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Shooting Concerts In 2018: Some Of My Best Photos

David Byrne (at the Shrine)


Once again, I went to tons of shows this year, and I took even more photos than last year. I can’t count how many photos I took, but I usually shoot several hundred pics per concert and went to more than 160 shows, so you will do the math! After a gig, it takes me hours to sort all these photos, delete the bad ones, edit and store the ones I want to keep and post a few of them,… it’s a long process but it’s worth it. I actually don’t like to go to a show if I won’t be able to shoot, it has become a personal frustration. I know that there is still the iPhone option, but who cares for low-resolution and fuzzy photos when I could do much better with my Canon?

I don’t always get a photo pass, it’s usually out of my reach for the big concerts, but, in this case, I take a smaller camera that I can easily hide at the bottom of my bag, and it works if I can get close enough to the stage and if the lighting is good. It worked pretty well for David Byrne at the Shrine and LCD Soundsystem/Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Bowl.

Shooting concerts has become a passion, even though it is often a challenge with all the different types of lightings you can encounter in clubs and venues, and it can even become a frustration when it is either too dark or too red — the photographer’s nightmare.

If I get a photo pass, there is another potential irritation, as shooting from the pit is usually limited to 3 songs (sometimes even less for big acts like Iggy Pop) and every photographer will probably remember this moment of rage when looking at this sudden bright white light, whereas the stage was not lit enough during the 3 first songs.

Some concerts can be boring to shoot, especially if the performers don’t move much, give me a bit of movement! But too much crowd’s excitement is obviously another story, and I will always remember a Bad Brains outdoor concert which grew into a mini-riot and transformed the pit into a very dangerous place to be.

These photos below represent a small part of my 2018 experience, but there were all taken during amazing concerts which gave me the opportunities to shoot some big stars of all ages! Hopefully, 2019 will bring new occasions, I am ready for it.


LCD Soundsystem (at the Hollywood Bowl)

Jello Biafra (of the Dead Kennedys at a Tribute to Simon Stokes)

Shirley Manson (at Girlschool at the Bootleg)

Alice Bag (at The Women of Rock Oral History Project At Zebulon Café)

Chrissie Hynde (at Arroyo Seco Weekend)

Albert Hammond Jr. (at It’s a School Night)

Jack White (at Arroyo Seco Weekend)

Courtney Barnett (at Jimmy Kimmel Live)

Robert Plant (at Arroyo Seco Weekend)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs (at the Hollywood Bowl)

Cat Power (at Burton Chace Park)

Neil Young (at Arroyo Seco Weekend)

Morrissey and Linda Ramone (at Johnny Ramone Tribute at Hollywood Forever)

Al Pacino (on the set of Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

Janelle Monàe (at Music Tastes Good)

Nick Cave (at the Forum)

Cherry Glazerr (at Music Tastes Good)

Death Grips (at Desert Daze)

Lauren Ruth Ward (at Girlschool at the Bootleg)

Rivers Cuomo (at the Hi Hat)

Billie Joe Armstrong (The Longshot at the Hi Hat)

At the Drive In (at Punk Rock Bowling)

Oh Sees (at Zebulon)

Vampire Weekend (at Libbey Bowl)

Chelsea Wolfe (at Desert Daze)



  1. Mary Hyland on December 25, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Hi Alyson,
    Merry Christmas and greetings from NY on Christmas morning! I’ve been reading your reviews and editorials in now for a few years, ever since coming upon your awesome Jusrice for Elliott Smith FB site. You have always amazed me with your insight and ability to provoke provocative discussion and debate. But more recently it has been your amazing photos that seem to have come to the fore as you go from venue to venue, concert to concert, allowing us less fortunates to tag along as you snap away, forever grabbing moments in time from awesome performers, some of whom I’d never heard of before you brought them to my attention.
    I just wanted to say that your shots have been exceptional and that this may, in fact, be your forte! Thanks for sharing these wonderful shows and for all you do all year with the Elliott site. I maintain the man deserves absolute justice and even though it doesn’t seem very likely I will always hope it will someday happen. He would likely be bemused by it all but also secretly glad that people care so much.
    I wish you a happy and peaceful holiday. I have a feeling 2019 will be quite the tumultuous year. I’m glad I’m a praying woman because there’s so much chaos going on right now. Regardless, music is the one source in which to be completely enveloped….a saving grace. Anyway, thanks and best wishes!
    Merry Christmas!

    • Alyson on December 25, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      Thank you so much Mary! Everything you are saying means a lot to me!
      yeah, I don’t know what 2019 has in store, but I have decided to enjoy the present for now.
      I wish you a very happy holiday and talk to you soon!
      xo Alyson

  2. Robert Nevin on December 25, 2018 at 11:54 am

    Tremendous work, Alyson! Incredible photographs. I assume a coffee table book is on the way, and I want you to autograph one for me. Thanks for sharing these great pics!

    • Alyson on December 25, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      Aww, thank you so much Robert! A book? Who knows!? I have no idea but thank you for your nice words.

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