Intervals || The Troubadour

While it's currently called The Shape of Color Tour, its more accurate name would be closer to The Insanely Technical Shredding Guitar Gods of Metal Tour. Intervals is currently headlining this fantastic tour to promote their new album The Shape of Color. Plini, who is also the backup guitarist for Intervals, is also on the lineup with Angel Vivaldi and Save Us From The Archon. 

Having been a huge fan of these bands for a while, I showed up to The Troubadour super early to get the full experience. I got to watch the soundcheck where Aaron Marshall, the mastermind behind the Interval's face-melting music, joked around with the rest of the band. They played I'm Awake and Libra, the first and last songs on the album in front of their masterclass students. Following the performance Angel Vivaldi had a one on one lesson with a student while Aaron And Plini had about a dozen. 

Save Us From The Archon opened and unfortunately I can't say much about them because one of the security guards kicked me out for not having the right wristband. After a lot of hassling and scrambling for a silly wristband, I was finally let back in right before Angel Vivaldi went on stage. It's thanks to him that I was able to shoot in the first place so I absolutely HAD to photograph him. 

This was the second time I've seen Angel perform and he is absolutely nuts. He's constantly doing hilarious and fun things on stage like chugging water bottles, Snapchatting, and playing blindfolded, all while he's soloing hard! His music is a fantastic combination of tasty solos, melodic melodies, and heavy riffs. Along with being a superb musician, Angel is also a glorious human being. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met who is always giving hugs, taking selfies, and signing autographs with fans after his shows. If you haven’t listened to his music and met him, make it a priority in your life. 

Plini, a 23 year old Australian guitarist, and his band took to the stage next and got the crowd ready for Intervals. A bunch of teenagers were losing their minds to Plini’s music in the front row as if they were watching Guns N’ Roses (who played their legendary show at the Troubadour last week). Along with his stellar music, Plini told some hilarious stories filled with his typical dry humor that bridged the gaps between songs. What I found most impressive was that Plini was able to play back to back sets as he is the rhythm guitarist for Intervals.

As Intervals took to the stage, Aaron Marshall announced that they would be playing their new album The Shape of Color in its entirety. While hearing all of Intervals’ new material was awesome, nothing can possible compare to the encore. Most encores are pretty boring. The band leaves as fans chant for one more song. The band makes a “surprise” encore and plays its 2 most famous songs they happened to leave out of their set. Not Intervals. Aaron changed it up big time by just jamming with his bandmates for a few minutes. I could have watched that freestyle session for hours it was so good. Aaron and Plini traded riffs and solos like they were playing tennis… or ping pong… your choice of simile. The fans absolutely loved it too because they were absolutely silent, trying to absorb the beautiful music. This was my first time seeing Intervals and I promise it won’t be my last. 

It was so clear that Intervals (and the rest of the bands) truly loved their music and their jobs. They were constantly joking around with each other, both on stage and off. After the show, Aaron came up to me and whispered in my ear, "You know your in a room full of nerds when everyone after the show doesn't come to tell you good job but asks what DAW (digital audio workstation) you're using."  He was completely right and it was hilarious. 

Having photographed roughly 20 concerts this year, I can easily say that The Shape of Color Tour was my absolute favorite. Just a few miles down the street, guitar legends Tosin Abasi, Nuno Bettencourt, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Steve Vai performed at The Wiltern together in a concert called Generation Axe. There isn’t a sliver of doubt when I say if I had to choose between attending Generation Axe or The Shape of Color Tour, I would choose The Shape of Color Tour every single time. Yes… it was that good. If you’ve read this far I assume you’re either my mom (hi mom) or a fan of instruMETAL music. But either way, thank you. Please let me know what you think of the pictures. I love comments. They make me happy. Deuces.




Killswitch Engage || Fox Theater Pomona

The last time I got to see Killswitch Engage perform live was at the Music As A Weapon IV tour in 2009. To say the least, things were quite different back then. I was still in high school, Howard Jones was still the frontman of Killswitch, and I had no idea what I was doing with my life, and I got grounded for going to the show (totally worth it by the way). That being said, seeing Killswitch Engage perform live and having the amazing privilege to shoot it was such a fantastic experience. 

Thanks to Timmy Farmer, I got VIP passes to the show where I got to photograph and chill with Memphis May Fire and watch the show backstage. Definitely a step up from only being allowed to shoot the first three songs in the pit. Hanging out backstage with them was such a blessing because they’re all humble dudes who’ve got great personalities. They are not egotistical divas who don’t have time for anyone. Everyone was always down to chill with fans, take pictures, and have a good time. 

Anyway, the show was fantastic and Memphis May Fire absolutely killed it. Unfortunately, as a support band for Killswitch, there was barely any light during their show which made it insanely difficult to photograph. Frontman Matty Mullins delivered a high energy performance that had the crowd off of their feet. Some people have natural talent and Matty (and the rest of MMF) is one of them. Their music sounded exactly like it did on the album which is so refreshing to see these days. The down side to the show was I wanted to see them play more songs, but that just means I’ll have to go see them headline their upcoming tour with We Came As Romans, Miss May I, and For Today!

Killswitch Engage obviously put on an amazing show. I got to see vocalist Jesse Leach perform with KSE for the first time and hear songs off of all their new records since I saw them last. While their light show brought the intensity up, there were a lot of red lights which made photographing KSE difficult. During a couple songs they had smoke machines pumping out haze adding to the atmosphere and helping my pics out a bit. With a setlist of 17 songs, Killswitch played 4 song off of their new album Incarnate, 4 songs off of Disarm The Dissent and The End of Heartache, and a few songs off of their other albums. Sadly, they didn’t play a few of my favorites like Reject Yourself, The Arms of Sorrow, Daylight Dies, The Element of One, The Hell In Me, and Time Will Not Remain. I guess thats my fault for always being busy during their concerts over the years. While they’re getting older, they still play with ferocity and the crowd always responds in kind. 

Killswitch Engage Setlist:

Strength of the Mind // A Bid Farewell // Numbered Days // No End In Sight // Beyond the Flames // Alone I Stand // This Fire Burns // Vide Infra // Always // Breathe Life // Hate By Design // Rose of Sharyn // Embrace the Journey…Unpraised // My Last Serenade // The End of Heartache // My Curse // In Due Time

Memphis May Fire Setlist:

Beneath The Skin // Prove Me Right // Legacy // Stay The Course // Alive in the Lights // No Ordinary Love // The Sinner // Vices

Disturbed || The Observatory

Disturbed, the multi-platinum, Nu-Metal legends sold out The Observatory in Santa Ana, California on March 17th, 2016. It was definitely one of the most packed shows I have ever been to. Before any bands started playing, the venue was humid and smelled of sweat and body odor. This only got worse over time. This was the fourth time I’ve seen Disturbed live and it was a very unique experience because every other time I have seen them, its been at a massive amphitheater or outdoor festival with a crowd in the thousands while this show probably only had 1,000. The shows I’ve seen have had massive amounts of smoke, lighting, pyrotechnics, and even moving stage pieces. While this show was toned down on the theatricality, the energy and phenomenal performance were consistent with what I have seen in the past. 

The crowd was constantly on their feet with vocalist David Draiman leading them. Disturbed is possibly has the best crowd interaction of any band I have seen, making each show memorable and unique. My favorite part of this show was in the middle of the set when the band slowed things down, whipped out the acoustic guitars and played “Darkness” and “Song of Silence.” Personally, I love it when metal bands can really nail slow songs because it shows off their diversity and talent. My other favorite part of the show was how Draiman interacted with the crowd on the song “The Light” off of their new album Immortalized. Before he started the song, he instructed everyone to whip out their cell phone flash lights and lighters and wave then high in the sky. The catch was the crowd was only supposed to do this when Draiman said the words “the light” during the chorus. The majority of the song was dark until that moment came and lighters and flashlights illuminated the room in under a second.

Even after playing 17 songs, the crowd was longing for more. With seven full length albums, there is no chance that Disturbed could play every hit song. The set would end up being close to 2 hours long, but I don’t think the fans would mind. They played some of the hits along with material off of their new record. Luckily, their setlist wasn’t too heavily saturated with tracks from Immortalized which would have cut down on some of the crowd favorites. 


Ten Thousand Fists, The Game, The Vengeful One, Prayer, Liberate, Land of Confusion, The Infection, Stupify, Darkness, The Sound of Silence, Inside The Fire, Stricken, The Light, Closer / I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / Baba O’Riley / Killing In the Name, Indestructible, Voices, Down With The Sickness