Top 5 Favorite Episodes of 2013

Well, the year is almost done and I managed to do about 16 new episodes this year. I probably could have done 5 or 6 more if things panned out. With this type of series, everything is based on a lot of factors: my schedule, the band’s schedule, weather, location, etc. So I was happy to have filmed that many episodes and hope to do more in 2014.

While it’s tough picking favorites, there was quite a few videos I ended up watching over and over than others. No offense to other bands or anything, it’s just some episodes I’m more proud of, or made me laugh a lot or a lot of memorable things happened during or before/after filming. I managed to film a lot of people on my wish list this year and crossing my fingers I get to film even more of my favorite artists & bands in the new year.

Here’s my top 5 favorite episodes of 2013:

1. The Beards

By far my favorite video of the year! It was tough filming these guys because I was trying to hold in laughing throughout the video.

2. Carbon Leaf

The very first band I thought of when I started Before The Concert. They didn’t disappoint!

3. Willie Nile

Didn’t know what to expect with filming in a small room in Barnes and Noble but ended up be a ton of fun!

4. Tim Warren of The Alternate Routes

While we waited to go inside the club, I filmed Tim singing “Stereo” and it’s one I always watch. Not because of my crappy filming, but how great Tim is in the episode.

5. Nick Gill

Nick was the first episode of the new year, it was in January and wasn’t too cold but it was still pretty chilly. We only filmed the one song but it was a lot of fun trying to get it right.

A bit of downtime

If you haven’t noticed, Before The Concert is taking a bit of downtime after filming a bunch in July. We got great sessions with Carbon Leaf, Trapper Schoepp, Howi Spangler of Ballyhoo!, Willie Nile and The Trophy Fire and all them went smoothly. So if you haven’t seen those yet, you can catch up with the older episodes now!

You can also check out a video I made of my wife and I having fun in NYC in the Summer:

Summer in NYC from Bryan Kremkau on Vimeo.

I’m going to Italy for 2 weeks in September so have been just preparing for that and having a crash course of all things Italy lately. Never been there so I’m really excited and going to visit Rome, Venice, Murano, Burano, Florence, Sienna, San Gimignano, Pisa and Tuscany! Quite a lot in 2 weeks! The one downside to the vacation is losing warm months for filming but its not everyday I get the chance to go eat myself into a food coma over in Italy. But I will be back the end of September and hopefully will start lining up some more filming after that.

Like always, if you’re interested in filming something, let me know at Unfortunately, I can’t film every band I get asked to because of time, distance (ie. Brooklyn – unless it’s on the weekend), etc. but definitely open to suggestions and invites. Please continue to spread the word about the website and the videos, and like those Facebook posts! Retweeting and other forms of social networking helps as well. Thanks everybody and see you in the Fall!

Episode 9: Brad Mackeson

Singer/Songwriter Brad Mackeson is based in Nashville via Portland and recently played a show at Bowery Electric. I decided to meet up with Brad and his friends in a very packed Washington Square Park to film him play some songs off his new album 1945. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, it’s available to listen to on Spotify but I’d recommend buying this one!

The day was beautiful and finally glad I wasn’t filming in the frigid cold. The park was packed with other musicians, a guy playing a grand piano (how does he wheel that around?), skaters, and dogs. Brad started things off with “Rooftop” near the fountain in the park. It’s always fun filming in NYC because people just don’t care and walk around you while you’re filming something. I always wonder if people would notice Bruce Springsteen jamming in the park or not. After “Rooftop,” we moved to a quieter spot on a bench and he played “Late Nights and Gunfights.” Brad ended up playing a new song called “Love Dies Slow” after that! Finishing up the episode, Brad played a cover of the Bob Dylan/ George Harrison cover “If Not For You” near one of the statues in the park. I can’t believe I never heard this song before (maybe I have, who knows) but I had to listen to the original after that because I loved this song!

I originally wanted to film in Cooper Square but Washington Square Park is always an excellent place to film. You just have to contend with other musicians and barking dogs though. Brad was extremely nice and we talked about WWII, his new album 1945, and other things. I sadly missed Brad’s show at Bowery Electric but I’m hoping to catch his set next time he’s in town. If he stops by in your town, check out his set!

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

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Episode 6: Jerad Finck

Every time I film a session outside, I say it was the coldest its ever been. Well, this was definitely the case this time! I met up with singer/songwriter Jerad Finck at The Highline Ballroom on 16th street and then walked down 2 blocks to the little park near the Apple Store. The temperatures felt like they were in the teens or lower. The major problem that night was the wind, which you’ll unfortunately hear in the audio at times.

At one point towards the end, a huge wind gust came through and we were all cringing and kind of laughing at the same time. I think my arms were frozen for the second song too, because I forgot to focus at one point haha. So in a way, the second track is my outtake. It was freezing out, but what do you expect trying to film outside in February. I didn’t want to film inside though. Next time it’s that windy, I need to get some windscreen thing for the lav mic. If there are any audio people out there and have a better idea on how to get rid of this wind, let me know!

Jerad performed the songs “Won’t Give Up” and “Stuck in Your Riddle,” which are off his awesome EP Stuck in Your Riddle on Rock Ridge Music. You can get that on iTunes or

Jerad Finck was a trooper for putting up with the cold; good thing he didn’t perform barefooted like he normally does. Talk about frostbite! Be sure to check out Jerad live, which you can see some of my photos I took during his set at Highline Ballroom. You can see the rest of them at my photography website

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

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January 2013 Updates

I hope everyone enjoyed the Nick Gill video I posted earlier this week. I’ll have an outtake video from the session posted tonight or tomorrow. It was a lot of fun filming with Nick, and I doubt that will be the last time he performs for the video series.
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Episode 2: Larry and His Flask

Before The Concert’s 2nd episode features the excellent Bluegrass punk band Larry and His Flask! As soon as I heard of LATF, I knew they would be perfect for this series. Not only is their music awesome but they are one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen! Plus, they are also extremely nice guys!

Before they were set to play before Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, my friend Ray and I hung out while they did their soundcheck. They were running a bit late with things, so when it came time to filming the sessions, it felt like a race to get everything done. Or well, that’s how I felt anyway haha. We were trying to figure out where to film, either Union Square, Cooper Square or Washington Square Park. I felt Cooper Square might be the best option since it’s close by and might not be that many people.

We decided to set up around the rotating Cube thing in the middle of the road. Jamin, the drummer, didn’t play with the guys because he had to have the drums back at the club. As soon as the band started up, it seemed like a crowd of 40 or so surrounded us to watch them busk. Some of them were people going to the show who happen to just get off the subway stop, others were just passerbys. Good thing is the band had a nice crowd, and got some money out of it. The bad part was trying to move back to get the whole band in the shot, and couldn’t. So I had to work with what I could.

Larry and His Flask started with “Land of the F(r)ee” off their full-length album All That We Know, and then after that Ian’s guitar string broke. After a few minutes of fixing that, they played “Closed Doors” off their new EP Hobo’s Lament.

I wanted to interview the band more but it wasn’t really the place with 40 people around us haha. So I just had Ian plug the new EP real quick and I requested “Hobo’s Lament.” I love the new EP and love the dixieland style the band incorporates into their music. It reminds me of Mad Caddies a little bit.

After that, the band hurried back to the club so they could see Jenny Owens Young open up the show. I had a blast filming these guys, although I’m a little unhappy with the way my filming and audio turned out. It’s basically trial and error for me right now. I know what needs to be better so I can only learn from there. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself? I don’t know. Either way, this was a hoot to shoot!

Check out all my photos of their live set over at

A BIG Thanks to Larry and His Flask, Talia at Another Reybee Production, and Ray Manuud (for helping out with the audio and holding my bag haha).

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