Photographer: Reid Haithcock
Based in: Boston, MA
Thou at WFMU New Jersey
I jumped on a short north east tour with Thou in the spring of 2014. In typical Thou style, it was a four shows in two days situation, with a radio appearance thrown in. After a matinee gig at ABC No Rio, we headed to WFMU in Jersey City for what was supposed to be a live on air performance… only the engineer never showed up. Not only that, he didn’t tell his coworker he wasn’t coming in and the one DJ there couldn’t get in touch with him at all. Like a real “the EMP has gone off, communications are dark, we’re out here with no way back” kind of can’t get in touch, after calling and texting multiple times to a dude who had apparently never been late for work, he was totally MIA. We stayed around for a while eating snacks and stressing about getting to the next show on Long Island that night while some of the guys did a short interview with the DJ just so there would be some content for later. Shout out to the engineer, who is probably at the bottom of the Hudson River.
Pg 99 Reunion
When pg99 originally called it a day, I was up to my eyeballs with work at college and couldn’t make it to any of the final weekend of shows, which was a huge bummer, as I’d never gotten to see them. Jump ahead to the summer of 2011, when they got back together to play a couple of shows. I planned a trip down to DC for the chance to finally see them, only that weekend Hurricane Irene was scheduled to hit DC right in the face. Things seemed fine, the plane landed in DC, and as I turned my phone on, I received a text from the airline saying that my flight from Boston to DC had been cancelled. “Uhh, I’m already IN DC,” was the best I could offer and hoped to figure it out later. The show was incredible, the howling wind and rain provided a great backdrop to the reemergence of pg99, who, along with Circle Takes the Square and Thou, put on one of the best shows I’ve been to. Because of the storm, whoever was photographing the show for NPR couldn’t make it, so I was lucky enough to touch base with Lars Gotrich, NPR’s metal dude, and had my photos featured alongside his write up of the show. The next day after the show, as grounded planes across the mid-Atlantic frantically tried to make up for lost time, and I-95 was an impassible butthole, I got myself a rental car and did the 10 hours back to Boston.
Comadre’s final show
This is from the last few moments before the final Comadre set at Gilman back in 2013. They’d been one of those bands that came in and out of my listening habits for a long time. I’d always been a fan, and really impressed by their commitment to DIY, but when the self-titled came out, I thought that they’d finally found their own sound and had limitless potential to grow from there. Sadly, it wasn’t too long before they decided to call it a day, so after a scrapped east coast tour plan, I knew I had to get out to see them one last time. It was a wild show, definitely a band at their creative peak thriving on their home turf. This photo really encapsulates the Comadre ethos of “same 5 dudes since.”
Bleed the Pigs at O’Briens
The feeling of being knocked on your ass by a young band is one of the best, most exhilarating, aspects of punk. So much time is spent trawling through shitty demos and half baked d-beat songs, but sometimes a band comes onto your radar with such force that the only thing you can do it is pick your jaw up off the floor and say “god damn.” I’d seen the name around some, but when I saw Bleed the Pigs for the first time last year, they left quite an impression.
Modern Life is War at the Amityville Horror House
Back in September of 2014, I rode along with Modern Life is War for a quick weekend around Philly and New York. The last show of the weekend was on Long Island in Amityville. The morning before the show we all piled into the van and rode down to the Amityville Horror House, situated on a quiet neighborhood street, with kids riding around on bikes and joggers passing us by. You’d never know that anything gnarly went down here, or that it was anything special at all except for the fact that there’s a wrought iron fence and tons of no trespassing/parking signs all around this one house. A few folks scoped out the house and driveway, but really we just took a look, curious to see a famous landmark. The real thing of note is how much shit we got from the locals while we walked around their neighborhood for about 10 minutes. Yells of “asshole tourists go home,” “it’s not real,” “there’s nothing here” came from several different SUVs and trucks as they drove by. Sorry ya’ll, we just tryna peep a wild murder house.
Converge during Deathwish Fest
This is one of those photographs that encapsulates just about everything I love about shooting shows, and closely captures my ideal live shot aesthetic. Capturing the kinetic energy between the kids freaking out and the band freaking out; no barricade, a writhing mass of anger and release; it’s what I’m always after. Here Jake seems like a disembodied specter, screeching down of the crowd as they fight their way up to get the mic.
Neurosis in Providence, RI
There’s really nothing quite like seeing Neurosis. Even without the visual displays of years past, it’s incredible to see such honed brutality performed live. This was at the 100 year old Strand Theater in Providence, which is easily the most fitting place I’ve seen them play, and also the most intimate. With no barricade and a low stage and surrounded by exposed beams, metal, and raw brick, it was one of the most immediate and forceful shows I’ve ever seen.