Episode 22: The Skints

As soon as I heard that the Skints were going to tour America, I knew I wanted to film an acoustic session with them. It almost didn’t happen but glad we got something!

We were originally going to film something before the doors opened at Brooklyn Bowl, but then was told they couldn’t do it. Then I was told it was going to happen so I arrived with my twin brother Matt around when the doors opened at Brooklyn Bowl. Then we were told it was going to happen after their set, which is fine. We’ll have it be before the concert for their next show then! But you can see the chaotic-ness that is sessions before concerts. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.

We met up with the band after they played a killer set, which you can see my photos from that set here. We filmed them play their brilliant cover of Black Flag’s “My War.” We didn’t really have much of a choice in terms of location but we were happy to just to be filming. The mirror in the back proved to be troublesome since you can see Matt filming in the entire shot. I ducked down to avoid that but whatever, this was an impromptu session so had to make due with what we got.

I really appreciate that the band made time to film with us, and thanks to Josh at Reybee for making this happen! Let’s hope the band comes back to the East Coast soon because they were just a blast to watch on stage!

If you haven’t already, be sure to pick up the “Album Of The Year” (declared by me of course), FM, at all stores or wherever you buy music.

You can watch this episode on the Before The Concert YouTube channel as well.

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Episode 21: Janet Devlin

After almost taking a year off (hiatus or vacation?) from Before The Concert, we’re back with Episode 21 featuring Irish singer/songwriter Janet Devlin and guitarist Roo Walker!

Janet’s new album Running With Scissors is a catchy folk-pop album and I like it a lot. She has such a unique, distinct voice and it was a treat hearing it in person. Janet was a contestant on the UK’s version of X Factor in 2011 and she went pretty far too. She was over in Manhattan for some press & events so I didn’t get a chance to see her perform a full set yet but I will next time she’s back in NYC.

I met up with Janet and her guitarist Roo at her hotel, along with her manager and publicist. I was originally going to film in Times Square area but when I went there, it was mobbed with people of course. crowds, Elmos, cops oh my! So it wouldn’t have been a good spot plus I didn’t know how long the rain was going to stay away. We tried filming on the hotel’s rooftop which would have been absolute perfect despite the fact that all the air vents were on full blast! After one try we knew that wasn’t going to work but it was certainly nice up there. We eventually just shot the videos in the hotel room, which worked out well.

Janet started out with “Whisky Lullabies,” and then played an acoustic version of “House of Cards.” Janet and Roo finished things up with a nice cover of Kodaline’s “All I Want.” It was a pleasure to meet and film with Janet and everyone should check out her new album!

You can watch this episode on the Before The Concert YouTube channel as well.

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Episode 20: Jake Smith of The White Buffalo

I’m fairly new to The White Buffalo but as soon as I heard songs like “Wish It Was True” and “BB Guns and Dirtbikes,” I became an instant fan that had to get all of the band’s albums. When I knew this Chuck Ragan/The White Buffalo tour was going to stop in New York City, I figured that would be a great time to meet up with Jake Smith of the band.

Originally, I was trying to get both Jake Smith and Chuck Ragan to do something together but I was happy just to film either of them. Like with all Chuck Ragan shows in New York, he was incredibly busy but thankfully Jake Smith found time to film 2 songs with me, even though he was a bit under the weather. Would have been nice to film outside but don’t think we’re quite there yet with the weather in New York. One day is great and then it’s two steps back to being cold again. The schedule was a bit hectic for Jake as well so Team Reybee and me just decided to film in the band’s dressing room at Irving Plaza.

I got into the room a few minutes before Jake came in so I could setup. As I was setting up, I realized that The White Buffalo’s drummer Matt was sleeping on one of the couches. I didn’t even realize he was there! I was trying to setup as quietly as I could so I didn’t wake him up. Once Jake came in, Matt woke up and moved to another couch since the other one didn’t have mirrors behind it. I didn’t want to show up in the video the entire time.

Jake ended up playing “Fire Don’t Know” from the band’s newest album Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways and then one of my favorites, “BB Guns and Dirtbikes.” It was a real treat to hear Jake sing exclusively for me and I was hoping he would play at least one of my favorites. Glad he did! Even though Jake was sick, I still wanted to take a picture with him afterwards. Thankfully, I didn’t catch what he had.

Thanks to The White Buffalo for letting me film in the dressing room before the concert, as well as a nice thank you to the Reybee crew!

You can watch this episode on the Before The Concert YouTube channel as well.

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Episode 19: Jason DeVore of Authority Zero

I’ve been a fan of Authority Zero since their first album was sent to me for review around 2005. Since then, I’ve been a big fan and love seeing Authority Zero in concert every time they are in town. Like many of the musicians and bands that are featured on this site, frontman Jason DeVore and the band have been on my wish-list to film since I started the series. I was trying to find time to film Jason last June when they played in NYC with Ballyhoo! but couldn’t find time. Thankfully, I finally got around to filming Jason this time!

This episode is a bit different than the others since it’s not a BEFORE the concert episode. Originally I wanted to film Jason before the concert started but with time restraints, we couldn’t make it work. So this is an AFTER the concert episode that was filmed outside the venue, towards the end of the show. It was too noisy to film in the dressing room and thankfully wasn’t raining, so we ventured outside and quickly grew a small dedicated audience.

Jason played two songs, both from Stories of Survival: “Get It Right” and “Big Bad World.” Both songs are some of my favorites so I was happy with the choices. It was great seeing the people around Jason singing and dancing, it made for a better video. During the video, Jason broke 1 or 2 strings while playing and added a verse about it in one of the songs. That made for a funny moment. Afterwards, Jason stuck around the cold to talk with fans and take pictures. I wanted to get a photo with him and a few others jumped in the shot as well, which I was laughing about since I just wanted one with myself. It’s all good, makes for a fun photo. Thanks to the Irving Plaza guys for not stopping the filming!

If you haven’t seen Authority Zero in concert yet, you’re truly missing out! They put on an awesome show and they just keep getting better and better.

I took a ton of photographs at the show, which you can see over at my photo site SkaPunkPhotos.com.

If you like YouTube better, you can watch the episode over at the Before The Concert channel.

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Episode 12: The Trophy Fire

The Trophy Fire were recently on the East Coast touring, which included a stop at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. My wife Kristen and I trekked over to Williamsburg and met up with the San Francisco band at that club.

We decided to walk over to the East River at Grand Ferry Park since East River Park was packed with people at the Brooklyn Flea. The day was sunny, hot and extremely humid. The moment we started to walk with the band, it started to rain. Not a heavy rain but a weird sun shower. We kept stopping under trees and hiding in doorways so the camera equipment and guitars weren’t getting too soaked. Thankfully the sun shower stopped right when we arrived at the park.

Ben, Adam and John played 3 songs with the Williamsburg Bridge and Empire State Building in the background. It was a nice spot that I found by just looking at Google Maps. The 3 songs that they played were “Kids” and “Spinning” off their awesome new album Directions For Daylight and a cover of Band Of Horses’ “For Annabelle.” It was a lot of fun hanging out with the band for an hour and filming them. Be sure to get their new album because it’s pretty damn good!

If you like YouTube better, you can watch the episode over at the Before The Concert channel.

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Episode 11: Justin Sane of Anti-Flag

When I started this video series, one of the few bands or artists I wanted to film in the beginning was Justin Sane and/or Anti-Flag. I got the chance when Anti-Flag was in town for 2 nights at the Studio at Webster Hall in NYC. The band is currently on tour celebrating their 20 years as a band. They play two nights in each city and play different sets each night. Sadly, I couldn’t make it to either shows but heard they were excellent. Hopefully they come back soon because they are a lot of fun to photograph!

We almost didn’t get a chance to film something with Justin because like usual, things were running behind schedules because of traffic. New York City is great but sometimes it likes to throw those monkey wrenches into your plans. Besides the traffic, the weather wasn’t exactly nice out. Thankfully everything came together and I filmed a song with Justin. My wife Kristen came along again but this time she just took some pictures of the filming.

As Kristen and I were walking down Broadway from Madison Square Park, we were being yelled at to cross the street. Of course, I was yelling back saying “where the hell do you expect me to go with all the cars here!?” I found out later that they were filming Anchorman 2 haha. Then we met up with Justin and Chris Stowe of AF Records and walked to the Cube area at Astor Place. Things were running late so Justin just sang “One Trillion Dollar$.” The video is short but I was happy to have filmed at least 1 song.

If you like YouTube better, you can watch the episode over at the Before The Concert channel.

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