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See The Music XVIII – Come Again

Posted by jhochstat on November 17, 2008

See The Music XVIII – Come Again
Photos and Story by Beana Bern

Listening to Jerry sing Mission in the Rain, drinking peppermint tea with a little Doozer curled by my lap seems like a nice opportunity to tell a story about the good old days…now longer ago than I can believe…but instead, I am going to refrain from telling you about the time I saw the Grateful Dead alone at Giant’s Stadium and walked around the venue no less than four times looking for Fat Albert, my Toyota minivan.  I am also going to refrain from telling you about the slow-speed golf cart chase that ensued in Addison, Vermont at sunrise after an amazing weekend of friends and enlightenment.   Though the ‘good old days’ are very much on my mind tonight I am going to refrain from telling you those stories and tell you, instead, about some fun, new days here in Innsbrucklyn.

I’ve mentioned PMK many, many times because it is, of sorts, my new Wetlands or Bowery or 2A or 3Needs or Nectars…Not that it’s new, but I am so it’s the same difference.  Its a dive bar and club where good things happen and the night before I left for the US of A there was some fun that occurred there.  Sitting here sick for the umteenth (that word looks weird written) day in a row I have some concerns about telling you that I got sauced and stayed out til the sun came up before hopping my flight, but I did.  Some bands, unknown to me, were playing a “big” show and 2 of them ended up being pretty rad.

Looking back, I think the bill had like 8 bands on it or something insane but I arrived around 11 and caught the last 3.  The first one was a polish grungie metal band called Filth of the Earth.  They sounded a lot like their name would suggest but the lead singer had great abs.

I stayed there only long enough to fire off a few shots and concentrated on the revelry next door waiting for the show I had come to see.  By the time Warren Suicide took the stage I was slightly lubricated so they’re total dance party vibe was easy to slip into.  They were very high energy and, though I can’t recall how even one of their songs goes, I had a ton of fun with these guys.  So much fun, in fact, that I would seek them out again for sure.  There was as much boogie happening as shutter-clicking so take these shots with a Dead Sea’s worth of salt, okay?

By the time their set was finished it was the wee-hours and everybody was marinated and excited about T Raumschmiere (for those of you unsure how to say that, its like Raum-schmear-er) a German ElectroClash superstar and lush.  He poured a beer over his head at the get go, took off his shirt and then went off.  The music reminded me a little bit of the dancey Nine Inch Nails with heavy industrial beats.  There was definitely a rock and roll element too and, generally speaking, I liked it.  His pants were way too low and the forceful, drunken stage show made me want to back up but, all in all, it was a treat and also good fun.  Apparently this guy plays much bigger rooms than the petite PMK so this was a treat for everybody and it had that feel.  I was on my 4th Radler around the time these shots were fired so be kind…

Would I seek this guy out again, you ask?  I probably would.  I was always a fan of Nine Inch Nails (even moreso after seeing Trent Reznor sing acoustic at the Bridge School Benefit) and I liked the vibe.  Curious? Check out a little on MySpace….Living in Europe, especially Austria, I need to make some nice with electronic music and I feel like this new-to-me genre of ElectroClash has some potential.

I hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them…and that you can take some comfort in knowing that one day these days…the ones we’re living right now, will be the good old days.

dont forget to see the music

Beana Bern

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See The Music XVII – Slickness & ProgRock

Posted by jhochstat on October 28, 2008

See The Music XVII – Slickness & ProgRock
Photos and Story by Beana Bern

Every now and again (more often than I ever expect) something rolls into this little Tyrolean Valley and brings the world I remember with it.  Last night the Adrian Belew Trio played a club called Komma in a little village about 30 minutes east of me.  I rolled into the club just in time to hear Eric kick things off and remembered how often I find myself in awe at his talent…His sister, Julie, is also quite a prodigy and when you glue those two together with Adrian’s style its a pretty amazing show.  The sound in the club wasnt perfect and there was one drunk doucbag who kept “conducting” the band as though he was driving but neither of those two things prevented me from enjoying myself.  For those of you not sure who Adrian Belew is, hes a rock legend whose played with plenty of amazing musicians among them King Crimson.  I first saw the Trio play at the 1st Annual Paul Green School of Rock Festival and knew they were worthy but enjoyed last nights show much more.  Complicated rock is more fun for me in a little room where I can concentrate.  After the show and a little QT they packed it in and so did I.  All in all, an exceptional night of rock in Tirollllll.

These are my favorite shots from last night but feel free to peruse the whole album right here.

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See The Music XVI – EF @ PMK

Posted by jhochstat on October 6, 2008

See The Music XVI –  EF @ PMK
Photos and Story by Beana Bern

The floor of PMK turned to quicksand last night by the time EF, a post-rock band from Sweden, played their second song.  Like Mogwai or Sigur Ros, their thick, ambient sound builds slowly and before you know it, it’s rolled over you completely like a blanket of cement.  Soft, sometimes too emo vocals, would wind and twist their way into heavy, driving sonic waves of sound before you realized what was happening.

I was struck at how good they were and wasn’t sure if I held that opinion because I rolled in with no expectations or because I was genuinely affected.  When I got home, only a couple hours before sunrise, I found them on MySpace and decided to take another pass and see…

The 6 tracks they have posted are worth listening to but only if you have a quiet moment to let the music transport you to that breezy, sometimes stormy, place all the tracks seem to go.  It was a total sleeper but I’m really glad I motivated…If you’d like to see the complete album from last nights post-rock feast, click here.

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See the Music XV – Melt Fest 2008 Pictures and Fragments

Posted by jhochstat on July 28, 2008

See the Music XV – Melt Fest 2008 Pictures and Fragments
Photos and Story by Beana Bern

“Possible Germany” rings in my ear as I ride out of Dessau on a bus through what looks like Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia. Windmills turning, wheat blowing in the breeze, my socks still wet from the night before I have time to think…It always amazes me how music can be the tonic to heal wounded ears of too much music. “Possible Germany” isn’t a suggestion this day, it’s a fact.

Rewind 3 days and I’m on the same bus, this time with no music but only the anticipation of 3 days of music to come. Almost 10 years since I’ve slept in a wet tent backstage at a show and I wonder if it’s as brutal and fun as I remember it. My credentials are ready and a kind bus driver drops me right off at the Production office where they set me up with a tent and directions to the Presse Tent. Game on…only 2 hours to spare before its time to sport my gear (almost 40 pounds worth) and make some art and try to stop time.

After nesting a little in the Presse Tent with my bone dry locker (sehr wichtig) and a handful of new friends and strangers I headed out to scout the grounds, find all the gates my “freund” bracelet and Presse pass would get me (pretty much everywhere but up a coal digger…which I found my way up anyway) and timed how long it would take me to get from stage to stage. This last excersice was futile after the earth turned deep brown and slippery and kiddies in their funky shades clogged the arteries.

It’s hard to figure how best to re-cap all the music so I think I’ll just go in order. Perhaps it’s natural to start with the “big dogs” first but instead, I will take you through it as I experienced things and, when possible, I’ll give you my impression in words as well as megapixels…

To go a little deeper, click on each picture to see the whole set of that band. Or, if you feel like sitting back and seeing the “best of” album, click right here.

Friday…July 18

Markus Kavka kicked things off with beats and an unwavering smile. Not my thing but it was a good way to get the party started.

Fotos was some German indie pop that served as a chance to adjust the white balance on my camera and check the perspective from the pit. The music wasn’t so memorable for me…

Lightspeed Champion was the first band that I was psyched to see. Dramatic and melodic the highpoint was the Star Wars anthem and the furry hat.

Late of the Pier had a super high-maintainence sound check but these Brits (i think) threw down, what I can only guess would be, electro pop with a major emphasis on the drums. The crowd went crazy and it was a good, if a little too loud, 3 songs in the pit.

Turbostaat was some German mediocre ‘power’ rock. I remember it was awful but the boys in the front row wearing Turbostaat shirts and singing every word would probably respectfully disagree. To their credit they were playing in a shit sounding concrete box and that could have been a factor in my disatisfaction.

My new photog friend Adrian, when referring to the band Blackmail said that he “wasn’t sure why these guys aren’t famous yet’” and I pondered that thought as the bass drum layed down a new rhythm for my heartbeat during soundcheck. The smoke machine was annoying and the music wasn’t super memorable…

This guy surprised me a little and I found myself liking his ‘doo-wop-vegas-indie-folk-jewish-pop’ more than I would have expected. He’s one of those guys that, even if you don’t like the music, you cant help but smile when he and his back up singers do their thing. Funny but nice.

I was aiming for Burger/Voigt but caught Tobias Thomas instead. He had this pharmaceutical mellow thing going that would have been nice to stay with for a bit had I had a couch to sit on.

Kate Nash sounds exactly the same live as she does on FM4 but the lack of imagination in her “KATE NASH” visuals and her kind of late-lazy stage show made me like her a little bit less. The pouring rain could have also been a factor in the overall lackluster performance but im pretty sure it was her.

Gui Boratto was cute but, if i’m being honest, DJ’s can start to sound the same to me after a little while

I first heard Modeselektor on a iTunes playlist assembled by Thom York. I liked it then and I liked it live…these were the only DJ’s I heard with the ability to make people dance like animals instead of robots. Fucking awesome.

The Editors reminded me a little bit of “Live” but I think it had more to do with the lead singers voice than with the actual sound of the band. They had a huge draw and a big sound and, though it wasn’t something I would go and seek out, they were good.

Ellen Allien had too many technical difficulties for me to stick around. This was shot around 3am and I had one gig left to shoot…

Robyn was new to me but clearly not new to the stage. Both diva and pimp, she was like a sizzling Swedish gangster with the soul of Pat Benetar. Highlights of her set were covers of Snoop Dogs “Sexual Eruption,” Salt n Pepa’s “Push It,” and what I think was a Prince cover of “I’ll Jerk You Off.” If I get the chance to see her again, I will.

Saturday…July 19

Sleep came but didn’t stay. After about 4 hours it was time to wander the grounds and watch Melt wake up. After some festival food it was time to park myself in the tent and edit some photos before heading out to do it again. Storm warnings and terrential rain put a damper on things (sorry about that) and the mud came out in full effect.

The first act was a German guy named Peter Licht. I forget exactly what it was that I thought at the time but I think it was along the lines of “emo-german-college-pop.” Boring but he did get the rainbow so you have to give him that at least.

Twisted Wheel wasn’t on the bill but found their way to the mainstage for a short set. Out of Manchester and into Ferropolis….aside from the nice light, I don’t remember what their deal was.

After a few songs Dirk arranged a crane tour for us and we headed up one of the 5 major coal digging machines that is Ferropolis. Surreal and scary, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of noise they made when they were unearthing coal and rocks. No doubt they were far louder than any of the noise we were making with our rock and roll. Click on the picture below to see some of this awesome and rustic metal.

Melt by Day

Melt by Night

Ok ok, I got off track a little but after the tour of the big rigs it was time to rock (mostly work) until the sun came up.

Cobblestone Jazz was another DJ thing but live, synthesized vocals and groovier beat was interesting

Fujiya Migawi surprised me with their lack of Japanese-ness but I loved the their sound. A little listen on MySpace confirmed that I liked what I heard and I hope I get to see them again one day.

The Notwist is geekier than all hell but also pretty brilliant. Their set built really slow but after the 4th song they hit a stride and their subdued and melodic sound had some momentum. Not so fun to shoot but they made up for it with the music.

This scary and disgusting dude is called Rummelsnuff. The kind of stereotypical shit that somebody might think would still be happening in Germany. He sings of power and strength and other shit that makes the National nazi-types happy while his oiled body makes the homosexuals happy. His ability to bring these two unlikely groups together seems to be part of his novelty but after 5 clicks of the shutter I got the fuck out of there before the little bit of barf in my throat needed to find its way out.

Franz Ferdinand is so slick and such a well oiled machine that they feel like less of a rock band and more like a vegas act but that didnt stop me from loving every second of their set. They are fucking awesome…and lots of fun to take photos of. Go on, click the pic and take a peek.

Roisin Murphy is such a sexy bitch that its crazy. 3 costume changes during the first 3 songs with the entire stage serving as her own personal cat walk. The music was alright but her stage show was amazing. I would have loved to have photographed the whole set. This is another set that you should take a closer look at if you’re inclined.

Another sleepless night and another day to work, fortunately all my shows for the last day were on the same stage so I only had to scoot out from the press tent between rain showers and acts. I spent the day kicking it with the other photogs, you come to know one another after 3 days of working in the rain.

July…Sunday 19

Los Campesinos had a lot going on with the xylophones, horns and things. Lots of draw for an early show and a sound somewhat derivative of angsty Arcade Fire and insecure but happy Magic Numbers.

Neon Neon’s set was a tribute, maybe homage, to the man who built the Dolorian. Birth was uninteresting but Dreaming was memorable and the old school Casio ‘hand clap’ brought back memories of mine and my sister’s dabbling with our own keyboard many years ago. It got some weird Rusted Root-esque percussion that turned me off towards the end but by then it was time to go anyway…

Get Well Soon is another example of an Arcade Fire want-to-be but, honestly, they are doing it. They are good with the big crecendos and atmospheric rock and, though a little annoying to watch, I liked the sound.

the only word for the Battles are awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome

I didn’t know that I knew Hot Chip until I heard the song about the monkey with a miniature symbol. Damn, that song has a way of staying in my head and running circles. This band saw the biggest crowd of the whole weekend, even trumping Bjork, which surprised me. They were good but throughout the whole set I was wondering whether or not I was going to be one of the lucky few photographers shooting Bjork…

As it turned out, she decided that she didnt want any Press or Photographers in front for her show. Her Management requested a list of media and picked about 10 photographers to cover the pit…I was one of them.

Bjork is more of a life force then a singer…her performance gave me goose bumps and I only wish that I hadn’t been freezing my ass off and suffering from massively cramped hands during her set. By the time these shots were taken I had been working for almost 3 days straight, sleeping for less then 8 hours and shooting what amounted to be about 600 photographs. Believe it or not, I even managed to have a little fun, eject two fucking drunkards (literally, 2 drunk people fucking) from my tent and make a few new friends. This re-cap marks the end of Melt and I hope you enjoyed the pix.

In case you haven’t been clicking and reading, here’s another shot to see the overview…

CLICK HERE FOR MELT FEST 2008

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See the Music XIV – This pain in my ear hurts, OUCH!

Posted by jhochstat on July 3, 2008

See the Music XIV – This pain in my ear hurts, OUCH!
Photos and Story by Beana Bern

On about 5 hours of sleep and about 25 hours of iMac, I have no idea why im awake enough to re-cap Enon but I am so I’m rolling with it. Good old pmk had another interesting act on tap and i felt like it’s been a while since I shot some music so I decided to head over and try to let the music massage away my stress. In a nutshell, that didn’t happen.

I met up with my friend Brad and we ended up catching up waiting (almost 2 hours!) for the band to go on. I know better than to show up that early for a show but they surprised us with an opening act that we weren’t expecting…or deserving. The chic at the door didn’t even know their name which is not a good sign. After about 10 bars of the first song I headed back to the lounge to try and kill some time. Remenants of some shitty Stone Temple Pilot tune confirmed that this band was aspiring to be another one of the worlds most mediocre…Whatever. Enough bitching. They sucked but I wasn’t there for them anyway.

Enon finally took the stage around 10 til midnight and it’s possible that they might have been good. I am unsure because with the first notes my eyes were squinting and I kept feeling my ears to see if they were bleeding. Seriously, it was like that TDK commercial with the dude in the chair and the sound waves are blowing his hair in the wind. Somebody forgot to tell the sound guy (aka loudmaker) that he wasn’t working the Garden. I nabbed a couple photos and then decided, much like Hundskopf the other day, that this rock show wasn’t worth all future rock shows and I bailed. I have since stuffed ear plugs into every camera bag and pocket that might ever find its way into a club again.

The band might have been something I was into if it hadn’t been for the prohibitively loud and painful vibrations in the cement room but I guess I’ll never know. Perhaps I’ll slurp a track or two off of Brad’s iPod and see what I missed.

Here are a couple photos from the show, though you can click here to see them all. See if you can feel how loud it was when each photo was snapped.

My tired ears are still recovering…

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I Saw the Music-Derek Trucks Band Hard Rock Cafe NYC 6.10.08

Posted by jhochstat on June 15, 2008

We have decided to start a NYC based live music review series called I Saw The Music which will cover live shows that have been seen by those of us based here in NYC.

The first show to be reviewed is:

Derek Trucks – Live at the Hard Rock Cafe free show sponsored by Rolling Stone Magazine, June 10th 2008.

Pix & Content by jroxx

On June 4th, I received an e-mail in my inbox from a member of a NYC based music list I am a member of with the following message: “Just ran into (a friend) who claimes that there is a free Derek Trucks show sponsored by Rolling Stone magazine at the Hard Rock Cafe this coming Tuesday night.” In the message was an e-mail address to r.s.v.p. for the show.

I sent an e-mail to that address and got the following autoreply: “Thank you for your RSVP to Rolling Stone LIVE featuring Derek Trucks Band, with special guests Scrapomatic. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, June 10th. Cheers, Rolling Stone.

There was a bit of skepticism regarding the validity of the show, the amount of people who were going to show up and the length of the performances. Being the optimist that I am, I got to the Hard Rock Cafe at 6:30 PM on June 10th, ran into my friend Dave who was waiting inside the doors of the Hard Rock Cafe (was sweltering hot out that day). Everyone had brought printouts of the autoreply e-mail we received from Rolling Stone magazine because none of us were sure how the system was going to work. We had heard that the doors were to open at 7:30, Scrapomatic was going on at 8:30 and finally Derek and his band at 9:30 PM.

Sure enough at 7:30, the tables were set up and the Rolling Stone staffers asked us for our names and ID’s and thankfully I was on the list. Being one of the first people inside, I set up camp right in front of the stage, directly in front of where I believed that Derek was going to be standing for his set. The venue at the Hard Rock Cafe is a hidden NYC gem that is rarely used for paying concerts (why???). Not only was the show not fully “packed” but there was also a Miller Lite table offering free beer and a Bratwurst cart offering free Brats with the works all night long. This was a free show with great perks and as I was about to find out was only going to get better!

Before I go into more detail I have to admit that I have seen Derek in all of the stages of his brief but ever growing career. I first saw Derek perform at a small bar in Orlando, Florida called The Junkyard in mid to late 1995. I got an advance copy of his first album from his record label in early 1997. In mid 1997 I saw Derek perform his first show at the House of Blues in Orlando in front of maybe 3 or 4 people total (nobody knew who he was yet…). My last time seeing Derek in Orlando was another House of Blues show that he opened for Gov’t Mule which ended in an EPIC Spanish Moon guitar duel with Warren. I still remember speaking to Derek backstage after the show and making the comment to him “You need to play with more intensity.” to which he responded “All of the intensity I need is in my fingertips.” Those words echo true to this day! Since returning to NYC in late 2001 I have seen Derek perform in City Hall Park (2002), Town Hall (2005) and at least 1 show each year in the Allman’s Beacon Run as well as Warren’s Evil Teen 10th Anniversary show in March of 2007. The growth and maturity I have seen in his guitar playing is mind boggling to say the least.

Advance copy of Joyful Noise signed by Derek & the band.

Ok, back to the Hard Rock show.

The evening started out with a brief set by Scrapomatic, Mike Mattison’s side band (Mike is the vocalist in Derek’s band for those of you that don’t know). Scrapomatic has a good sound and talented players but this was not the band that everyone came to see.

The 3 pictures below are from the Scrapomatic set.

A little after 9:30 PM, Derek and his band took the stage and played a blistering 90 minute set including several appearances by Derek’s wife, Susan Tedeschi.

They played 12 songs including some great covers of:

Get Out of My Life Woman (Written by Paul Butterfield)
Down Don’t Bother Me (Written by Albert King)
Soul Serenade (Written by Curtis Ousley aka King Curtis)
I’d Rather Be Blind, Crippled and Crazy (Written by Deadric Malone, Darryl Carter, Charles Hodges & 1st performed by O.V. Wright)
Key to the Highway (Written by Charlie Segar in 1940, Played by Eric Clapton & countless others)
My Favorite Things (Written by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II in 1959 and made famous by John Coltrane)
Anyday (Written by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock & Performed by Derek & the Dominoes)
The Weight (Written by Robbie Roberston & 1st Performed by The Band)

My friend Dave, who was front and center with me summed up the show the best saying “From the “front row”, tonight’s version of My Favorite Things has to rank as one of my peak musical experiences of all time. Derek started the song out by perfectly interpreting Coltrane’s phrasing on guitar for the first “verse”, then veering off into things that could only be done on guitar, and then only by him. The interplay that followed with Kofi on flute was unreal, as was what came after that – an incredible fusion of Derek’s stinging/searing guitar sound with a Coltrane-esque venture into true jazz of the first order… Things I think I have only seen previously done on piano or sax were coming out of Derek’s guitar in a way that was truly incredible. The whole band appeared to be smiling at each other for pretty much the whole set – except of course for those points when Derek goes off into that “zone” – you know, where his face goes almost blank as all the feeling comes out of his fingers.”

Derek & Kofi – My Favorite Things

Derek in “The Zone”

Here a few pictures of Derek & Susan in guitar harmony and a copy of Derek’s setlist from the evening.

You can find my full set of pictures from the show here.

All in all a truly magical night!

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See the Music XIII – Man Man oh Man!

Posted by jhochstat on June 10, 2008

See the Music Vol. XIII – Man Man oh Man!
Photos and Story by Beana Bern

“Viking-vaudeville, Manic Gypsy Jazz” is actually a pretty perfect description of Man Man, a band from Philadelphia, that was playing Innsbruck’s PMK last night. I headed over to the club with all my gear in tow and I’m glad I brought it all. These guys are all about their stage show and, in my opinion, it is really something to see. There were more instruments and percussive accessories than could be counted, all of which came into play at some point including an audience member, a bowl of spoons and a bottle of water, though most of the tunes revolved around the funky keyboard and lead vocals. Throw a slide whistle, saxphone, trumpet and some pretty awesome vocal tricks and you have a party.

Many bands and genres came to mind over the course of their set but, if I’m being honest, I can say that I have never experienced anything like them. A psychotic sounding-funky-klezmer-circus for my ears and feet but I dont know if this attempt at telling you what these guys are up to is any more apt than the ‘viking- vaudeville’ one. From the moment they started playing to the moment they stopped I was with them and I stayed with them until they were done.

Their their new album Rabbit Habits is interesting (i love Big Trouble and Top Drawer)…you can check some tunes on myspace…but these guys are really about the experience. Should you have the chance to see them in a tiny awesome club, up close and personal I recommend that you do it.

Click here to see a slide show of my work from last night and then click here to see my talented friend Stefan Lachinger’s perspective on the show.

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See the Music XII – Euro Ween

Posted by T Rex on May 28, 2008

See the Music Vol. XII – EuroWeen 2008
Photos and Story by Beana Bern

It’s not often that I find myself at a loss for words but, if I’m being honest, I have to admit that when it comes to recapping my 4 city adventure with Ween I’m not sure what to say. Out of 7 booked dates, I managed to hit four of them as well as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in London and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss in Amsterdam. Rock and roll fantasy would be the most concise way to put it, but if concise isn’t you’re preferred method of re-cap and you’re up for the scenic route, you can read about each leg over at 2beanornot2bean (Part I – London, Part II – Paris, Part III – Amsterdam and Part IV – Dublin).

Getting things started off at Shepherds Bush Empire was perfect. Good friends, a great space for shooting the show and a happy band playing the music that I love.

Next up was the City of Light, beautiful, beautiful Paris. After hearing about Mickey’s leap of faith in Camber Sands and his subsequent broken heel I had some fear that the tour may mot have come to fruition. Fortunately, Deaner is the kind of rock star that rock stars wish they were and, with his silly euro crutches he hobbled out onto the stage and made it work. Perhaps it was his perseverance or maybe the conquering of the fear that I had when I thought the tour was over, I don’t know. What I do know is that this was my favorite show of the 4 I rock and photographed. The room was like a little French convection oven but the heat seemed to warm up the crowd and the band.

Next up was Amsterdam. Compared to the backwards traffic mayhem of London and the dreamy, glowing bliss that was Paris, Amsterdam felt like an old quilt that I could just relax into and catch my breath. This was the second show I shot at the Paradiso so I was comfortable there and managed to get all my running around done during the first 3 songs so I could camp out in a cool spot and enjoy the show.

The last leg to Dublin was exhausting and, without a doubt, the cherry on top. When I first considered what shows to catch the thought of a Blarney Stone in Dublin was too tempting to ignore. Turns out that was a good call. I found a perch up above the stage and it was lucky that I was up high since there was as much beer and whiskey getting tossed as consumed…

Here is a youtube clip from the show:

This is just a taste of what went down but you can see more by clicking on Part I – London, Part II – Paris, Part III – Amsterdam and Part IV – Dublin

Don’t forget to see the music…

Beana Bern

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See The Music Vol XI – Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza

Posted by jhochstat on May 6, 2008

See the Music Volume XI is here with a re-cap of Elton John’s mountaintop concert at Ischgl! This edition is a special double-bill, collaboration with friend and music critic Bradford Goodwin on words and Beana Bern on megapixels. It’s a treat to have Brad chime in on this one and we’re hopeful we’ll hear more from him….

See the Music Vol. XI – Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza

Elton John’s star reached its zenith in the late 1970s, just when I had gotten old enough to shop without parental supervision – and immediately started squandering my weekly allowance on music.

Strange, then, that I would wait until the age of thirty-three to attend one of his concerts. Even stranger that I would have to travel to Tirol, Austria, to a town with a name as unpleasant-sounding as “Ischgl,” ride a cable-car to 2300 meters above sea level, and then waddle through shin-level snow on a Saturday in the first week of May to wait for “Sir” John to show up twenty minutes late for the pre-performance press conference – all to witness this dimming, yet undiminished luminary twinkle his way through numbers I hadn’t actively listened to since my pre-teen years.

Still, I was impressed by his nimble wit, his earnest, yet irreverent answers to the often awkward questions tossed at him by the press (“Sir Elton, why do show so many naked bodies in your videos?” “I love naked bodies – doesn’t everyone?”…”How does it feel to be living legend?” “Well, I suppose it means I’m not dead.”), by his boyish grin and peroxide blonde bowl cut, and of course, by the big white letters across the chest of his Sea World-blue ski parka, which spell out the word “ICE CREAM.”

Aside from some surprisingly unpretentious name-dropping (note to crowd: when you’re worth £250 million, you tend to know people) and an unflinching refusal to set foot on snow, John seemed genuinely appreciative of both the pristine Alpine backdrop and the opportunity to perform in the setting for a second time.

And perform he did. To judge from the reactions of the panic-inducing throngs of concertgoers, John’s candle hasn’t burned out just yet. The nearly 30,000 skiers, snowboarders and other, more traditionally-dressed concertgoers who showed up at this pastoral paradise in the sky to party with the artist formerly known as Reginald Kenneth Dwight seemed either to be having a good time, or to be drunk enough not to know better. Not that there was time for doubting; John had his mojo working in a Slidell second. By the third song in the set, he was hardly to be kept in his seat, preferring instead to launch into handstands on the minor keys while flinging judo back-kicks, or to simply hop atop the piano and shake it Little Richard-style. Soon, though, I was ready for my nap.

Near the end of the set, my friend turns to me and asks: Doesn’t it seem surreal that we’re standing on a ski slope in the Alps watching ELTON JOHN sing Philadelphia Freedom? Not really, I answer. If we were standing on a ski slope in the Alps watching Elton and his old friend John Lennon perform their celebrated rendition of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds together while sporting Little Richard masks – that would be surreal.

Me, I prefer reality: Elton, or the real Reginald, if you will. For a guy who managed to get in at half-price, I certainly got my money’s worth.

If you’d like to check out the whole album from the Rocket Man’s mountaintop show, click here.


Text: Bradford Goodwin
Photos: Beana Bern

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See the Music Vol 10 – Innsbruck Sound City

Posted by jhochstat on April 26, 2008

Once again our resident rock photographer, music writer and eyes and ears on the European live music scene Beana Bern checks in with yet another top notch See the Music. This time the band is a name that may not be familiar to many of you, Mauracher (out of Vienna, Austria). However once you read Beana’s review and check out Mauracher’s music, you will realize that Beana always seems to be tipping us off to bands we should see and hear.

Take it away Beana…

There are nights that I carry my cameras out into the world and I feel like they are huge butterfly nets, light and airy and filled with limitless potential. Then there are other nights when my gear feels more like armor and, instead of catching music in the air, they serve more as a wall between me and the noise.

Last night was Innsbruck’s version of CMJ and a handful of bands played a handful of clubs in an event called SoundCity. I hadn’t heard about the music marathon until late yesterday afternoon and hadn’t planned on working it but, as I am prone to do, I ended up shooting two of the acts. The first band I saw played the Treibhaus and was called Mauracher. They were recommended to me by a friend with very good taste in tunes and I wanted to check out a new venue in town. Fortunately I got there before the drunken swarms of kiddies and had a good spot up front with my new friend, fellow rock photog Claus.

I have to say that I really loved this band. They had this kind of heavy distortion underlining the overall sound that would crescendo and dissipate in a way that reminded me of Mogwai…only with a chick singing. I checked out some of their studio work when I was uploading my pix last night and was a little sad that the energy and depth of their live show didn’t translate, but they’re still really good and worth experiencing. Here are some of my favorite shots from the set, but click here to see them all.

After what was mostly the full set of Mauracher the club started to feel a little saturated with pretty wasted people and I decided I would catch one more act before rolling back home. Trying to get up the stairs and out of Treibhaus is what made me think of armor. I seriously needed to hip-check, elbow and basically mow people down with my camera bag to exit the joint. It was anticlimactic when I finally made it outside since it was essentially a full-on downpour.

I decided to drive over to PMK to avoid the raindrops and check out Mäuse. When the band took the stage it was clear that this was not going to be the butterfly-catching sweetness that Mauracher was and, as I was realizing that thought, I was simultaneously hit with a mic stand and 2 pints of beer. The kiddes went crazy for these guys and after a few dicey minutes shooting from the quasi-mosh pit it was time to get the hell out of dodge. Mäuse is one of those bands I’m glad I saw live but won’t go see again…I’m gonna revisit some of their studio music to see if I like the sound better without the mayhem. Check out the photos by clicking here.

See the Music,
Beana Bern

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