Johnny Marr slings his guitar at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Oct. 17, 2018. Jason Nicholson chose a picture from this show (but not this one) as one of his Top 10 of 2018. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2018 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.
While sitting back in my chair and listening to a vinyl record is a favorite pastime of mine, there is nothing like going out and experiencing a performance live. For me as a concert photographer, the challenge is trying to capture the image of an artist you have spent a lifetime getting to know or at least your representation of what they mean to you. Here’s my Top 10 favorite photos of 2018 I had the pleasure of shooting for Parklife DC this year with a little commentary. Hope you enjoy seeing them again and best wishes for a great 2019!
Gary Numan performs at 9:30 Club on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
Industrial pioneer Gary Numan enthralled a packed 9:30 Club for the second time in a year with a concept album themed around a post-apocalyptic future. Jason Nicholson took some photos!
Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark pose in San Francisco for NME in 1981. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Urgh! A Music war, a cult-classic concert film, straddles divides across new wave, punk, and post-punk acts performing in 1980. Parklife DC screens the film at Black Cat on Monday, Oct. 1. Admission is free!
Gary Numan (Photo courtesy BB Gun Press)
The iconic Gary Numan will visit 9:30 Club on a return trip to DC on Friday, Sept. 21! Gary released Savage (Songs from a Broken World), his 18th studio album, last year and performed at 9:30 Club almost a year ago. Now, he’s back, and you can win tickets to see him with Parklife DC.
Martin Gore performs with Depeche Mode at Capital One Arena on Sept. 7, 2017. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath /Instagram+Twitter: ConspiracyCaptures/GrillworksBen)
The year 2017 was a good year for revisiting old friends as they returned to remind us that they truly still “got it.” In the past year, Parklife DC reviewed a great deal of musicians and bands, and the performances that really distinguished themselves often came as something of a pleasant surprise.
Gary Numan rocks out at 9:30 Club on Saturday, Dec. 9. (Photo by Paivi)
The thing you should know, first and foremost, about Gary Numan: He’s a showman. And his showmanship was on full display in a nearly sold-out show at 9:30 Club on Saturday.
Gary Numan (Photo courtesy BB Gun Press)
Synth pioneer Gary Numan released Savage (Songs from a Broken World), his remarkable 21st album, on Sept. 15 via BMG. The record entered the UK Album Chart at #2, making it his highest charting album since Telekon in 1980.
Gary will conduct a North American tour to accompany the album release, and he will play at 9:30 Club on Saturday, Dec. 9. You can win tickets to see them with Parklife DC by joining a free raffle at Dodge City on Thursday, Nov. 9 — tomorrow!
Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey (right) of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (Photo courtesy Ticketfly)
The brilliant Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) released The Punishment of Luxury, their 13th studio album, on Sept. 1 via 100% Records subsidiary White Noise. The album fared very well commercially, hitting #4 on the UK Albums chart as well as #7 on the US Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart.
I had the genuine pleasure of again chatting with Andy McCluskey, vocalist, bassist, keyboardist, and songwriter for OMD, as the band will launch a North American Tour with a performance at 9:30 Club on March 6, 2018. (It’s not officially announced by 9:30 Club yet, but buy your tickets online here.)
In our chat, Andy provides insights into songs on The Punishment of Luxury, shares his feelings on recent work by Gary Numan and New Order, and reveals artists (with some surprises) with whom OMD would like to collaborate (particularly as they approach their 40th anniversary as a band).
I babbled a bit more than usual because he’s a personal hero, and as such my interview covered a lot of ground. I’ve edited the order of the questions to improve their logical flow and trimmed them where necessary for brevity. (Also, perhaps read our previous Parklife DC interview with Andy McCluskey from May 2016.)
Gary Numan (Photo courtesy the artist)
Gary Numan will release his 21st studio album Savage via BMG on Aug. 11, and in support of it he has launched a tour that includes a stop at 9:30 Club on Saturday, Dec. 9.
Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches sings at Echostage on Oct. 17, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
I’ll confess that I’m a man whose taste in music is readily apparent. If you have new wave tunes to play, particularly from 1976-86, I’m going to show up and listen to them. That said, a number of incredible legacy new wave bands happened to travel through the DC metro area over the past year, and I took the opportunity to review them for our humble blog.
That said, a number of younger bands definitely broke through and seized my attention, most notably Canada’s Operators, who were the most exciting new band I’ve seen in some time. As with Operators, many of the best performances I witnessed in 2016 came from bands whose leaders are among the Masters of Synthpop, and so I have dedicated a postscript of really great synthpop shows that may have “missed” the top 10 but otherwise deserve a lot of applause.
Check out my top 10 list of concerts I saw for Parklife DC. (Click on the concert slugline to revisit the full review.)