Author: Raymond Ahner

Raymond Ahner, a professional freelance photographer residing in San Francisco, California, is the Photography Editor for SF Sonic. Growing up in the Bay Area, Raymond was lucky enough to witness both the Punk and Thrash Metal scene of the 1980's explode literally right in front of his eyes. It was a pretty special time in his life and is what instilled his love for live music. Over the years Raymond has been fortunate enough to combine his passion for live music with his love of photography. And although he will always love shooting the big arena Rock show, it is in a tiny, packed to the rafters club were he his most at home with his gear.

Max and Iggor Cavalera Great American Music Hall June 16, 2022 All photos by Raymond Ahner Brothers Max and Iggor Cavalera, who co-founded the iconic Brazilian metal band Sepultura in 1984, recently announced that they would be touring together to play material from their former band’s biggest two records, Beneath the Remains and Arise. Billed as “Return : Beneath Arise,” the brothers recently steamrolled into the Great American Music Hall for not one, but two nights of pounding metal that brought Bay Area metalheads out of the woodwork to witness what will hopefully not be a once in a lifetime…

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Ann Wilson Great American Music Hall May 4, 2022 Photo by Raymond Ahner, Having just released her third studio solo record, Fierce Bliss, Heart vocalist Ann Wilson has hit the road in support of it, and recently played the Great American Music Hall on the opening night of the tour. And judging from the packed room that included generations of fans, the tour will undoubtedly be a success. The show may have been an all-seated affair, but that didn’t stop the fans from getting on their feet as the lights dimmed and Ann took the stage with her band. Kicking off…

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Bauhaus The Masonic May 22, 2022 All photos by Raymond Ahner (IG – raymond_ahner) After announcing their first tour in over 16 years earlier this spring, post-punk icons Bauhaus finally hit the road, and after a smashingly successful appearance at the Cruel World Festival, as well as a tour opening show in Portland, the band finally returned to San Francisco, playing two nights at the Masonic Auditorium. SF Sonic was on hand for night one, where they put on a spectacular performance, digging deep into their back-catalogue of songs, while keeping their fans 110 percent engaged for the entire evening.…

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Ministry The Warfield April 16, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner (IG – raymond_ahner) After over two years and multiple support band changes, The Industrial Strength Tour finally hit the road (and recently wrapped up) earlier this week, but not before steamrolling into San Francisco’s Warfield Theater. Headliners Ministry were not only celebrating their latest release ( ‘Moral Hygiene’ – Nuclear Blast) but also the 30+ year anniversary of The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste, which was released in 1989. With (the) Melvins and Corrosion of Conformity both along for the ride, it was definitely an evening to remember.…

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Lindsey Buckingham Palace of Fine Arts April 5, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner (IG – raymond_ahner) Earlier last year Lindsey Buckingham announced not only the release of his first solo album since 2011, (and his first album following his departure from Fleetwood Mac) but also a North American tour. The current leg of the tour recently kicked off at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, where he performed a nearly two-hour set to a packed house. Taking the stage with his band at precisely 7:55pm, Lindsey first addressed the crowd and apologized for the absence of keyboard player…

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Tears for Fears Concord Pavilion, June 1, 2022 Shoreline Amphitheatre, June 2, 2022 Buy Tickets Having just released their first record in seventeen years, (Tipping Point) iconic British duo Tears for Fears recently announced the first leg of their world tour, which will be stopping off in the Bay Area on June 1, 2022 at the Concord Pavilion, and June 2, 200 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Ca. The tour will also feature 90’s alt rock icons Garbage, who will be playing support for the shows. “We couldn’t be more excited to start playing concerts again. We’ve missed…

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Mayhem Regency Ballroom March 9, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Norwegian black metaller’s Mayhem recently embarked on the “Sanguine Sodomy of North America Tour,” and kicked off the festivities with a near sold out show at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. The tour, which also includes Cleveland’s own Midnight, was also going to feature Watain, who unfortunately had to pull out due to visa complications. Although there were some disappointed fans, both Mayhem and Midnight did not let that stop them from blowing the roof of the place, and delivered an epic evening of black metal that left absolutely no one…

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The Go-Go’s Masonic Auditorium March 24, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner (IG: raymond_ahner) After two previous attempts in the last two and a half years, The Go-Go’s finally returned to San Francisco recently, stopping off at The Masonic Auditorium for the first show of their mini West Coast tour. The recent Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees proved to the near sold out crowd that it was worth the wait though, playing a high energy show that brought out all of the hits. Taking the stage to Blondie’s “Rip Her to Shreds” playing over the PA, the Go-Go’s wasted no…

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The Darkness Regency Ballroom March 16, 2022 All photos by Raymond Ahner After the pandemic put the brakes on their 2020 world tour, Britain’s The Darkness announced in late 2021 that they would finally be making it back across the pond. The band are currently in the midst of a 34-date US. tour, and recently pulled into the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. And judging from the fans’ reaction, it was about time. Led by vocalist/guitarist Justin Hawkins, the band wasted no time in kicking things into high gear. They opened with “Welcome Tae Glasgae,” and from there the undeniable…

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Circle Jerks Fillmore Auditorium February 25, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner. After an almost two year delay (and after a teaser of what was to come at Punk Rock Bowling in October of 2021), the reunited Circle Jerks finally kicked off their much anticipated tour recently, and pulled their “vintage” tour bus up to The Fillmore in San Francisco, giving the nearly sold-out venue a healthy dose of American hardcore. Casually strolling onto the stage while surveying the audience, frontman Keith Morris introduced the latest incarnation of the band (Greg Hetson on guitar, Zander Schloss on bass, and Joey Castillo…

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Gary Numan The Fillmore February 24, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner. After postponing his Intruder tour in the fall of 2021 due to the pandemic, Gary Numan was finally able to reschedule the tour for early 2022, and recently stopped off at The Fillmore  for his first San Francisco date in over four years. And judging from the near sold-out crowd who were singing along to every song, it was well worth the wait. Taking the stage with his band and immediately kicking things off with Intruder, the title track from his twenty-first and latest studio album, Gary Numan wasted no time…

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Slash Warfield Theater February 12, 2022 All photos by Raymond Ahner Hot off the Heels of the release of their latest album 4, Slash with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators rolled into San Francisco last Saturday night, playing the Warfield Theater to a near capacity crowd. And judging from the fans’s reactions, it was about time that they returned to the city to give them what they have waited over two years for. Opening their nearly two-hour set with “Driving Rain,” the band wasted no time in getting the crowd pumped up for what was still to come. While Slash catered…

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Smith/Kotzen Goldfield Trading Post, Roseville January 26, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner After releasing their self-titled Smith/Kotzen album in March of 2021, Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen announced a string of live shows up and down the west coast during January and recently stopped off at the Goldfield Trading Post in Roseville, putting on a stellar show for the near capacity crowd who were fortunate enough to be in attendance. Opening their set with “Taking My Chances,” (which also happens to be the first song on their debut album)  Smith and Kotzen, along with their band, which features Richie’s wife Julia…

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Ghost Reno Events Center, Reno January 25, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner One of the most anticipated tours of 2022 kicked off in Reno this week, with Ghost, Volbeat, and Twin Temple playing to a near sold out crowd at the Reno Events Center, in Reno, Nevada. And judging from all the headbanging taking place, as well as the number of horns thrown into the air, the bands most certainly did not disappoint. Opening their headlining set with the live debut “Kaisarion,” (from their fifth studio album Impera, which will be released on March 11th), frontman Papa Emeritus IV proceeded to make his…

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Me First and the Gimme Gimmes UC Theatre, Berkeley December 10, 2021 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Punk rock “supergroup” Me First and the Gimme Gimmes brought an overdose of holiday cheer to the U.C Theatre in Berkeley recently, and celebrated the Christmas season as only they can. With a stage decked out with faux snow, tacky Christmas trees, and plenty of glitter, it was the perfect way to ring in the holidays. Opening the show with the Eartha Kitt classic “Santa Baby,” the group tore through a 20-song setlist that included some of their standard covers, including “Jolene,” (Dolly Parton)…

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Bad Religion Masonic Auditorium December 12, 2021 All photos by Raymond Ahner. After postponing their original November date due to possible COVID exposure, Bad Religion finally returned to San Francisco earlier this month, and gave their fans a healthy dose of much needed punk rock. And judging from the reaction of the packed venue which sang along to every word, it was well worth the wait. The band opened their whopping 23-song setlist with “New Dark Ages,” and were immediately firing on all cylinders. Vocalist Greg Graffin was his usual animated self, and was almost single handedly directing the crowd. He did have help however, as…

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Mastodon and Opeth Fox Theater, Oakland December 2, 2021 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Metal heavy hitters Mastodon and Opeth recently joined forces for a quick fifteen date co-headlining tour, and earlier this month they pulled into  Fox Theater, where they played to a packed crowd who had waited almost three years for both bands to return to the Bay Area. Bringing along avant garde metallers Zeal and Ardor, the night was filled with plenty of riffs. Having just released their eighth studio album, Hushed and Grim (which also serves as a tribute to their late manager Nick John who…

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GWAR Regency Ballroom November 21, 2021 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of their Scumdogs of the Universe record, GWAR has embarked on the “Scumdogs 30th Anniversary Tour,” and recently rolled it into the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. With strict COVID protocols in place, fans still packed the venue for an evening of soaking wet, messy metal. As the lights dimmed to Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” over the PA, the ceremonial beheading that has become a ritual to start off every GWAR show took place, drenching the front row with red and green liquid. The band then kicked…

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Rival Sons Warfield Theater November 11, 2021 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Celebrating the tenth anniversary of their 2011record Pressure and Time, Long Beach rockers Rival Sons kicked off the Pressure and Time Tour earlier this Fall, and recently pulled up for a near end of the tour date at San Francisco’s Warfield Theater. The band opened their set on this night by playing the Pressure and Time record in its entirety, with highlights including “Young Love,” “Burn Down Los Angeles,” “White Noise” and “Face of Light.” With both the drums and the backline somewhat deep back on the stage, vocalist Jay…

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Cradle of Filth  Regency Theater October , 2021 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Wrapping up their Lustmord and Tourgasm U.S. tour with one final show at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco recently, U.K. metal stalwarts Cradle of Filth not only played their classic 1998 concept album Cruelty and the Beast in its entirety, but also tore through an encore which included some of their most well known songs. The metalheads in attendance most certainly didn’t seem to mind. Highlights from the band’s set included “Beneath the Howling Stars,” “Bathory Aria,” and “The Twisted Nails of Faith,” before a five song encore,…

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