2017 in Review

#2017Reviewed: Top 10 Concert Photos from the past 12 months

From my days at Philadelphia University I'd take my camera to the WXPN Free at Noon shows each Friday and practice my lowlight & concert photography. In October/2016 I became an official freelance photographer with WXPN's blog The Key. Now, while I was thinking back over all that has happened the last 12 months it occurred to me that as 2017 comes to a close it also wraps up my first full year as a "concert photographer".

I've attended about 50+ shows over the year with a handful of those being gigs that I officially photographed. A few of the best shows I covered include Frank Turner at The Fillmore, Temples at Underground Arts, and Julien Baker at Union Transfer. As I went back through all the concert photos I've taken in 2017 it is tough to narrow down my favorites but I've managed to pick out my top 10 that seemed stood out to me from the rest.

The Arkells | January 20th | The Fillmore

This first one is probably my number one favorite concert photo of the year (and in my top 5 2017 photos, generally too). The first show I covered in 2017 was on inauguration day; Frank Turner was playing at The Fillmore in Fishtown. I had seen Turner a couple times before and knew it'd be awesome to photograph the show this time. Opening for him this night was British singer-songwriter Will Varley, Canadian-band The Arkells, and Murder by Death (from the US).

The photo above is of The Arkells. I hadn't ever paid attention to this band before January 20th, 2017 but as they also performed the Free at Noon set before playing the The Fillmore I managed to see them twice in one day.

The Arkells | Opening for Frank Turner | The Fillmore | January 20, 2017

Real Estate | May 19th | Union Transfer

Real Estate | Union Transfer | May 19, 2017

Real Estate. A "indie-rock" band orginally from South Jersey, and the bassist even lived in Fishtown for a bit. I saw them play at NonComm in 2017, then the very next night saw them again at Union Transfer and photographed the night for WXPN's The Key.

Real Estate | Union Transfer | May 19, 2017

Temples | May 15th | Underground Arts

The British band Temples came through Philadelphia during spring and while I didn't really know much about them at time I went to photograph the gig for The Key. I'm glad I did. It was a great show and I've even kept listening to the band since!

Temples | Underground Arts | May 15, 2017

Rusted Root | June 10th | Wayne Music Festival

After a completely full day of music in Wayne, PA Rusted Root took the stage to close out the night. The street was more than packed and people were still dancing and singing, as they were at 1 PM that afternoon.

Rusted Root | Wayne Music Festival | June 10, 2017

Low Cut Connie | September 8th | Union Transfer

The local band, Low Cut Connie came through the former Spaghetti Warehouse during their tour. The night was filled with great music and a fun stage performance!

Low Cut Connie | Union Transfer | September 8, 2017

Chill Moody | September 8th | Union Transfer

A rapper from West Philadelphia, Chill Moody opened for Low Cut Connie on Spring Garden Street. The venue was filled with local musicians and music fans looking forward to spending their Friday night jamming with the three local bands on the bill for the night!

Chill Moody | Union Transfer | September 8, 2017

BONUS:

Fireworks closing out night!

Wayne Music Festival | June 10, 2017

2017 REVIEWED: Top Coffeeshops from the #Great2017CoffeeTour

One thing that's been discovered during that last couple years is that coffee shop hopping is actually a great way to tour new cities. After reviewing my photo records on and off social media, this year's coffee tour includes 30+ newly-discovered cafes. The coffee shops span the greater Philadelphia area up through Quebec City!

6. Fika. New York City, NY.

I stepped off the bus around noon in NYC and picked a direction to start walking in. I didn't have a specific route except for wanting to end up at Dominque Ansel bakery for a Kiwi Sorbet Bar. I walked past Fika then turned around and went back, and I'm sure glad I did. It is a Swedish coffee shop with lots of sweets and a decent variety of drinks. The cortado I ordered was very good. Also, there is a location in Philadelphia now by the name of Konditori!

5. Win Win Coffee Bar. Philadelphia, PA

Win Win Coffee Bar. Philadelphia, PA.

Win Win Coffee Bar. Philadelphia, PA.

Whether you have time to kill before a night at Union Transfer, or you're just looking for a coffee shop hangout, this is a good spot. Even if you're looking for bite to eat and a something stronger than espresso, Win Win still has your back. Win Win is both a coffee shop and a bar located on Spring Garden street.

4. Tommy's Cafe. Old Port Montreal, Canada.

Tommy Cafe, Old Port Montreal. August/2017

Tommy Cafe, Old Port Montreal. August/2017

Tommy Cafe is probably one of the most unique coffee shops of the year, interior design-wise. I started my second day in Montreal by finding this place situated in an old bank building and next to Notre Dame Cathedral! Between the historic stone exterior, plant-filled interior, and beautiful latte art this place is definately a "must-visit" when looking for coffee shops in Montreal.

3. Kobrick Coffee. New York City, NY

Kobrick Coffee. New York City, September/2017

Located nearby the Highline in NYC, Kobrick Coffee is a cozy little coffee shop to stop for a refreshment. Whether you're fatigued from your walk on the High Line, looking to catch up with friends, or have some work you need to do the setting allows all of it. The people are nice and the coffee is good, too!

2. Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea Co. Waterbury, Vermont.

Cortado. Vermont Artisan Coffee Bar. August/2017

Cortado. Vermont Artisan Coffee Bar. August/2017

We left the Golden Brook Campground after our one night stay in Stowe, Vermont and headed to the Ben & Jerry's Factory. Only several minutes on the road though we spotted what looked like a farm building but it had coffee written on the side. So we stopped to check it out! As it turns out it is the Vermont Artisan coffee bar and coffee school. While we were there there was actually a lesson happening in which the head barista taught one of the girls about properly making espresso! The cortado I drank was also very tasty.

1. Nektar Cafeologue. Quebec City, Canada

London Fog + Latte at Nektar Cafe, Quebec City, QC. August/2017

London Fog + Latte at Nektar Cafe, Quebec City, QC. August/2017

Any place that draws a happy face on my London fog, that also tastes excellent, is a winner in my book. We first saw Nektar cafe after leaving Korrigane brewpub but didn't stop in until after our walk up a big hill and back down. This is the only cafe I have been too who gave me a London Fog with artwork on it! Despite my realization that many of the best lattes taste-wise don't have the prettiest art, I'm a big fan of good latte art. Luckily at this coffee shop they do well in both departments!

Other great coffee hits from 2017:

Random Tea Room. Philadelphia, PA.

I know this isn't technically a coffee shop, but sometimes you just need a good cup of tea! Random Tea Room in Northern Liberties has every kind of you like and more.

Quaker City Coffee. Philadelphia, PA

Latte at Quaker City Coffee. Philadelphia, PA

Cafe Nocturne. Montreal, Canada

latte & Chai Latte at Cafe Nocturne. Montreal, Canada

Ellie's Bakery. Providence, RI.

Latte. Ellie's Bakery. Providence, RI. August/2017

Bibble & Sip. New York City.

Lavender Latte, Bibble & Sip, NYC

Rival Bros. Philadelphia, PA

Latte at Rival Bros Coffee.

Old City Coffee. Philadelphia, PA

Latte at Old City Coffee. Philadelphia.

Latte at Old City Coffee. Philadelphia.

Burlap and Bean. Newtown Square, PA.

Latte at Burlap and Bean, Newtown Square, PA

BONUS!

Gryphon Cafe. Wayne, PA.

Cortado at Gryphon Cafe. Wayne, PA.

Cortado at Gryphon Cafe. Wayne, PA.

Gryphon is definately not a newly-discovered coffee shop as I've been going there since before I drank coffee. However, I did consume my first cortado in early 2017 at Gryphon Cafe in Wayne. Like everything they have here, the cortado was delicous.