Category Archives: shows

KOJI: Feed the hungry, change the system

I’m really digging the idea of asking the people I photograph write the blog to go along with their images… I’m photographing them because I value their voice. And more than that, positive people who work together can serve as a conduit for change. I am hopeful.

“Hunger is an issue that effects people on both a global and local scale. Addressing hunger in the United States is not just about turkeys at Christmas and Thanksgiving, but rather, a consistent effort to meet the needs of the hungry in our communities and also change the system that created this inequity. It was so awesome to partner with artists, promoters, and show-goers on these food drives during my 2014 holiday shows. 

In Harrisburg, we were able to donate 199 lbs. of food to the Central PA Food Bank. Most of the first shows I put on in the central PA area included food drives and it felt very good to get people engaged with this issue once more. I’m looking forward to continuing this work on hunger in 2015.” (KOJI)

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THE HOLD STEADY!

On February 7, 2014, The Hold Steady! and Tim Barry rocked the Abbey Bar. One might say, they threw a Killer Party. I thought the roof was going to blow off. It was all about celebrating 10 years of the band and celebrating the life of our friend, Jersey Mike. Cheers to all the wonderful things.

The Hold Steady! is what I think all bands should strive to be. A positive force. Kind people that give back. Totally down to earth rock’n’roll. I am blown away by how much they’ve done in support of Jersey Mike’s family and the K&L Foundation and the solace that they’ve given to every heart that mourns his loss. The Unified Scene lost-Harrisburg lost-his children lost-his family lost-dear hearts and friends lost our rabble rouser. But I think we can all agree, that man would have wanted us to strive on and party on. There’s work to be done, joy to be shared, songs to be sang, and beers to be drank. 

SO WE DID.

(Thank you to The Hold Steady!–management/sound included–for being so kind to me. You’re all gems. I think it’s safe to say that Jersey Mike would have been tickled pink about all of this.)

Love and tons of affection,
Fresh

 

Fresh Travels!

I’m so glad that a lot of Harrisburg people have been asking, “How was tour, Fresh?!” since I got home last Sunday… It was awesome. And it’s not unlike me to be excited about a photographing to the point that I’m crawling out of my skin—itching to tell anyone that will listen to me—but I really think this trip was great.

A few weeks ago, Brian Marquis asked if I would travel with him for a short tour on the east coast. It was four days, ranging from DC to Boston, of Brian opening sold out shows with Downtown Fiction for Never Shout Never. I basically knew diddlysquat about both bands. They seemed charming but very young and I cringed when I found out that they were only between the ages of 21 and 24. It’s hard to admit that I cringed—I felt like a jaded, old jerk in a room of vibrant young dudes. I knew needed to take a deep breath, stop acting like an old lady, drink a beer, open my heart a little more, and just be kind. Everything was way good.

Each crowd was generally 14-19 year olds and mostly girls. They were there early.  Some sat outside the venue as early as 1:00 with blankets. Oh, they were so fucking excited! And by the time Brian was getting up on stage, they were cheering him on and then shushing each other to hear him play. They were so attentive. We heard them shout things like, “I LIKE YOUR SHIRT!” “I LIKE YOUR BEARD!” and “I LOVE YOUR SONGS!” and I think Brian felt like he had on a self-esteem jetpack. The energy only skyrocketed as the night progressed. Of course, they were so stoked to see Downtown Fiction and Never Shout Never. After all, that’s who they were here to see! Kids sang at the top of their lungs, smiling from ear to ear, and some even cried. Not a single show was a bummer, not one lacked energy, no crowd was small, and no enthusiasm was spared.

The second night I was really warming up to the tour and I felt decent enough to start shooting. In any case, I hate shooting the first day… It’s so nerve-racking to have someone you don’t know running around with a damn camera in your face.  After all, I didn’t go on tour with Brian to be a nuisance to everyone else, I went because I wanted to spend time with him, enjoy some music, and make good images on the road. I shot live and that was cool, but the images backstage are always my favorite. And the green room at The Note in West Chester is roughly the size of a fucking postage stamp. It’s… tiny. But I think the images I got look pretty intimate and warm. This is probably a direct result of being practically on top of each other. Well, I’ll take it. Hopefully, you can gather from the photos that night and every other night, they were very much themselves.

Cheers! To Chris, Taylor, and Hayden from Never Shout Never, Cameron and David from Downtown Fiction, and of course, Brian Marquis for an awesome Harrisburg hiatus and allowing me photograph. You guys are pretty alright.

Love,

Dani Fresh

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Brian Marquis & The Warped Family

It’s that time again, another summer coming to an end.. For everyone on Warped Tour it was another year. Another tour. Another grueling, rewarding, gnarly summer.

I’m so impressed every time I spend a day with Brian Marquis, the artists on Acoustic Basement Stage, and the rest of Warped Tour. I’m an outsider welcomed in to experience a family of musicians banded together. The experience is intentional. There’s a reason why all of these musicians are successful and playing on Warped Tour. They’re all charismatic, driven, talented, witty, and clever… I’m fortunate to share moments with people who are inherently hilarious and awesome: Brian Marquis, Vinnie Caruana, Billy The Kid, Will Beckett, Austin Lucas, Allison Weiss, etc.

More specifically, Brian Marquis has been an incredible dude to get to know over the last year. I’m floored by how he manages to produce and play the Acoustic Basement stage every day of tour. His head and heart are in the music, for sure. He’s an asset to every endeavor that he has a hand in and he’s a fairly new addition to my long list of dear friends who are motivators and mentors…

Towards the end of tour though, Brian had a terrifying run in with some lightning. During the Orlando Warped, a storm rolled in and in the midst of trying to secure the stage, protect people, and take cover, he took a hell of a shock. Bluntly, it scared the shit out of him and everyone else. I know that my breath hit the back of my skull and my heart hit the floor but bounced right back into my chest when I read that he had been struck by lightning but was recovering and taking it easy. Brian and everyone that loves him could have certainly done without the literal shock, but damn, we’re fucking grateful this guy is stilling kicking.

And here are some of my favorite live moments from this year at the Acoustic Basement Stage:

Thanks for all the music, guys.

Love, Fresh

 

Trojan Heart

 

A friend once told me, “I wish Rebecca Miller could narrate my life.  Her singing voice is incredible, and her (speaking) voice is so soothing…”  He wasn’t wrong.  No matter what variety of sound is coming out of this woman’s mouth, it’s fantastic.  Last month, when the Abbey Bar hosted her album release, I had chills running up my spine.  She fucking killed it two sets in a row.  Hot damn, she can wail… Great show.

So I think it’s time to celebrate yet another gem in Harrisburg; but this one we have to let go.  Rebecca has been a strong voice in this town for a long time and in spite of being a boomerang before, she’s headed out again.  Portland, Oregon is calling.  Miller is going.  And her new album, Trojan Heart, is ready to travel across country with her.

Good luck, lady.  Go get it.

http://rebeccamariemiller.tumblr.com

Koji: Crooked In My Mind

There’s a lot of highway between Harrisburg and here…

We grew up together in fire halls, youth centers, warehouses, coffee shops, and bars.  We’ve grown together, grown apart, impressed each other, pissed each other off, pushed and motivated each other, made it home safe with the other behind the wheel, and I can look back on these years and know how valuable his love is to me…  Andrew (Koji) is one of the most incredible friends I could have ever asked for… I can only inadequately attempt to describe the feeling I get when I stand behind him when he plays.  My gut settles, my heart rises, and I hear him.  In those moments, I also want everyone in the world to hear him.

He’s spent years playing his songs, fighting for causes, encouraging people to work for a better world, touring constantly, and growing as a musician, but he never managed to write a full length album… 

Until now.

This past Tuesday, Koji released his first full length, “Crooked In My Mind,” and Friday night, Exit Skate Shop in Philly hosted his album release party featuring Vinnie Caruana (IATA/The Movielife), Turnover, Modern Baseball, and Dads.  Kids packed into the shop for the show. They came to listen.  It was great.

Now it’s your turn to listen.  Koji “Crooked In My Mind”

Hell yeah.  That was awesome.

Love,

Fresh

 

J Roddy Walston and the Business, We Were Promised Jetpacks

Back to School Weekend at the Abbey Bar was Back to Harrisburg Weekend for We Were Promised Jetpacks and J Roddy Walston and the Business to continue Jersey Mike’s Back To School Extravaganza!

Minshara opened for Jetpacks on Saturday the 8th and it was the best show I’ve ever seen them play, for sure.  They get better every time I see them.  As for We Were Promised Jetpacks… Man, I could listen to those albums over and over again but I have to say, they are a live band.  Kept having to put my camera in front of my mouth so I’d stop catching flies.  My face was in perma-awe.  Great show.

On Sunday the 9th, I moseyed around while J Roddy and The Line loaded in, ate dinner, sound checked and then I dragged them out front to shoot.  I finally got my moments of portraiture for the weekend.  Those few awkward moments where I give little direction, make a few lame jokes, and shoot a few frames…

J Roddy:

The Line:

The show that followed was on point.  In spite of Josh telling me a million times to come to one of their shows, somehow I hadn’t seen The Line yet.  I was disappointed… that it took me this freakin’ long to see them play!  I’ve been missing out.  They’re solid and they’re still punk.  I love that about them.

J Roddy was incredible, as usual.  I can’t reiterate enough that I’ve never seen anyone rock out on a keyboard quite like that.  They concluded the weekend well.

We Were Promised Jetpacks:

Minshara:

J Roddy Walston and The Business:

The Line:

 

Jersey Mike’s Back To School Weekend Extravaganza…

Last night kicked off a weekend of mind blowing shows at the Abbey Bar.  Long established Bluegrass band, Cornmeal, played for an audience that couldn’t stop dancing.  I can’t tell you how many times I heard the phrase, “I usually listen to ________, but this is awesome!” last night.  Needless to say, the show was awesome.

Even if you missed last night, make sure you don’t miss the rest of the weekend! 

Tonight, Strange Design: Recreating Phish Shows in Their Entirety starts at 9.

Tomorrow, I’m super pumped for We Were Promised Jetpacks that starts at 10.

And Sunday, J Roddy Walston and the Business is back!  And you BETTER be there for that!  Show starts at 8!

Rock Paper Records: The Teeth’s Album Release Show

On Saturday Jay, Logan, and Sean of Rock Paper Records hosted a show at the Abbey Bar to celebrate the upcoming release of The Teeth’s new album, “Homewrecker.”  In spite of the lack of hardcore in my current musical diet, I share the enthusiasm that the guys from Rock Paper Records and The Teeth have for the music they’re producing.  Solid music from solid dudes.

Why is this release so exciting?

Because its the first full length album that Rock Paper Records has produced.  It’s not just a milestone for them, it’s a milestone for all of us in Harrisburg.  We finally have champions in a city that’s been starving for businesses like this to revive it.

Pre-order The Teeth’s album with a t-shirt or tank top for $15 here:  http://rockpaperrecords.com/#!/shop/preorder-the-teeth-homewrecker-and-shirt/

The Teeth took the stage after The Olde City Sideshow and Imora opened and gave an energetic performance before turning the show over to This or the Apocalypse from Lancaster, PA.

The Teeth:

This or the Apocalypse: