photographer

Between The Buried And Me || The Novo

An October sun was setting below the smoggy Los Angeles skyline as Between The Buried And Me, Fallujah, and Devin Townsend prepared for a night of brutal guitar solos and screaming fans. For a Thursday night there were a surprising amount of people in the venue cheering and having the time of their lives.

Fallujah took to the stage first getting the crowd properly excited for the remaining bands. Originally from San Francisco, Fallujah has been credited as creating the "Atmospheric Death Metal" subgenre. Their most recent album Dreamless was released April 2015 by Nuclear Blast Records. Overall, they're insanely talented and very technical and lots of fun to see live. 

Between The Buried And Me performed after and out on an excellent show. The last time I saw BTBAM live was at my very first metal show back in 2008 with Dream Theater! Massive lights were rigged behind the band making it a blast to shoot. Massive circle pits raged inside during the heavy breakdowns sprinkled throughout their set. Melodic jams, brutal drum parts, and odd time signature changes are just some of the things that made Between The Buried and Me's performance stand out. 

Finally, Devin Townsend Project came on and blew the crowd away. He began by breaking the fourth wall, addressing the crowd, wanting them to make sure they knew this is a performance. That being said, it didn't take away from the show at all. Devin brought a lot of funny moments like this to the show, making me forget the heaviness of his music. Devin is a fantastic performer and his wonderful personality shines brightly.

Let me know if you're looking for any HD images, prints, or licensing!

Email: jasonwaltonfilm@gmail.com

Fallujah:

Sapphire

Amber Gaze

Scar Queen

Alone with You

Allure

Abandon

Wind for Wings

The Void Alone

 

BTBAM:

Node

The Coma Machine

Dim Ignition

Famine Wolf

King Redeem / Queen Serene

Turn on the Darkness

The Ectopic Stroll

Rapid Calm

Memory Palace

Option Oblivion

Life in Velvet

Devin Townsend Project:

Night

By Your Command

Failure

Rejoice

Hyperdrive

Stormbending

Where We Belong

Ziltoid Goes Home

March of the Poozers

Kingdom

Ih-Ah!

Higher

Dance Gavin Dance || El Ray Theatre

Having just missed Dance Gavin Dance at Chainfest last week, I was thrilled to be able to shoot them at the El Ray Theatre. I have also been trying to shoot Good Tiger and The Contortionist for a long time so I was thrilled to check all three bands off of my bucket list. 

With a very unique lineup, the entire show was fun, start to finish. I arrived just before Good Tiger went on stage. I've been a fan of them from the first time I heard them so I was really excited, especially to see Alex Rudinger (former drummer of Threat Signal). This is the first time I think this has happened in my life thus far; Alex Rudinger is the same age as me (24) and he's one of my favorite drummers. Good Tiger's set was awesome and they played all of my favorite songs like Snake Oil, Where Are The Birds, and All Her Own Teeth. Their debut album, A Head Full of Moonlight, is now available.

Hail The Sun was a lot of fun (yes I intended to rhyme) and I believe this is the 2nd time I've seen them perform. Phenomenal set and what is really distinguishing about them is that their lead singer is actually their drummer. Great performance and stage presence though. At one point another drummer came on stage to give the vocalist a break and so he could be more like a frontman of the band.

The Contortionist, if you haven't heard them, are a very technical band that also have very chill vibes. The 6 piece band had the crowd entranced with their melodic, relaxing music. It was definitely different from the other bands, but because it was such a unique and beautiful experience, I didn't mind one bit. 

Finally the moment came and Dance Gavin Dance came on and  the crowd went wild. Tilian Pearson seemed to have broken his knee recently as he came out on stage with crutches. Sadly, this kept him pretty locked down at his microphone for the rest of the show (naturally). Post-hardcore band, Dance Gavin Dance, formed in Sacramento in 2005, starting their wonderful careers. Since then DGD has gone under many different lineup changes, but still continues to put on amazing shows. Their seventh studio album Mothership is set to release on October 7th, 2016.

Dance Gavin Dance Setlist:

Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise, Stroke God, Millionaire, On the Run, Spooks, Tree Village, Flossy Dickey Bounce (Live Debut), Death of a Strawberry, Strawberry Swisher Pt. 3, Betrayed By The Game (Live Debut), Lemon Meringue Tie, We Own the Night, Alex English

Shanghai Tea Scam

Throughtout my adventures in China, one thing has been truly awesome. That thing is meeting chill people, hanging out with them, and becoming friends. This has happened to me with my Alabama friends on the bullet train, Polish friends in my hostel, Virginia friends in Beijing, Allen in Huangshan, and others as well. So naturally I figured the people I who asked me to take their picture would be new friends as well. As it turns out, they were just trying to scam me. But the day started out pretty well!

Slept in for once and had breakfast without Chases (Michael was already at work), then had a great discussion with Heather about life as an artist for a solid hour. It was raining and would continue to remain for the rest of the day so I grabbed an umbrella and headed out to explore. A Finnish guy named Kari (met him a few nights back) told me about this place called Yuyuan Gardens so I figured I would check it out. Took the train to Line 10 where I got off at Yuyuan Station and took exit 1 to get to the gardens. Got a can of Caffe Latte for 4¥ and snapped a pic. Creative juices were flowing pretty well. 

There was this girl. Just standing there on the subway and all she did was look at me and smile. A genuine, curious, happy smile. So I smiled back. The intercom announced my stop was next and I looked away, but I could tell she was still looking at me. I looked back up and there it was again. That innocent smile from a cute foreign girl. I could tell she wanted to say something but couldn't because of the language barrier. So she turned and leaned her head and arms up against the subway doors, deep in thought. The train came to a stop and I got off, but I realized what a beautiful moment this was and I turned back around. One last time, that smile was shining at me, through the crowds of people, past the subway doors, and right into my soul. And just like that, the romantic comedy of two people separated by language who communicated with smiles, faded away. I looked up to find my next stop, and she turned back to leaning against the door. 

As I exited the subway, I crossed the street looking for the gardens. Finding out I was in the wrong place I had to go back to where I was. Right as I was about to start walking, someone behind me asked if I could take their picture in English. It was a Chinese boy and girl who were cousins. She was from Xian visiting him here in Shanghai. We started talking and they invited me to a tea ceremony. Naturally I jumped at the chance. We walked a few blocks and entered a mall that was so dark it could have been out of business. On the second floor was a small room where tea would be served. We chose 6 different teas because 6 means overall well being or something? The first was Ginseng which is good for kidneys and better for males. My new Chinese friends were surprised that I didn't speak any Chinese and that I knew very little about Chinese tea culture. The second was jasmine for women. Third was for fruit and the rest I don't really remember. 6 was expensive black tea at ¥128. It hurt to say yes but this seemed like a really cool opportunity. Overall I spent ¥400 on this ceremony (cringe) and it was absolutely fascinating. I had no idea about the amount of work, love, and meaning behind all of the teas. Each tea had different teapots made of different materials. I tried to take a picture but was scolded. They didn't want their tea making secrets to get out. This is the only pic I took. Anyway, it was an excellent experience. They showed me to the gardens, exchanged WeChat info and parted ways. 

Now I had written that right after I met them and before I knew I got scammed. While it was fun and a little bit pricy (roughly $60) it could have been way worse. All of the stories I heard later were about people getting blackmailed and scammed out of ¥2,000 ($307) so overall not too bad. That being said, if someone in China asks you to take their picture, don't immediately think you could be friends and have a fun adventure. They may be trying to scam you. The rest of the day was really awesome though!

Wandered around the Yuyuan Garden and it was just okay. I feel like I've seem a lot of places like this already like the Forbidden City and Lama Temple. It closed about an hour after I got in which was the perfect amount of time for me to get in, snap some pics, experience the place, and leave. 

I wandered around the city again and walked around trying street food. I tried 2 different places, the first was just a lady cooking up some chicken and squid tentacles which was delicious but left me hungry. I kept exploring until I found a place that cooked the whole squid on a stick. Naturally I got one and it was phenomenal.  

Walked back to the Bund with a full belly to do a time lapse of the lights turning on at night. Super fun because I just listened to the new Beartooth album... again. Everyone around me is taking photos with their phones of the beautiful skyline. A couple girls came over and took pictures as well but we're taking pics in a different direction. They were taking pics with me in the background. Once I realized this I turned and smiled but the girl who was taking the pic with me didn't see. When she went to review the pic and saw I was looking at the camera and smiling, she giggled and was embarrassed. It was a cute and funny moment. From there, I walked back to the Chase's house where I was staying, told them about my adventures, learned more about the whole scam thing, and went to bed.