Five years ago, life knocked me down hard in an existential fist of fury. And I mean that literally—it was via a violent hand injury, one that led me to finally fess up that music was central to my life. As soon as I could manage holding a camera again, I threw myself into shooting shows. How that landed is pretty damn evident. (See below.)
But when the pandemic hit, reality was upended in a very real way for all us music-is-life peeps. Below, you’ll find a very special collection of photos that highlight the comeback of live music, post-lockdowns, through the lens of DIY hardcore punk culture—and all the self-empowered, communal bloodletting catharsis it provides, and that we all desperately need. (That, and you’ll get a sense of my personal commitment to copping wheels and getting on the road to highlight more American music scenes outside of my NYC base.) LONG LIVE DIY PUNK!
Got my ass to Richmond for my first show since lockdown, bought a car, watched as the car broke down on the way to the gig, used my first AAA tow, and thumbed a ride with a friend from the area. Hell if I didn’t make it to this historic DIY Hell’s Door bridge show to see North Carolina’s Public Acid!
Imagine not only being lucky enough to have made it to an absolute behemoth of a post-pandemic comeback DIY offering like seeing Warthog (at an undisclosed location in New York City!), but doing so two-weeks post-septoplasty. You know, when it still hurts to pull a shirt over your head. Well, I did, and I actually shot the goddamn mayhem and popped off one of the best shots of my life. Maybe.
This Tower7 shot was captured at a DIY gig at secret ol’, semi-derelict stone garden space. A ritualistic-as-fuck setting meets hardcore punk that, yup, the pigs shut down. Wholesome bust!
Captured at the same stone garden gig as Tower7 above, this is ABISM. Their first show! Legit one for the books–definitely worth being smacked with a parking ticket.
A trip to a Walmart parking lot in Philly leads to a (literally) shady pier where even punk time gets punked. But the processional of Zorn—the band was delivered via coffin by a troop of hooded peeps—also featuring roman candles endlessly zooming past your head. It dialed in all the weirdness exactly right for one unforgettable night.
This photo was taken at a very happy Halloween DIY gig in Pittsburgh, PA. with Olympia degenerates Gag. If a single frame could sum up the contents of the day, haha, it is this one. EPIC!!!