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Music, Year in Review 2015

Year in Review: The Best Concert Photos of 2015

Best concert photos 2015

We invited our team of contributors to share some of their favourite concert photos of 2015. Many identify with their top picks on a personal level where the gig was the highlight of their year; for some, their list represents a culmination of 2015’s hard work; and others select clear stand-outs amidst the transforming process of discovering new music.

Every one of these lists is vital to what we do, and represents the various ways in which our contributors interact with the global music community on behalf of Aesthetic Magazine. Our contributors come from different backgrounds, but our passion for music brings us together to inform, engage, grow, learn from each other, and to share our experiences with our readers.

Thank you for reading Aesthetic Magazine, and see you all in 2016!

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Artist: Matt and Kim
Venue/City: The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
Date: May 18th
Photographer: Rick Clifford

This is one of those “in the right place at the right time” photographs. Positioned right between Matt and Kim, the camera’s angle and wide view compliments the scene. You can almost feel the live energy through the image.

– Morgan Hotston

Matt and Kim performing at The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, ON on May 18, 2015. (Photo: Rick Clifford/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: July Talk
Venue/City: Wayhome Music Festival, Oro-Medonte, ON
Date: July 26th
Photographer: Rick Clifford

July Talk has always been one of my favourite bands to see and photograph. Their live energy and on stage chemistry is like no other. I believe this photo captures the rush and essence of playing at a festival, especially with such a large crowd so close to their hometown. The isolation of Leah against the crowd is a great contrast.

– Morgan Hotston

July Talk performing at Wayhome Festival on July 26, 2015. (Photo: Rick Clifford/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Billy Talent
Venue/City: Sirius XM Indies, Toronto
Date: May 9th
Photographer: Fernando Paiz

I remember seeing Billy Talent for the first time in 2007 with Rise Against and feeling live energy and intimacy that I’ve never felt before. Ben leaves it all out on stage and this photo really captures what I felt, and continue to feel seeing them live.

– Morgan Hotston

Billy Talent performing at the 2015 SiriusXM Indies in Toronto, ON on May 9, 2015 during CMW 2015. (Photo: Fernando Paiz/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Cold War Kids
Venue/City: Chill On The Hill Music Festival, Sterling Heights, MI
Date: September 13th
Photographer: Amanda Cain

Cold War Kids are relatively composed live in terms of movements, but this image shows a glimpse of their relationship on stage and the interaction between two members that is really nice.

The moment you get two band members interacting physically shifts the focus from being solely about the music to more of the entire relationship of a band’s presence.

– Morgan Hotston

Cold War Kids performing at Chill On The Hill 2015 in Detroit, MI on Sept. 13, 2015. (Photo: Amanda Cain/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Twenty One Pilots
Venue/City: Sound Academy, Toronto
Date: September 13th
Photographer: Alyssa Balisteri 

If anyone has seen Twenty One Pilots live, you’ll know that this photo really captures how Tyler performs. You hear him belting out these dark, emotional and powerful lyrics and the lighting and shadow in this shot really represents his state of mind and music. There’s a dark, untouchability to this image, that, in a way, can also comment on the separation between performer and audience.

– Morgan Hotston

Twenty One Pilots performing at Sound Academy in Toronto, ON on Sept. 13, 2015. (Photo: Alyssa Balistreri/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Andrew McMahon
Venue/City: The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
Date: November 15th
Photographer: Kelsey Giesbrecht

Because Andrew McMahon is one of my favorites, I’m a sucker for a good photo of him jamming on his piano. I like the composition and the coloring of this one, and I think it captures the essence of his stage presence which is really important.

– Katie Kuropas

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness performing at The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto on November 15, 2015. (Photo: Kelsey Giesbrecht/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: City and Colour
Venue/City: The Fillmore, Detroit
Date: November 5th
Photographer: Jamie Limbright

Sometimes it’s hard to pull off a photo of a silhouette, but this one is really excellent. It has great contrast and composition, and really gives you a sense of drama while looking at it. And it also totally matches the kind of low-key vibe that City and Colour gives off.

– Katie Kuropas

Dallas Green of City And Colour performing at The Fillmore in Detroit on November 5, 2015. (Photo: Jamie Limbright/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Marina and the Diamonds
Venue/City: Sound Academy, Toronto
Date: November 2nd
Photographer: Rick Clifford

Marina and the Diamonds is very energetic and upbeat, and this photo captures her perfectly, from the bright colors, to the light shining behind her. I love that it’s vertical and you can see her whole sparkly blue jumpsuit, which really is important because she is known for her great sense of style as well as her music.

– Katie Kuropas

Marina and The Diamonds performing at Sound Academy in Toronto on November 2, 2015. (Photo: Rick Clifford/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Springtime Carnivore
Venue/City: Lincoln Hall, Chicago
Date: March 6th
Photographer: Joshua Mellin

Greta Morgan is such a sweet person and I think that you can really tell that in this photo, which captures her smiling personality really well. It’s a nicely composed photo, almost portrait-like, and the lighting is hitting her perfectly.

– Katie Kuropas

Springtime Carnivore. (Photo: Joshua Mellin/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Imagine Dragons
Venue/City: Allstate Arena, Chicago
Date: June 15th
Photographer: Katie Kuropas

I didn’t want to pick my own photo for this, but I love it so much and consider it one of the best I’ve ever taken, so I made an exception. You can really see the passion Dan Reynolds has, which is endearing, considering not too long ago they were playing small venues and not arenas. The lighting was great, and the close up works really well.

– Katie Kuropas

Imagine Dragons performing at Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL on June 15, 2015. (Photo: Katie Kuropas/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: New Politics
Venue/City: The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
Date: November 15th
Photographer: Kelsey Giesbrecht

I know very little about the band New Politics. What I do know is that this guy always ends up on his head and it makes me laugh every time.

– Josh Terzino

New Politics performing at The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto on November 15, 2015. (Photo: Kelsey Giesbrecht/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Gambles
Venue/City: Thalia Hall, Chicago
Date: October 20th
Photographer: Kari Terzino

Love the shadows here. Photography, both viewing and taking photos, is all about light (or the absence of it). This is a great display of contrast.

– Josh Terzino

Gambles performing at Thalia Hall in Chicago on October 20, 2015. (Photo: Kari Terzino/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: The National
Venue/City: Treasure Island Music Festival, San Francisco
Date: October 17th
Photographer: Raymond Ahner

This photo is just different than all the others I’ve seen of Matt Berninger over the years. It’s a great angle and the color is really cool.

– Josh Terzino

The National performing at the Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco on October 18, 2015. (Photo: Raymond Ahner/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Spider Bags
Venue/City: The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto
Date: October 13th
Photographer: Ryan Lawson

Spider Bags put on a great show. This picture captures the intensity Dan throws in to every performance.

– Josh Terzino

Spider Bags performing at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on October 13, 2015. (Photo: Ryan Lawson/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Andrew WK
Venue/City: Riot Fest Toronto, Downview Park
Date: September 20th
Photographer: Dale Benvenuto 

You can almost feel Andrew W.K. harnessing the power from the crowd in this shot.

– Josh Terzino

Andrew WK performing at Riot Fest Toronto 2015 at Downsview Park in Toronto, ON on Sept. 20, 2015. (Photo: Dale Benvenuto/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Misterwives
Venue/City: First Avenue, Minneapolis
Date: October 27th
Photographer: Eric Osborn 

I’ve seen Misterwives a few times, and this photo perfectly captures the energy of frontwoman Mandy Lee. She always has a smile on her face, and anyone who’s been to a show of theirs knows how much fun they have onstage.

– Sam Lichtenstein

Misterwives performing at First Avenue in Minneapolis on October 27, 2015. (Photo: Eric Osborn/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Family Force 5
Venue/City: House of Blues, Houston
Date: October 22nd
Photographer: Madelynn Vickers 

The colors in this photo are have been amazingly captured, and Madelynn captured a whacky moment in between songs.

– Sam Lichtenstein

Family Force 5 performing at the House of Blues Houston on October 22, 2015. (Photo: Madelynn Vickers/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Madonna
Venue/City: SAP Center, San Jose 
Date: October 19th
Photographer: Raymond Ahner

Soundboard shoots can be a photographer’s worst nightmare, but these photos make it seem like Ray was right at home. Madonna was caught in a moment of joy while performing, a huge smile on her face as she struck a pose that Ray captured with finesse.

– Sam Lichtenstein

Madonna performing at the SAP Center in San Jose on October 19, 2015. (Photo: Raymond Ahner/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Twenty One Pilots
Venue/City: Life Is Beautiful Music Festival, Las Vegas 
Date: September 25-27
Photographer: Jeff Kravitz

It was hard to choose just one photo to talk about from this set, because Jeff really outdid himself. My personal favorite was the photo of Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots, because he was caught in such a raw moment: singing his heart out while he played his piano.

– Sam Lichtenstein

Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots performing at the 2015 Life Is Beautiful Festival on Sept. 25, 2015 in Las Vegas. (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

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Artist: Nate Ruess
Venue/City: The Opera House, Toronto
Date: June 22nd
Photographer: Lindsey Duncan

Fan interactions with musicians are always a cool thing to capture, so this photo drew my attention.

– Sam Lichtenstein

Nate Ruess performing at The Opera House in Toronto, ON on June 22, 2015. (Photo: Lindsay Duncan/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Bring Me The Horizon
Venue/City: Sound Academy, Toronto
Date: October 8th
Photographer: Amy Buck

When I think of Bring Me the Horizon performing this picture of lead singer, Oliver Skyes is exactly what I think of. Great moment caught with great composition.

– Emily Kovacic

Oliver Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon performing at Sound Academy in Toronto on Oct. 8, 2015. (Photo: Amy Buck/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Steel Panther
Venue/City: Sound Academy, Toronto
Date: May 22nd
Photographer: Dale Benvenuto

Steel Panther are always fun to photograph and Dale did an awesome job getting a jump shot from Michael Starr and Satchel rocking out in the same picture

– Julian Avram

Steel Panther performing at Sound Academy in Toronto, ON on May 22, 2015. (Photo: Dale Benvenuto/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

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Artist: Muse
Venue/City: Palacio De Los Deportes, Mexico City
Date: November 17th
Photographer: Chino Lemus

That stage looks immense and combine it with a sold out audience you get the recipe for an awesome picture.

– Julian Avram

Muse performing at Palacio De Los Deportes in Mexico City during the opening night of the "Drones World Tour" on November 17, 2015. (Photo: Chino Lemus)

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Artist: Beyonce
Venue/City: Made In America Music Festival, Philadelphia 
Date: September 5th
Photographer: Kevin Mazur

Beyonce’s smile makes the picture.

– Julian Avram

Beyonce performing at the 2015 Budweiser Made in America Festival at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sept. 5, 2015 in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty)

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Artist: Zedd
Venue/City: Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto
Date: October 24th
Photographer: Brandon Lorenzetti

Love the way the silhouettes look combined with the fire.

– Julian Avram

Zedd performing at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto on October 24, 2015. (Photo: Brandon Lorenzetti/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Chvrches
Venue/City: Fun Fun Fun Fest, Austin, Texas
Date: November 6th
Photographer: Dave Mead

Love the colours, composition and of course Lauren Mayberry’s pose.

– Julian Avram

‎Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches performing at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas on November 6, 2015. (Photo: Dave Mead)

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Artist: Slipknot
Venue/City: Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto 
Date: August 10th
Photographer: Matt Klopt

I just love this moment, Corey Taylor just bowing to his audience like he’s not worthy but the crowd is going wild for him. Great moment, great composition, and great angle.

– Francesca Ludikar

Slipknot performing at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, ON on Aug. 8, 2015 during the "Summer's Last Stand Tour". (Photo: Matt Klopot/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: ASAP Rocky
Venue/City: VELD Music Festival, Toronto
Date: August 3rd
Photographer: Angelo Marchini

Perfect capture of the lighting, it gives a really neat monotone colouring to the photo, which really makes the artist stand out in the photo.

– Francesca Ludikar

ASAP Rocky performing at VELD Music Festival 2015. (Photo: Angelo Marchini/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: St. Vincent
Venue/City: Wayhome Music Festival, Oro-Medonte, ON
Date: July 26th
Photographer: Rick Clifford

The way Rick captured St. Vincent is amazing, with the guitar facing us, but her face emotes that she is completely lost in her music. Great shot.

– Francesca Ludikar

St. Vincent performing at Wayhome Festival on July 26, 2015. (Photo: Rick Clifford/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: New Found Glory 
Venue/City: The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
Date: October 26th
Photographer: Amy Buck

This photo has great energy and amazing composition. The interaction between Jordan and the audience makes me feel like I was there.

– Francesca Ludikar

New Found Glory performing at The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto on October 25, 2015. (Photo: Amy Buck/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Korn
Venue/City: The Fox Theater, Oakland
Date: October 30th
Photographer: Raymond Ahner

I love the energy in this shot! I love how the hair was captured, not too blurry which can be hard to do with live photography but you can still see the mask poking through. Great lighting, amazing shot!

– Francesca Ludikar

Korn performing at The Fox Theater Oakland on October 30, 2015. (Photo: Raymond Ahner/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Deadmau5
Venue/City: VELD Music Festival, Toronto
Date: August 1st
Photographer: Angelo Marchini

An all-encompassing shot of the culmination of a wild and exhausting day.

– Theo Rallis

Deadmau5 performing at VELD Music Festival 2015. (Photo: Angelo Marchini/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Rancid
Venue/City: Riot Fest Toronto, Downsview Park
Date: September 20th
Photographer: Dale Benvenuto

I can’t imagine jumping this high, even without a guitar in my grasp. Perfect timing, superb shot.

– Theo Rallis

Rancid performing at Riot Fest Toronto 2015 at Downsview Park in Toronto, ON on Sept. 20, 2015. (Photo: Dale Benvenuto/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Sam Smith
Venue/City: Wayhome Music Festival, Oro-Medonte, ON
Date: July 26th
Photographer: Rick Clifford

Sam Smith looks small, but his smile and the multitude of lights make his spirit look enormous.

– Theo Rallis

Sam Smith performing at Wayhome Festival on July 26, 2015. (Photo: Rick Clifford/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: The Devil Makes Three
Venue/City: The Opera House, Toronto
Date: January 14th
Photographer: Dawn Hamilton

They say good things come in threes. I love the rich colours, the pleasing composition, and the look of concentration on the guitarist’s face.

– Theo Rallis

The Devil Makes Three. (Photo: Dawn Hamilton/Aesthetic Magazine)

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Artist: Motionless In White
Venue/City: The Opera House, Toronto
Date: March 24th
Photographer: Dale Benvenuto

Bursting with light and emotion. Powerful.

– Theo Rallis

Motionless in White. (Photo: Dale Benvenuto/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

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Artist: Single Mothers
Venue/City: Leeds Music Festival, Leeds, UK
Date: August 26-28
Photographer: Priti Shikotra

Shooting at festival is always so hectic and full on and super tiring but the energy from the artists really keep you on your toes. The line-up across all stages was absolutely incredible once again and there were quite a few highlights whilst shooting for Aesthetic Magazine, the ones which come to mind are Limp Bizkit, Turbowolf and Single Mothers.

Single Mothers absolutely smashed it and I would really recommend seeing them live.

– Priti Shikotra

Single Mothers performing at Leeds Festival 2015 on Aug. 28, 2015. (Photo: Priti Shikotra/Aesthetic Magazine)

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Year in Review: The Best Concert Photos of 2015

  1. Madelynn Elaine Vickers is an amazing photographer in so many levels.

    Posted by E. V. Davis | December 17, 2015, 7:53 pm

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  1. Pingback: All Those Best Of…Music Lists In 2015 In One Place | That Eric Alper - December 11, 2015

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