and musicians did their best to return to “normalcy” and keep everybody safe. Things didn’t always go according to plan: People still got sick, tours were canceled or postponed, and attendance to indoor shows still sometimes lagged.
Two of the finest DC area musicians performed this past Friday evening at Pearl Street Warehouse. Elizabeth II opened with a subdued but nonetheless passionate solo acoustic performance while Jonny Grave’s blues rock provided a raucous counterpoint.
The year started out typically enough. But the way it began and how it’s ending are startlingly different. By the end of March, so many plans and hopes were dashed that now, as we race toward 2020’s conclusion, many of us feel they may never be realized.
Like so many others in this Year of Covid, I’ve had a chance to reflect, reassess, and reset for the coming year, sorting out what is, and isn’t, important. I enjoy photographing people, whether it be portraiture, cultural documentation, or musical performance. As a photographer, I strive to become invisible and capture moments as they are, not as I or the subject, would like them to be. Although photographing live music has been challenging as of late, I’ve been afforded the luxury of time to go through my archives and, as a result, have made a belated but important discovery: the final image must also render the photographer invisible.
Parklife DC will name the DC best local band — or performer — of the year with your input. Local bands include those who live in the National Capital Region and issuing new material this year (livestreaming during the coronavirus epidemic is a plus!). Learn more about each nominee by clicking on their name in keywords. Or name your own candidate!
Vote for the best music local band in the DC metro area now through Dec. 11.
Beth Cannon fronts Elizabeth II at Jammin’ Java on June 20, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Normally, summer has been in full swing for weeks by this point each year. Concerts, festivals, parades, baseball, road trips and, of course, late evenings out with friends. But as we all know, this summer ain’t normal.
So when Jammin’ Java announced its “A Song & A Slice: A Socially Distanced Outdoor Concert Series” to celebrate the opening of Union Pie (Jammin’ Java’s new pizza shop), a glimmer of hope sprang up that maybe summer had actually returned. And that maybe things could feel a little more normal.
Recently, Elizabeth II turned in a 90-minute, stripped-down, acoustic set to kick off the series.
Elizabeth II performs at HeraFeston Sept. 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Summer is traditionally the time for outdoor music festivals, strolling along the boardwalk and kicking back with a beer and pizza. The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily paused many of those traditions, but Jammin’ Java is doing its best to bring a few of them back.
Elizabeth II performs at City Winery on Sept. 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Songbyrd Music House’s Caged Byrd Series, features two local artists this Thursday, April 9, via Instragram. Elizabeth II and Cat Janice will perform acoustic versions of their original songs, some covers, and possibly a few requests.
Martin Barre performs at The Birchmere, April 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
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.
How am I going to do this?! Pick 10 favorites shots, moments, concerts, etc., from a year that was packed with them. Of course, the year had its fill of frustrations and challenges, as well, but those quickly fade from memory to be replaced by the realization that I am, indeed, very fortunate to combine two loves of my life, music and photography, into something I can share.
These moments, documented in the following images, all taught me something… about photography, about the power of music, and, ultimately, about myself; what I value, what moves me, and what’s important.
People’s Blues of Richmond performs at Pearl Street Warehouse on Nov. 15, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
With their unique and face-melting blend of rock, punk, psychobilly, and psychedelia, People’s Blues of Richmond blew into Pearl Street Warehouse on a chilly recent night and proceeded to burn the place down. Known affectionately to their fans as PBR, this power trio hails from Richmond, Virginia. Described as Jimi Hendrix meets MC5, their website calls the music “psychedelic blues rock.” To the packed Pearl Street Warehouse crowd, descriptions didn’t matter; PBR simply rocked.