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.

The Melvins Great American Music Hall September 5, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Because supporting Ministry on the Industrial Strength Tour, and then headlining the Electric Roach Tour so far this year wasn’t enough, the legendary Melvins just hit the road for The Five Legged Tour, which will see them traverse across the country for seven weeks, before returning to the West Coast to play the Halloween Freakout on October 29. The band recently kicked off the tour at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, which has hosted the band more than any other during their storied existence. Taking the stage to the theme song from Sanford…

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Circle Jerks UC Theatre, Berkeley August 26, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Now almost a year in, the reunited Circle Jerks continue to trek on during their 85-date U.S. Tour,  and recently pulled their “vintage” tour bus up to the UC Theatre in Berkeley for two sold out nights, giving the venue a healthy dose of American hardcore. And judging from the crowd’s reaction, they may need to add a few dates, and extend the tour. 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…

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Five Finger Death Punch Shoreline Amphitheater, Mt. View August 23, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Having just released their ninth studio album, Afterlife, Five Finger Death Punch recently hit the road for a four month caravan across the U.S., and recently stopped off at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View for a warm summer evening of hard rock that brought out fans from all over the Bay Area. Judging from the fans’ reaction, the band still has what it takes after all these years. Although their 13 song setlist from the evening featured more “hits” than it did songs from the…

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X The Masonic Auditorium August 11, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Punk Rock legends X, who are now in their staggering 44th year as a band, recently hit the road with 80s icons Psychedelic Furs for a 230date tour which saw them going coast to coast together once again, after the two bands toured together in 2018. Being one of the longest running and most influential bands in punk rock history, X were the perfect choice to support the Furs, and judging from the packed room during their stop at San Francisco’s Masonic Auditorium, everyone in attendance seemed to agree. Taking…

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The Melvins The Cornerstone, Berkeley July 20, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner The legendary Melvins, who earlier in the year supported Ministry on the Industrial Strength Tour, just wrapped up the Electric Roach Tour, during which they headlined twenty six shows in six weeks before wrapping it all up with a beyond sold-out show at the Cornerstone in Berkeley. With Helms Alee and Harsh Mellow along for the ride, it was the perfect way to end the tour. Taking the stage to the theme song from Sanford and Son, the Melvins opened their set with “Oven,” and proceeded to put on…

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Anthrax Heart Health Park, Sacramento July 30, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Finally having the opportunity to celebrate their 40th anniversary as a band with their fans, thrash metal stalwarts Anthrax recently embarked on a month long 24-show tour, which will see them going coast to coast before wrapping it all up with a show at The Fillmore in Philadelphia on August 28. Both Black Label Society and Hatebreed are along for the ride, and judging from the show at Heart Health Park in Sacramento, it is the perfect metal bill of the Summer. Opening their set with “Among the Living,” Anthrax took…

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Subhumans Great American Music Hall July 15, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner. After postponing their 2020 West Coast tour for obvious reasons, seminal English anarcho punk band Subhumans finally hit U.S. shores earlier this month for 18 West Coast dates, including a tour opening sold out show at one of San Francisco’s most iconic venues, the Great American Music Hall. The Bay Area punks were out in full force, and judging from the stage divers and the action in the pit, a good time was had by all. As the lights dimmed and the band hit the stage, lead vocalist Dick…

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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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