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.

Sunn O))) Great American Music Hall January 24, 2023 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Just when you think that they can’t possibly add to their ongoing legacy, drone metal masters Sunn O))) have stripped down to the 2 two core founding members Greg Anderson and Stephen O’ Malley for a project known as Shoshin  (初心) Duo. The pair have been on the road for a 14 date tour, and recently pulled up to the Great American Music Hall for a two night stint, bringing all the smoke, strobes, and volume that they always have, and possibly even more. With a wall of amplifiers that consumed a good portion…

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Anthrax Fox Theater, Oakland February 18, 2023 Buy Tickets Someone once said that “anything worth doing is worth doing twice.” So, Metalheads, 2023 is going to kick off with a brand new round of some of the finest thrash and heavy metal to grace North American stages. Co-headliners Anthrax and Black Label Society, who tore through the country this past summer with their iconic thrash/heavy metal, will be heading back on the road for a 25-date tour, making stops in all new markets, with both bands playing headline sets. Joining Anthrax and Black Label Society as Special Guest on this…

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Steel Panther The Fillmore Auditorium January 5, 2023 Photos by Raymond Ahner. With their forthcoming sixth studio album (On the Prowl) being released on February 24th, parody hair-metallers Steel Panther recently kicked off a 37-date tour at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco recently, playing to a packed crowd who sang along to every word. Opening their set with “Goin’ in the Back Door,” the band wasted no time in bringing their sometimes X-Rated, yet tongue and cheek humor with them. Most bands fans might be more than a little offended by the song titles, lyrics, and between song banter, but not Steel Panther’s.…

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Twin Temple Great American Music Hall December 30/31, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner. After a very eventful 2022 which saw them support Ghost and Volbeat, as well as their headlining their own Satanic Orgy Tour, Twin Temple wrapped up the year with two shows at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall on December 30th, and December 31st. The near biblical rain during the day of the New Year’s Eve show didn’t stop their fans, as many lined up in front of the venue early, waiting to get inside. From their opening ceremony in which they denounced sexism, racism, transphobia, and…

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Fishbone Great American Music Hall December 15, 2022 Photod by Raymond Ahner The legendary Fishbone recently announced their “Red Hot Holiday Tour,” which saw them play 8 shows up and down the west coast in just 10 days. One of those shows just so happened to be held at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, where the band played a near sold-out show for their long-time Bay Area fans. It was their first time back in San Francisco in a year, and they definitely gave those in attendance their money’s worth, playing a career spanning setlist that included…

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W.A.S.P. The Regency Ballroom December 9, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Hitting the road for their first U.S. tour in over a decade, Los Angeles metal legends W.A.S.P. recently hit the road to celebrate their fortieth anniversary as a band. The 28-date trek saw the band zig-zagging across the country before pulling up to San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom on December 9th. Led by founding member Blackie Lawless, the band played a ten song setlist that covered most of their storied career. The rabid sold-out crowd  not only ate it up, but also sang along to every word. As the road…

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AFI Fox Theater, Oakland November 23, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner After postponing their Bodies tour earlier this year due to the still ongoing pandemic, California’s own AFI finally returned to the Bay Area for a hometown show, playing to a near sold out crowd at Oalkland’s Fox Theater. Although it was the night before Thanksgiving, that didn’t stop their fans from coming out in droves to sing along to every song. As the lights dimmed, the band hit the stage already full of energy, which was only a small glimpse of what was to come. By the time they launched into…

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Cannibal Corpse The Regency Theater November 21, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Death Metal veterans Cannibal Corpse have hit the road in support of their fifteenth studio record Violence Unimagined, and have brought along Swedish black metaler’s Dark Funeral, American death metal legends Immolation, and New York American balck metal stalwarts Black Anvil. The tour recently steamed-rolled its way to the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, and delivered a brutal night of metal at it’s finest to a beyond sold out crowd. As the now beyond capacity crowd packed the main ballroom, Cannibal Corpse hit the stage and immediately launched…

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Arcade Fire Bill Graham Civic Auditorium November 19, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Not letting the recent allegations against vocalist Win Butler stop them, Montreal’s Arcade Fire have been out on the road supporting their sixth studio album WE, and recently stopped off in San Francisco for a two-night, near sold out affair at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Judging from the fans reaction to the bands music, their fans didn’t seem too worried about the controversy, and were more focused on their own dance moves, while singing along to every song. As the lights dimmed, the band entered the…

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Testament with Exodus and Death Angel San Jose Civic Center, San Jose October 15, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner After a summer in Europe, and then a full  25-date US tour, San Francisco Bay Area thrash legends Testament, Exodus, and Death Angel brought their The Bay Strikes Back Tour back to the Bay Area for the final show of the tour, definitely saving the best for last. All three bands were on fire, and judging from the near capacity crowd, the Bay Area metal scene is not only still alive, but very much still thriving. Headlining the show, Testament did…

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Puscifer The Warfield October 13, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Part concert and part theater production, Puscifer (a side project of Tool frontman Maynard Keenan) brought their Existential Reckoning Tour 2.0 – Let the Probing Continue tour to San Francisco’s Warfield Theater last week for its opening night, and put on a spectacle that left fans of the band not sure what that had just witnessed, but without a doubt quite impressed at the same time. During the pandemic, the band released four concert films, and finally have had the chance to act them out on the road. Split into…

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Michael Schenker Great American Music Hall September 29, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Celebrating his 50 years performing live, the legendary Michael Schenker recently hit the road for his 50th Anniversary Universal Tour which will see him play over 30 dates across the country, before heading to Japan. Multiple shows have already sold out well in advance, including the recent stop at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. With a lineup that includes Ronnie Romero on vocals, Steve Mann on guitar and keyboards, Barend Courbois on bass, and Bodo Schoph on drums, the band tore through a 17 song setlist…

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Iron Maiden Concord Pavilion September 27, 2022 Photos by Raymond Ahner Returning to the Bay Area for the first time since September of 2019, the nothing short of legendary Iron Maiden returned to these parts for a nearly sold out, two hour show that saw multiple set changes, plentyof pyro, and a career spanning set list. For most bands that may seem like a big deal, but for Iron Maiden, it’s simply par for the course. The band is touring in support of their seventeenth, and latest release, Senjutsu, but made sure to include some of their biggest songs into…

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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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