Much like years past, the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner covered a slew of concerts in 2015. This time, however, there were no out-of-state festivals or heavy metal cruise extravaganzas. The past 12 months were strictly Lone Star State-styled excursions into credentialed photo pits, in the thick of the crowds, on or behind the stage and anywhere else the SAMME could find his way to bring you the best photographs possible.
Thousands of shots were taken. Hundreds were discarded, and hundreds more were kept. When they were all whittled down, these 50 made the SAMME’s personal-favorites list.
Perhaps you were at one or some of these shows and remember them well. If not, or whether you’re simply a fan of these particular artists or of concert photography in general, the SAMME presents the second of five installments of the Top 50 concert photos of the year. Enjoy, and join the countdown to No. 1.
For Nos. 41-50, click the “Suggested” link below.
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New HELLYEAH guitarist Christian Brady had a grand ol’ time kicking things off on the main stage of the eighth annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival on July 31 in Alamo City Music Hall’s parking lot. Hellyeah set the stage for The Devil Wears Prada, King Diamond and headliners Slayer. The festival announced three days later that it was ceasing operations. For show coverage, click here.
The legendary ALICE COOPER and one of his three guitarists, Ryan Roxie, delivered a visually rocking, face-contorting show Feb. 11 when they headlined the Majestic Theatre. Some of those theatrical components may show up later in this countdown (hint, hint). The band returned to San Antonio supporting Motley Crue’s final tour Sept. 6 at the Alamodome with a scaled-down version of this Feb. 11 set.
Thrash veterans EXODUS performed at the Aztec Theater twice this year. This shot, featuring drummer Tom Hunting, vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza and guitarist Gary Holt, was taken April 6 when the group opened for Testament. Exodus returned Nov. 13 as part of Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Film Festival, but Holt was touring overseas with Slayer at that time. He spoke of playing in both bands when Slayer headlined the Mayhem Fest on July 31 (watch here).
The different faces of San Antonio’s THE AKUZMA, which features seven members, were on display with their guitarists and bassist during the finals of the “Ultimate Battle of the Bands” competition in May at Fitzgerald’s Bar. The Akuzma may have finished runner-up to champions Hunters Of The Moon, which won studio time for an EP produced and mixed by Cult To Follow vocalist Bryan Scott, who ran the contest. But they did make the countdown. More here.
WEDNESDAY 13, aka Joseph Poole and the one-time frontman of Murderdolls, played a pair of shows at The Korova in 2015. This one occurred Feb. 12 with Eyes Set To Kill and Die So Fluid opening up. At the time, Wednesday’s six-piece band featured three members from San Antonio, though drummer Jason “Shakes” West — who also may or may not show up later in the countdown — eventually left to concentrate on Murder FM. More here.
IN THIS MOMENT becomes the first artist to show up twice on the countdown (and it may not be its last). Guitarist Chris Howorth often makes it a point to show the SAMME that he recognizes him from the stage — as was the case during the May 24 River City Rockfest — ever since our initial interview during the 2009 Vans Warped tour, which was also at the AT&T Center.
JOHN 5 is one of the few people on the planet that has played with Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Rob Halford and David Lee Roth. But he’s also an accomplished solo guitarist, and John 5 demonstrated that twice this year in San Antonio, including this Feb. 24 gig at 210 Kapone’s. To listen to our interview, click here. For coverage of the show, click here. Be on the lookout for John 5 to return in 2016 with one of those aforementioned artists. This time, it might be in a festival setting (hint, hint again).
Arturo Alvarado is a young man of many talents and credits to his name. In addition to being the bassist in JESSIKILL, the local musician — pictured here with now-former bandmate Steven Rodriguez on drums as they opened for Krokus on April 25 at the Diablo Music Fest — is a graphic designer and a marketing employee at The Falls. Alvarado plays Paul Stanley in mini-KISS and even had a “background” part in Sandra Bullock’s new movie “Our Brand Is Crisis.” Did we mention he’s barely in his 20s? Jessikill, now with Aeternal Requiem’s Alan Cisneros on drums, will headline the Arneson River Theater on the River Walk for the third consecutive New Year’s Eve before opening for former Queensryche singer Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Alamo City Music Hall.
On a drizzly and cold Sunday night, a former singer of Iron Maiden hunkered down at da Bunker Sports Bar in Universal City and played a two-hour show in front of roughly 60 people. Blaze Bayley (right) and his bassist, Austin native John Moyer of Disturbed (left), comprised half of THE FOUNDRY on that March 8 evening. On the group’s live CD recorded in Dallas, Bayley refers to Moyer as “devastatingly affective.” For coverage of da Bunker show, click here.
TRIVIUM singer/guitarist Matt Heafy, and his tongue, headlined Alamo City Music Hall with Tremonti Project on Oct. 8. Heafy’s group toured in support of “Silence in the Snow.” The show, however, was anything but silent. For coverage of it, click here.