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 first of five installments of the Top 50 concert photos of the year. Enjoy, and join the countdown to No. 1.
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Scott Weiland made what would be his final visit to San Antonio on May 24 during the third annual River City Rockfest at the AT&T Center with his band SCOTT WEILAND AND THE WILDABOUTS. The original vocalist of Stone Temple Pilots opened with STP classic “Crackerman,” featuring its patented megaphone accompaniment. Weiland, known as much for his drug addictions as for his talent, died Dec. 3 on a tour bus in Minnesota. On Friday, his death was reportedly ruled as “an accidental overdose of cocaine, MDA (ecstasy) and alcohol.” For coverage of Weiland’s last San Antonio concert, click here.
UPON A BURNING BODY guitarist Ruben Alvarez shows how much fun he had playing his hometown River City Rockfest on May 24 at the AT&T Center (coverage here). The San Antonio-bred hardcore band also played Alamo City Music Hall on July 17 while headlining the All-Stars tour, then returned to that venue Nov. 11 to support Motionless In White and The Devil Wears Prada.
BREAKING BENJAMIN’s first San Antonio concert in approximately five years became a sweatfest May 30 when it headlined a sold-out — and non-air conditioned — 210 Kapone’s. So vocalist/guitarist Ben Burnley did what any sane frontman would do. He handed out a cooler’s worth of free water bottles after bashing the conditions following nearly every other song. After dishing out his last bottle, Burnley returned to the stage with sweltering, yet happy, fans clamoring for more — which they’ll be able to get during an acoustic concert Wednesday, Jan. 20 at the Aztec Theater and another electric show Friday, March 4 at ACL Live at The Moody Theater in Austin. Starset will be the opening act both times. Tickets can be purchased at the SAMME’s Alamo True Metal website link at the top of this article; click “Concert Listings.” For show coverage, click here.
Bassist/backup vocalist Ozzy Alejo (left) and vocalist/guitarist Austin Zettner of local trio AETERNAL REQUIEM perform “Invictus” during the unique setup of the band’s first instructional clinic Jan. 31 at Alamo Music Center. Along with drummer Alan Cisneros, the group played a few tunes before an intimate crowd in the store’s basement while also giving advice about the music business and how to help musicians realize whatever goals they have for making it in a difficult industry (more here).
IN THIS MOMENT vocalist Maria Brink shows her sultry side during the River City Rockfest. The group turned its stage show up to 11 from previous San Antonio performances while on tour in support of “Black Widow” on May 24 at the AT&T Center (more here).
Veteran guitarist Glenn Tipton demonstrates the finger-tapping form that helped JUDAS PRIEST become one of heavy metal’s most influential artists May 14 at the Cedar Park Center in the suburb north of Austin. To listen to an exclusive interview with Tipton and fellow Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner from the Nov. 7, 2014, Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, click here. For show coverage, click here. Time will tell as to whether 2016 will be the year “The Priest” comes back to San Antonio.
PAPA ROACH vocalist Jacoby Shaddix is undoubtedly one of rock and metal’s most energetic frontmen. Here he savors a chance to look out at the thousands that came out to watch his band and many others during the River City Rockfest on May 24 at the AT&T Center. To listen to an exclusive interview with Shaddix from November 2014, click here. For coverage of the concert, click here.
KILLER BEE drummer Morgan Evans lit a fire into the audience at The Korova when his band opened for BulletBoys and Gunzo on July 12 (more here). He’ll get a chance to do the same March 5, 2016, when the group joins forces with “That Metal Show” co-host and comedian Don Jamieson for the “Comedy/Metal Invasion” at Alamo City Music Hall. Tickets can be purchased at the SAMME’s Alamo True Metal website link at the top of this article; click “Concert Listings.”
A bunch of bands played the River City Rockfest, but only one headlined the main stage, of course. That group was LINKIN PARK. Vocalist Chester Bennington, who had played the Alamo City a month earlier while fronting Stone Temple Pilots, was in his element with his main band outside the AT&T Center on May 24 (more here).
Austin natives IMMORTAL GUARDIAN, fronted by Carlos Zema, played several bars around San Antonio this year, including this Feb. 7 gig at Papa Woody’s Roadhouse (coverage here). Although the group parted ways with San Antonio guitarist Jyro Alejo (not pictured) later in the year, both parties went on to enjoy a successful year on stage with their respective groups.