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Top Concert Photos of 2013

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photos Top Concert Photos of 2013

Each year, Consequence of Sound hits up more festivals, more concerts, and more events. Almost every other night, our trusty photographers scatter across the globe to capture moments you can experience from the comfort of your own home. It’s an unenviable task that’s sometimes dangerous, almost always tedious, and the death of your mind, body, and soul. Ever haul four bags of groceries and think, Almost there, almost there, almost there? Try doing that for a whole weekend, surrounded by ultra hyper festivalgoers, and underneath a barrage of rain. The word “hell” comes to mind.

Because we reap so many benefits from their hellish endeavors, we feel it’s our duty to return the favor and pay homage to all their best work. Over the next few pages, you’ll find a couple of things. For one, 175 photos from over a dozen of our greatest photographers. What’s more, we’ve also gone ahead and named our Photographer of the Year, a first for our Annual Report and something we’ll continue for years ahead. So, throw on a pair of headphones and revisit 2013 in the most stylish way we can offer. If you’re a fan, hit up their provided social networks and follow their ensuing adventures.

On a related note, we’d like to take this opportunity to remember Andrew Youssef. On Monday night, the renowned Los Angeles photographer lost his fight with colon cancer at the age of 38. Although Consequence of Sound never had the opportunity to work with Youssef, we’ve long been fans of his portfolio and were deeply saddened by the news. Please revisit his epic work and, if possible, donate to a PayPal account he set up for his family prior to his death.

Photographer of the Year: Ben Kaye

Screen shot 2013-12-01 at 11.22.50 PMHe’s already the coolest teacher in the New York area, and now he’s this year’s top photographer. By day, Ben Kaye teaches English as a Second Language to 16-60 year olds at the ELS Language Center on Adelphia University’s Manhattan campus. By night, he’s Assistant News Editor for Consequence of Sound. During the short free time he does have, however, he finds himself at nightclubs, or arenas, or festivals, snapping shots for his own written coverage. He’s like Peter Parker, only with less spandex.

Reliable, dedicated, and resilient, Ben makes this stuff look easy, capturing each moment with the emotionality and depth we typically find in person. Performers look natural yet the surroundings feel vivid and that’s exactly what I look for when it comes to pairing visuals with editorial. While choosing his best photos, I found myself amused and also frustrated, knowing damn well I’d be leaving some goodies behind. I can’t wait to see where he goes in 2014 and what he turns up.

His favorite moment of 2013: “As challenging as Bonnaroo is to shoot (or attend, really), it’s also the coolest place on earth and always rewarding. This year I fist-bumped Officer Dangle at “Weird Al”; danced with McLovin during Jim James when the guards neglected to kick me out after the usual “first three songs” and I got to watch the entire set from the photo pit; and, perhaps most memorably, handed Action Bronson a joint. Some fan tossed the J on stage, but it got trapped under a speaker right in front of me. Bronson was fishing around for it, so I just reached up, pulled it out, and handed it to him. He sparked it up, and I snapped this picture. Afterwards, he mugged straight at me at the “pose for the cameras” line during “Steve Wynn”, but this shot is way more Bronsino.”

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Action Bronson

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ASAP Rocky

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Deer Tick

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Diarrhea Planet

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HAIM

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James Murphy

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Amanda Palmer

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Passion Pit

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Phoenix

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Solange

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“Weird Al” Yankovic

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Robert Altman

His favorite moment of 2013: “It’s so hard to pick a ‘favorite’ moment from the year- each show is so different. It would be an easier task to pick one moment PER show. In today’s video dominated/24fps world, I love being able to stop time and freeze one special instant that captures a performer, a concert, and an evening. Sharing those ‘perfect’ moments is what it’s all about.”

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Drake

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The Postal Service

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Allyce Andrew

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Fred Armisen

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Dan Deacon

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FIDLAR

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Maroon 5

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Mute Math

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Willie Nelson

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Paramore

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Phoenix

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Joseph Annoreno

His favorite moment of 2013: “Even though I’ve shot photos at the Metro a few times before, taking the pit for James Blake was a bit more a challenging than past shows. Capturing Blake’s airy dubstep aura all depended in finding the right setting on my camera. As soon as the band stepped on to the stage, they immediately found their groove and played an intimate and stunning performance coated in thumping bass lines and lush orchestration.”

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James Blake

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Gretchen Bachrodt

Her favorite moment of 2013: “I remember the day I shot Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field as one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. Apart from the stress of the sweltering heat, wall-to-wall people, and fatigue, I will also never forget the excitement of hearing the sold out stadium’s roaring reaction to when Pearl Jam finally took the stage. It was like a dream come true: standing in one of my favorite childhood places, working my dream job, shooting one of the most successful bands in the world. As one of my first concerts I’ve ever shot, it was quite a way to set the bar for my career.”

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Ben Folds

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Pearl Jam

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Meghan Brosnan

Her favorite moment of 2013: “One of my favorite pit moments this year is from MIA’s performance at Pitchfork. She was all over the place — grinding on speakers, jumping into the audience, climbing the stage — it was mayhem. I like an over-the-top performance because it’s challenging to try to document and incapsulate all the craziness in a single image. And if you’re able to get that perfect shot it can sometimes be more satisfying than the actual performance.”

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Björk

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The Dismemberment Plan

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Sky Ferreira

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Foxygen

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MIA

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Joanna Newsom

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R. Kelly

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Jason Bryant

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Glastonbury

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The Rolling Stones

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Tom Clayton

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Mark Mulcahy

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Philip Cosores

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Dr. Dre

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Miguel

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Tom Petty

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Yetunde Dada

Her favorite moment of 2013: “There’s something surreal about seeing some of your favorite musicians live on stage and for me this was most apparent when I was shooting MGMT at Firefly Music Festival earlier on this year. It was like time stood still and the amazing visuals that they used have made it an incredible memory. As a South African concert photographer, it’s not often that I get to see some of my favorite alternative acts, unless I’m traveling, so that memory is burnt deep and I’ll never forget it.”

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MGMT

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Nathan Dainty

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OMD

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Debi Del Grande

Her favorite moment of 2013: “I’ve been very fortunate to photograph my favorite musicians, including The Cure, Radiohead and Björk. One band that I hadn’t photographed was Depeche Mode. DM was my very first concert (Rose Bowl 1988) and the last time they played in Santa Barbara, I was behind the rail with my point and shoot. This year, I was in the photo pit about to take photos and this enormous surge of excitement grew in my chest as they were about to go on. I had many friends at the rail I spoke with and we were all giddy. I just remember singing as I shot and Dave twirled.”

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Local Natives

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Queens of the Stone Age

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Wolfmother

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Dale W. Eisinger

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Adam Yauch Park

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Paul McCartney

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Nick Freed

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Gogol Bordello

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Adam Gasson

His favorite moment of 2013: “For the first time in years I managed to survive a Glastonbury weekend without being soaked through thanks to the British ‘summer’ rain. But I was hit in the face with a snowball and a tomato. It’s those moments that make Glastonbury a (painful) pleasure to shoot each year.”

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Deap Vally

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Glastonbury

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Rita Ora

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Sasha Geffen

Her favorite moment of 2013: “Savages are pure joy to shoot, and I was lucky enough to end up at the edge of their stage with a camera a few months ago. While I’d been impressed with their debut, my suspicion that I hadn’t really understood the band yet was confirmed when they packed Chicago’s Metro. The band’s songs are solid but they’re really just vehicles for presence, scripts for Jehnny Beth to work a defenseless crowd. She’s all charisma and fierce quick gestures, but her bandmates carry a huge, quiet presence beside her. Bassist Ayse Hassan was particularly wonderful to photograph as she loomed right above me at the left side of the stage, totally absorbed in her playing.”

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Savages

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David Greenwald

His favorite moment of 2013: “Wavves — both Nathan Williams and Stephen Pope — were dealing with pre-tour sickness the day I interviewed them. But they soldiered through breakfast, a few rounds of FIFA, and a photo shoot that included impromptu basketball and this American flag mural, which framed their tired, stoner glory.”

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Wavves

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David Hall

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Desaparecidos

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Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

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Matt and Kim

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Nine Inch Nails

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Pearl Jam

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Voodoo Experience

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Zach Hart

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Killer Mike

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Kaitlyn Herzog

Her favorite moment of 2013: “I’ve been following Bon Iver for years, so photographing Justin Vernon’s Volcano Choir was a welcomed opportunity. I was quickly immersed in the Metro’s atmosphere with the haunting lighting and textural backdrop. Vernon was a prime subject to photograph while addressing the audience from his mossy podium.”

Official Site

Volcano Choir

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Chris Jorgensen

His favorite moment of 2013: “Bonnaroo is always a blast to shoot. Fans want the music to be good, while photographers just want the artists to move. Father John Misty jumped, swooned, pleaded, collapsed, twirled and flopped. It was beautiful.” TwitterFollowButton-Post

Ed Helms

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ZZ Top

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Heather Kaplan

Her favorite moment of 2013: “Reignwolf’s set at Lollapalooza proved to be one of my best pit moments of 2013. Jordan was performing with so much gusto, and I knew that an EPIC. JUMP. would be happening at any moment. There’s nothing more frustrating than missing the opportunity for an awesome jumping photo so I went into hyperfocus mode. Jordan climbed up on the bass drum; I took a big gulp of air and waited for what seemed like an eternity (I was willing to sacrifice the ability to breathe if it meant avoiding a blurry photo). When I snuck a peek at my screen and realized I got the shot, it really pumped me up for the rest of the day!”

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ACL Festivalgoers

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Nick Cave

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CHVRCHES

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The Cure

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Divine Fits

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Ellie Goulding

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Green Day

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Grimes

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HAIM

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Jim James

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The Postal Service

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Reignwolf

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Lionel Richie

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St. Lucia

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Vampire Weekend

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Jessie Ware

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Wild Belle

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Eric Kayne

His favorite moment of 2013: “Photographing Arcade Fire has been the highlight assignment of 2013 for me. I travelled and photographed the band for their two week mini-tour in October in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. The Meserole show was off the chain – the costumes, location and energy are something I’ll never forget!”

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Arcade Fire

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Amanda Koellner

Her favorite moment of 2013: “This year marked my third Bonnaroo but my first with a glorious media wristband, and although I lacked a photo pass, I toted my camera around all weekend. After tag-teaming a spot in the six-hour-long Paul McCartney fan pit line with a small chunk of my Bonnaroovian family, I ended up about six rows back with nearly 80,000 people behind me as we sang along to the likes of ‘Hey Jude’, ‘Let It Be’, and ‘Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da’ on the farm, solidifying the set as my all-time favorite concert. I, a writer on the CoS team, ended up with the only Paul McCartney photos thanks to my proximity, and the shots I took catapulted me further into the world of photography. Largely thanks to Sir Paul, this summer saw me clicking away in the photo pits of Pitchfork Fest, Outside Lands, and Chicago’s A.V. Fest/Hideout Block Party, Lolla after-shows, and more. All hail Macca.”

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The Hideout Block Party

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Ellie Goulding

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Paul McCartney

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Superchunk

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Shervin Lainez

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Jim James

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Jeremy D. Larson

His favorite moment of 2013:Between crippling food poisoning at SXSW and Tropical Storm Andrea at Governors Ball, it wasn’t the best year for being in photo pits for me. The former had me throwing up just as Ezra Koenig was singing, ‘I can feel it coming,’ from ‘Cousins’ and the latter was so wet and wretched I was punch drunk at the end, laughing at the possibility of never being able to feel my toes again. But other than that, shooting Paramore at the Chicago Theater was one of the best gigs. Not only are Paramore playing at their very best right now, they put on a show that’s fun to shoot. All of the big shows and big stadiums with lights and projections and props are fun to shoot, but often you want to get right out of there. Paramore was an exception — a huge show full of cheap tricks that I very much enjoyed to the very end.”

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A Place to Bury Strangers

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Azealia Banks

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Chance the Rapper

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Foxygen

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Guns ‘N Roses

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HAIM

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The National

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Paramore

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Sigur Rós

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Trash Talk

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Kanye West

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Gilles LeBlanc

His favorite moment of 2013: “Not to get all ‘First World Photog Problems’, but I’m used to dealing with 30 or 40 other accredited photographers in a given festival pit. At Riot Fest Toronto, there were 75 of us in one of the tightest spaces I’ve ever experienced. The fact that a certain pioneering alt-rock band was playing their first show in 22 years probably had something to do with it. There was no room to move once we all got in there, but thanks to my stature and savviness, I was pretty happy with the shots I took of Messrs. Stinson and Westerberg!”

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The Replacements

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Pat Levy

His favorite moment of 2013: “In all of the photo pits I was a part of this year, the lasting image for me is Action Bronson taking the stage at Milwaukee’s The Rave on his 2 High 2 Die joint tour with Danny Brown. Equipped with a sleeve of red Solo cups and a bottle of Grey Goose, he came out to R. Kelly’s ‘Bump N’ Grind’ and tossed cups to the first few rows before pouring shots for everyone who could reach. It was reminiscent of Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’ as Bam Bam towered over his adoring fans and graciously extended to them the offer of free booze from his rider. Getting to share a shot with Action Bronson and a few dozen excited fans was by far my photo pit highlight in a year where I got to ‘share’ the stage with Crystal Castles and experience huge bands like New Order and Haim.”

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Action Bronson

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Mumford and Sons

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The Orwells

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Wavves

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Ted Maider

His favorite moment of 2013: “For the past couple years, Trash Talk is a band who has consistently delivered photo-worthy performances. For Coachella, they put on quite a spectacle, but there was nobody else in the photo pit beside myself. I stood right next to singer Lee Speilman as he climbed the barricade and let kids scream into the microphone. After snapping some top-notch photos, I decided to rock out too. Since I had the whole photo pit to myself, I was able to solo mosh for the next two songs, right there with the band. It was everything an aged punk could have ever wanted.”

Official Site

Atoms for Peace

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Beck

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Blur

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The Breeders

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Death Grips

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Earl Sweatshirt

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Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

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Fun Fun Fun Festivalgoer

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Janelle Monáe

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Nine Inch Nails

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Nick Offerman

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The Shouting Matches

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Sleigh Bells

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The Tallest Man on Earth

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Terror

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TV on the Radio

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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Joshua Mellin

His favorite moment of 2013: “What stands out in 2013 is sinking into the Gulf Shores sand at Hangout, stepping on to Soldier Field for Jay Z & Justin Timberlake, and running alongside Alex Ebert at Bonnaroo’s Which stage. For Lollapalooza, though, I bypassed the pits and wandered Grant Park to great benefit. During Crystal Castles’ set I caught Alice Glass as she marched out into the crowd along the barrier, out of sight to those in the pit. After enjoying a complete show from Vampire Weekend I found myself in a prime location for Phoenix, evident by the shot of Thomas Mars crowd-surfing overhead.”

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CHVRCHES

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Crystal Castles

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Father John Misty

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Lollapalooza

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Paul McCartney

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Phoenix

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Frank Mojica

His favorite moment of 2013: “‘First three songs. No flash. Remain constantly on the move while changing settings and minding the other photographers.’ The joys of the photo pit were fairly new to me this year, and while the crash courses in concert photography have been exhilarating and challenging, one moment stands out as especially rewarding and educational. Sometimes it really pays to be in the front of the crowd, and due to the hyper-kinetic sci-fi spectacle of the Janelle Monáe live experience, I cannot imagine seeing her from any other vantage point. I thanked the concert gods for both the opportunity to be even closer than the front row ever so briefly and something every photographer can use: the gift of illumination. In response to the bright lights, however, I cranked up my shutter speed, only to discover that even speeds of 1/160 second were often outpaced by Monáe’s fancy footwork. Nothing is ever too easy, expect the unexpected, and be prepared for anything? Lesson learned.”

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How to Destroy Angels

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Janelle Monáe

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Zola Jesus

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Daniela Montelongo

Her favorite moment of 2013: “Getting covered in GWAR blood, shoes being destroyed, and ringing in my ears are just some of the highlights from the photo pits at Riot Fest this year. What other photographers may have seen as a pain, are what I spend all year waiting for. Watching Laura Jane Grace perform as the crowd screamed along to the Against Me! set made every second of standing in the pouring rain and sliding around in mud worth it.”

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Blondie

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Joan Jett and the Heartbreakers

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The Replacements

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Kathy Paz

Her favorite moment of 2013: “This has been a year involving various career decisions and big changes as I’ve continued to assimilate myself into the world of journalism and find my perfect niche in this field. Because of that, and definitely not for lack of want, my time in the photo pit has been limited. It’s been the first time since discovering a passion for live music photography that I haven’t been able to indulge deliberately or whole-heartedly. That means that any moment I actually got to spend there, capturing and losing myself in moment, was special and unparalleled.”

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Muse

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Michael Powell

His favorite moment of 2013: “While much of the world brunched Sunday at noon, an extremely fortunate 100 superfans and a small group of (ugh) press types enjoyed an hour-long retrospective of The Flaming Lips inside a sunlit gallery above downtown Louisville’s Muhammed Ali Center. Still not sure how I lucked out on this. Stripped down it was not. Donning The Greatest’s golden boxing gloves, an especially animated Wayne Coyne engaged in rapid-fire “storytellers” banter as the band selected a song representative of each era within their mercurial three decade career. Beyond the intimacy, the real treat for me was hearing the seldom played “Bag Full of Thoughts”, the first official Lips song, and the decibel shredding “Unconsciously Screaming”, my personal favorite pre-Soft Bulletin anthem. Personally, this intimate performance felt more spirited and anthemic than Saturday night’s subdued set in front of 30,000+ people at Waterfront Park — a notion that beautifully punctuates The Flaming Lips’ storied tradition eschewing all convention.”

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The Flaming Lips

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Amy Price

Her favorite moment of 2013: “There were lots of incredible moments this year, from being caught in an exuberant mosh pit at The Damned, to shooting Phoenix taping for ACL, to capturing Sir Elton’s smile and getting a ‘thank you’ at the benefit for the Andy Roddick Foundation. But the best moment came at the Bonnaroo Rock & Soul Superjam, where I was in the pit for the entire show. John Oates and Jim James led a seriously all-star cast. Just imagine: Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes wailing “Satisfaction”, R. Kelly channeling Sam Cooke, Billy Idol sneering right at my lens, and Larry Graham, the original slap-funk bassist, leading the band ‘Higher’. Even ‘McLovin’ himself was my impromptu dance partner for the evening. It was a dance party fueled communion between artists and audience, perfect in almost every way. Simply awesome!”

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Cut Copy

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Patton Oswalt

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Sparks

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Television

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Carl Pocket

His favorite moment of 2013: “Even though they made us shoot from back of house, the most memorable moment shooting in 2013 was easily the Sound City Players show at the Hollywood Palladium. Watching Dave Grohl on acoustic guitar, sit on a stool and strum out “Landslide” with Stevie Nicks belting out the vocals… it was easily the most chilling moment I had this year.” TwitterFollowButton-Post

Sound City Players

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Shaun Regan

His favorite moment of 2013: “The lighting and smoke were near perfect. This was the moment myself and a large conglomerate of black-clad Slayer fans had been waiting for. There aren’t many bands that can compete with the sheer velocity of Slayer. As I shot the band opening with ‘Hell Awaits’, I turned around and saw a young man in a wheel chair crowd surfing his way towards the photo pit! He wore the biggest smile and even brought a grin to Tom Araya’s face. I felt extremely lucky to be a part of that moment.”

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Slayer

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Michael Roffman

His favorite moment of 2013: “No idea. I will say this, though: The hardest thing about taking photos is having to spend so much time with them afterwards — especially when you’re madly in love with the artists or performers. It’s torturous and you start feeling like Travis Bickle or someone similarly creepy. I don’t know; I guess I’m just a weird guy. Whatever the case, Iggy hasn’t returned my calls.”

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Free Energy

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Sky Ferreira

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Palma Violets

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Pissed Jeans

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Iggy and the Stooges

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Phillip Roffman

His favorite moment of 2013: “As lame and ultra cheesy this may sound…my favorite aspect of this year, ranging from Lollapalooza to Austin City Limits, was the fact that no one was rude and every photographer I met just wanted to make sure everyone else was comfortable and able to get a shot. Especially Lollapalooza 2013. Maybe that’s just the Midwestern hospitality, but either way, good stuff.”

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Kendrick Lamar

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Joe Runge

His favorite moment of 2013: “Oh, thats an easy one! Back in May, CoS invited me to shoot this year’s Soundset Festival. I was in the pit when Juicy J sprinted on stage. At this point I was really ‘getting into the zone’ because Juicy J is one of my favorite artist. The second song into his set he actually splashed a little bit of his Rosé on me. I had already realized this prior to now, but this moment struck me. It’s a moment like this that makes me so excited about my future in photography.”

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P.O.S.

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SchoolboyQ

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Katie Schuering

Her favorite moment of 2013: “Fiona Apple’s performance was one of the hardest yet most rewarding experiences to shoot. I spent the three-song limit crouched awkwardly in the aisle at the Bank of America Theater (no pits or barricades). In spite of the workaround, her passion and intensity as a performer are hard to miss while photographing. She is just a powerful, mesmerizing presence.”

Fiona Apple

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Flag

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Pixies

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Wei Shi

Her favorite moment of 2013: “It was the night before Thanksgiving and Bowery Ballroom was packed all the way to the exits for Lauryn Hill’s return. And when I say ‘packed,’ I mean, ‘Omg, I hope the girl next to me isn’t going to punch me because it’s so crowded that I can smell her hair between this camera shoved in front of my face.’ Thankfully, I made sure to get there early enough for a decent angle since there was no photo pit. Lauryn moved with such grace and sang with such soulful perfection that I couldn’t help smiling while snapping photos. She conversed intimately with the crowd and everyone seemed to just enjoy themselves. I’d only moved to NYC from LA two months ago so shooting this show and hearing the familiar 90’s hits made me feel at home again.”

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Lauryn Hill

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Nate Slevin

Björk

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Father John Misty

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The Lumineers

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The Wu-Tang Clan

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Cory Smith

His favorite moment of 2013: “Just before Pitchfork Paris, my wife suffered an injury, leaving her on crutches. Ever the trooper, she’d stand at the front of the stage, not allowing her injury to interfere. I’d enter the pit, shoot three songs, then join her. Security soon noticed and took pity on her. Midway through night two as I turned to exit, I noticed a pair of crutches near the photo gear. I looked over to see my wife seated on the gating separating us from the crowd. Security allowed her to sit comfortably and enjoy the show. I was confined to a three song limit, she apparently was not.”

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Danny Brown

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Deafheaven

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The Knife

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Panda Bear

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Omar Souleyman

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Colin Stetson

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Matthew Solarski

His favorite moment of 2013: “Always good to see mindfulness in the pit. The guys and gals who, while taking great photos, are considerate of the artist (who probably doesn’t appreciate bright flashes or cameras all up in their face), the audience (who probably don’t want to hear shutters clicking through the quiet parts), and their fellow photographers (we’re all in the same boat here): I raise my glass to these people, the mindful.”

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Julia Holter

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The xx

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Derek Staples

His favorite moment of 2013: “As a concert photographer, even when shooting a favorite, I try to sustain a sense of professionalism. Killer Mike and El-P (aka Run The Jewels), make the task damn near impossible. Be it photog or fan, the duo understand how to make a connection. During the inaugural US edition of Laneway Festival, the pair was extra hospitable, passing along some Grey Goose for the pit and first few rows to enjoy. Possibly due to the sharing of libations, Killer Mike seemed extra photogenic in the mid-day sun, his powerful form working the camera like the most seasoned of professional models. Thus making the job easy, and placing this set atop my most memorable of 2013.”

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Crystal Castles

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Flying Lotus

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Run the Jewels

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Diana Talyansky

Her favorite moment of 2013: “My favorite moment was realizing that the rain wasn’t going to stop, and that the festival was going to get real sloppy real fast. In the best possible way, of course.”

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Billy Joel

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New Orleans Jazz + Heritage Festival

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Catherine Watkins

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Animal Collective

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Gary Numan

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