MGMT at The Observatory

words + photos by Joe Cortez

Rock outfit MGMT sold out Santa Ana’s Observatory on Wednesday night, May 16, performing a dreamy set amidst a backdrop of mind-altering lights and visuals. Currently on tour in support of their fourth album, “Little Dark Age,” (available now via Columbia) the assembled five piece dazzled the crowd with their coy stage antics and popular favorites. Check out my photos from the night below and for more on MGMT be sure to visit  whoismgmt.com.

Franz Ferdinand and Priests at The Observatory

words + photos by Joe Cortez

Scottish indie rock titans Franz Ferdinand brought the party to Santa Ana’s Observatory on Saturday night, May 12. Currently on tour in support of the band’s fifth studio album, “Always Ascending,” (available now via Domino) the freshly minted five piece delivered an electric set fearing new cuts and longtime favorites to the sold out OC crowd.

Check out my photos from the night, also featuring openers Priests, below. For more on Franz Ferdinand be sure to visit  franzferdinand.com

Franz Ferdinand Photo Gallery

Priests Photo Gallery

Khruangbin at The Observatory

words + photos by Joe Cortez

Texas trio Khruangbin brought the chill grooves to Santa Ana’s Observatory on Saturday night, May 5. Currently on tour in support of their sophomore album, “Con Todo El Mundo,” (available now via Dead Oceans) the band dazzled the OC crowd with their stellar musicianship and dazzling light show. Check out my photos from the night below and for more on Khruangbin be sure to visit airkhruang.com.

Matt Maeson and Bishop Briggs at The Fonda Theater

words + photos by Joe Cortez

Indie rocker Matt Maeson hit the stage of LA’s Fonda Theater on Friday night, May 4, delivering a passionate set of originals. Currently on tour with Bishop Briggs, Maeson wowed and impressed the crowd with selections from his EP, “The Hearse” (available now via Neon Gold/Atlantic). Backed by a modest band, Maeson’s set particularly shines when he broke out and performed a number of tracks solo.

Check out my photos from the night, also featuring headliner Bishop Briggs, below. For more on Matt Maeson be sure to visit mattmaeson.com.

Matt Maeson Photo Gallery

Bishop Briggs Photo Gallery

Cut Worms and SASAMI at The Casbah

words + photos by Joe Cortez

Cut Worms, the brain child of singer-songwriter Max Clarke, stopped by San Diego’s Casbah on Thursday night, May 3. Currently on tour with King Tuff, Clarke and his band sampled Country-tinged, wistful tracks from a bygone-era off Cut Worms debut LP, “Hollow Ground” (available now via Jagjaguwar). Check our my photos from the night, also featuring opener SASAMI, below. For more on Cut Worms be sure to visit cut-worms.com.

Cut Worms Photo Gallery

SASAMI Photo Gallery

Saxon and Black Star Riders at The Grove of Anaheim

words + photos by Joe Cortez

Direct from the UK, metal legends Saxon descended upon The Grove in Anaheim on Friday night, April 20 for a memorable night of tunes spanning the band's four decade long career as one of the most influential acts in rock. Currently on tour in support of the band's 22nd studio album, "Thunderbolt," the band is currently scheduled to wrap up a tour of the US with Judas Priest before heading to South America and Europe for dates throughout the remainder of 2018.

Check out my photos from the night, also featuring co-headliner Black Star Riders and opener Lovedrive, below. For more on Saxon be sure to visit saxon747.com.

Saxon Photo Gallery

Black Star Riders Photo Gallery

Lovedrive Photo Gallery

Angel Olsen and Adrianne Lenker at The El Rey Theatre

photos by Lexi Bonin

Beloved singer-songwriter Angel Olsen stopped by the El Rey Theatre on Tuesday night, April 17 in between appearances at this year's Coachella festival. Taking full control of the stage with a striking solo performance, Olsen delighted the sold out crowd with a charming set features tracks from her latest release, "Phases" (available now via Jagjaguwar). Check out Lexi's photos from the night below, also featuring opener Adrianne Lenker. For more on Angel Olsen be sure to visit angelolsen.com.

Angel Olsen Photo Gallery

Adrianne Lenker Photo Gallery

David Byrne at The San Diego Civic Theater

words + photos by Joe Cortez

The incomparable David Byrne has returned to the stage with what may be his best touring production yet. Currently making the rounds worldwide and throughout the festival circuit this year, Byrne's American Utopia Tour stopped by the San Diego Civic Theater on Tuesday night, April 17. Check out my photos from the night below and for more on David Byrne be sure to visit davidbyrne.com

Broncho, Mozes and the Firstborn and Valen at The Wayfarer

words + photos by Joe Cortez

Norman, Oklahoma’s own Broncho took over The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa on Saturday night, March 24. The thrilling four piece eviscerared the capacity crowd with a blistering set of throbbing rock. before embarking on further dates throughout the south and east coast for the remainder of spring ‘18. Check out my photos from the night below and for more on Broncho be sure to visit bronchoband.com.

Broncho Photo Gallery

Mozes and the Firstborn Photo Gallery

Valen Photo Gallery

Kelly Lee Owens at The Sanctuary at Pico Union

words + photos by Joe Cortez

Welsh electronic music maker Kelly Lee Owens graced the hallowed halls of LA's Sanctuary at Pico Union, a repurposed church, for an appropriately ethereal night of ceaselessly hypnotic grooves and beats. Saturday night marked what would end up being the last night of her live dates in the States following a last minute cancellation of her San Diego date on Sunday night. The resulting LA show ultimately being one for the books as she dazzled the near capacity crowed with transfixing visuals and selections from her self-titled debut release (available now via Smalltown Supersound). Check out my photos from the night below. For more on Kelly Lee Owens be sure to visit kellyleeowens.com.