I have summarized my 30 best concerts from 2013 in two articles. But sometimes I don’t get the best photos from these concerts, and other times I get good pictures from concerts that are not particularly good. Here are my personal favorites from 2013, in no particular order, and without reviewing if the concerts from where they are taken were good or not. (Picture above: Carolyn Wonderland at the Blues In Hell festival)
My favorite photos aren’t necessarily the best pictures I have taken, but the ones I feel convey the spirit of the artist and also reminds me of the energy and feelings from the concert. Some of them are definitely flawed technically, but instead of limiting the sample to a few, I have chosen to include almost all the pictures I chose the first time I went through my photo catalogue, without censoring them. Hopefully it will give a broader sense of the artists and bands I have seen and also how I have seen them
I have seen Black Debbath several times this year. This one is from their concert at the Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo in January.
Highasakite is a relatively new band from Norway, and I saw them twice in 2013 – at the Bylarm festival in Oslo (above) and at the Danish showcase festival Spot in Aarhus, Denmark.
Amund Maarud is one of my favorite artists, and this picture from the Steinkjer festival is kind of wacky. Weird light, but I like the energy.
Good Time Charlie is one of the longest existing Norwegian blues bands. They released a very good CD this year and they played the opening night at the Notodden Blues festival.
The club concert with Hedvig Mollestad the last night of this year’s Pstereo festival was my top concert from 2013. This picture is from another great concert with her and her excellent trio at Byscenen in Trondheim.
God Seed played the Bylarm festival in Oslo, and here is the bass player, King Ov Hell.
Charlie Musselwhite is the gentleman artist in the blues world. I have got some good portraits of him at festivals from some years ago. This one is from the Notodden Blues festival this year.
I saw Charles Bradley twice this year, and these two pictures are from these two concerts. The first one is from the Bergen Fest, while the other is from his concert at the Rockefeller Music Hall in October.
Marianne Sveen is one of the members of Katzenjammer, a band I love to photograph. This is from a solo performance at Leeann Atherton’s Barn Dance in Austin.
Here are two audience pictures from two different Karpe Diem concerts. The first one is from the Steinkjer festival in late June, while other is taken at the Slottsfjell festival in Tonsberg in July.
And here is the audience of Kvelertak, also from the Slottsfjell festival.
The last audience picture is from the Oya festival, when the singer of Honningbarna, Edvard Valberg made a mosh pit during their concert.
Kristine Stubbe Teglbjaerg is one of my favorite Danish artists. This picture is from the Spot festival in Aarhus, Denmark.
I always enjoy seeing Ida Jenshus, and here are two pictures of her. The first is from the Steinkjer festival, while the other is from the Working Class Hero festival in Drammen.
Imagine Dragons played at two of the festivals I attended this year This one is from the Bergen Fest.
Jamie Cullum also played the Bergen Fest. I saw him at the Molde International Jazz Festival some years ago and knew that he likes to jump from the piano. This year at least I had the right lens on.
Leeann Atherton is my good friend in Austin, and the host at the great Barn Dance that happens around every full moon, but particularly the Sunday after the SXSW is over. Here she performs with Will Taylor.
Nidingr is one of Norway’s many great black metal bands. This picture is from the Bylarm festival, and I was quite happy with the way the lights shone.
To see Richard Thompson live again at the SXSW (the first time was in Trondheim almost 20 years ago), was a treat. The concert made the Top 10 of my favorite concerts of 2013.
I have never seen Slayer live before they played at the Oya festival. Plenty of good photo opportunities during the concert.
The last time I saw Sigur Rós, the light was really difficulty. Not so at Oslo Spektrum when they played there in November.
Karpe Diem is always fun live, and this picture is from the Slottsfjell festival.
Sometime the light works with the photographer and not against him. This picture of Laura Mwula from the Oya festival is taken in too hard sunlight. With those eyelashes, I was actually for once happy for the sun.
Greg Graffin of Bad Religion also managed to place himself in a good position during their concert at the Slottsfjell festival.
I have shot many concerts at the Continental Club in Austin, and usually the light is a challenge. Here I got an interesting effect that I really liked when I shot Carolyn Wonderland there during the SXSW.
The Paladins were a new acquaintance to me, but I had seen Dave Gonzales before, when he played with the Hacienda Brothers and also the Stone River Boys. The Paladins did a good show at the Nidaros Blues festival in Trondheim, and I love their shirts!
Valentourettes are a Norwegian tribute band to the late rock legend Jokke, consisting of musicians who played with him in his bands. They faithfully play his music, and their guitarist Petter Baarli is always fun to photograph. This is taken at the Steinkjer festival.
I really liked the happy feeling of two musical comrades in this picture of the two Aage Aleksandersen’s guitarists Skjalg Raaen and Gunnar Pedersen. The concert was held at the Rockefeller Music Hall.
It is rare that I get the chance to photograph a choir. This is the Svartlamoen Hardkor (pronounced “hardcore”), and they performed at the Steinkjer festival with their arrangements of rock and punk classics for an all male choir.
Maybe the most promising debut artist this year has been Monica Heldal. She got great buzz and rave reviews of her concerts even before her debut album was released late in the year. This picture is from her support gig for Thomas Dybdahl at Sentrum Scene in Oslo in November.
I had never seen the Local natives before they played at the Oya festival, but I really liked their show. I also got this picture, which is one of my top ten personal favorites this year.
The first time I saw Carrie Rodriguez was about ten years ago when she played as a duo with Chip Taylor. Later she went solo, and this picture is from her concert at the Buckleys club in Oslo.
Another picture of the singer of Honningbarna, Edvard Valberg. This is also one of my top ten favorites, since it depicts their punk energy so well. The picture is from the Bylarm festival in Oslo.
Nick Cave is a concert favorite, and also sometimes photo favorite. He doesn’t seem to like photographers much, but once in a while we get a chance to take some good pictures. This is my personal pic of the ones I took at the Bergen Fest.
Two pictures of Shining, the first from the Bylarm festival, where I got the interaction between the band and their audience, while the other is of their leader, Munkeby, from the Slottsfjell festival.
Morten Abel was one of Norway’s biggest stars 10 years ago. This year he has had a successful concert comeback, and this picture is from his concert at the Steinkjer festival.
Lissie has become a regular at Norwegian stages, and she is a favorite artist to photograph. Here she plays at Bergen Fest.
I saw Biffy Clyro twice this summer, but only got to photograph them once, at the Bergen Fest. This concert was also one of my favorite concerts this year.
I always love photographing Enslaved, and specially their guitarist Ice Dale. But sometimes I get pictures that I like of the other members of the band. This is of Grutle Kjellson, their singer, from the Rockefeller Music Hall.
Rival Sons is a popular live band in Norway, even if I personally think they are too much a copy of Led Zeppelin. But visually they are top, and this is from their concert at the Bergen Fest.
I have lost count of how many times I have seen Big Bang the last 15 years. They always play great concerts, and this picture is from their sold out concert at Oslo Spektrum in April.
When I played in a band as a teenager, Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of our favorites, and we played a couple of their songs. At SXSW this year I got to see a very vital John Fogerty live.
Satyricon is also one of my favorite bands to photograph. They can be quite a challenge, but I have always got some good ones when I have shot them. This is from their concert with the National Opera Choir at our National Opera House in Oslo.
Kvelertak is another favorite band of mine, both for listening and photographing. This picture is from the Slottsfjell festival.
One of the most positive surprises this year, was seeing The Royal Southern Brotherhood twice at Notodden and then at John Dee in Oslo later in the fall. A great band with five excellent musicians. This is Devon Allman and the picture is from the Notodden Blues festival.
I have seen Candye Kane once before, I think it was in 2001, when she played at the Notodden Blues Festival. This year she played at the Blues in Hell, and I was really satisfied with this picture.
Si Cranstoun was a new performer for me when I saw him at the Nidaros Blues festival in Trondheim. But he was a rally good one, and I will definitely check him out again if I get the chance.
Every year an artist is nominated as Ambasador of Hell at the Blues in Hell festival. This year the honor was given to Sugar Pie deSantos, a rhythm ‘n’ blues artist from New York. She was definitely the most fun artist to photograph at the festival this year!
I try to get pictures of the whole band when I shoot concerts. Often I just give up, but sometimes I get lucky. This one of Aage Aleksandersen and Sambandet from the Steinkjer festival is one of them. I did miss drummer Steinar and keyboardist Terje, but 5 out of 7 isn’t too bad 😉
Bruce Springsteen always deliveres, but us photographers have to stay far away from the stage. That makes for many boring pictures, since all the photographers get the same angle with no variations. But sometimes I get a picture I like, also in these conditions, and this is one of them. The picture is taken at the Telenor Arena outside of Oslo.
Blood Command is one of the best of the newer metal/punk bands in Norway. I specially like this picture because of the angle, the way she holds the microphone and the light. This picture is taken at the Working Class Hero festival in Drammen
Damon Albarn is the singer of Brit pop band The Blur. I saw them at the Oya festival, and was quite happy with this picture.
One of the positive surprises from bands I have never seen live was the XX at the Pstereo festival in Trondheim. Oliver Sim has a very special way of moving on stage while playing the bass, and I think this picture describes their music in a good way, too.
It is difficult to get good pictures of Van Morrison, since he has one expression and doesn’t have any interesting moves during his concerts. This is from the Notodden Blues festival, and we had to stand one of the two sides of the stage, quite a distance from him. I was lucky, since there were few obstacles, while those on the other side got his note stand in the way. I was quite satisfied with this one, since I could also see his eyes behind the sunglasses.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.