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.

Hollywood Vampires Warfield Theater May 12, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner With the release of their second studio album Rise (Out June 21st) mega-super group Hollywood Vampires hit the road for a short seven-date West Coast tour, stopping off at The Warfield Theater recently. Opening their set with the original “I Want My Now,”, the Hollywood Vampires, which includes Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry knocked out an hour and a half long set, which included both older songs and songs off their forthcoming record, as well as a handful of classic cover tunes. Highlights from the set included AC/DC’s “The…

Read More

Ministry Great American Music Hall April 22, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner Presented by Vans, industrial icons Ministry recently wrapped up a six-date run, with all shows including a screening of Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records, a documentary of the seminal Chicago-based electronic music record label. The event was recently hosted at the Great American Music Hall for the San Francisco date, and proved to be quite a special evening. The evening kicked off with the film, which tells the story of Wax Trax! Records and the founders, Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher. It proved to be…

Read More

Michael Schenker Palace of Fine Arts April 19, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner One part legend and one part virtuoso, Michael Schenker has recently gotten back out on the road for leg two of The Michael Schenker Fest Resurrection tour, and he and his band recently pulled into the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for a night filled with classic Michael Schenker songs, and classic Michael Schenker riffs. And judging from his fans that nearly sold out the venue, Schenker is still just as loved as he ever was. Opening the 31-song set with the Scorpions classic “Holiday,”…

Read More

In Flames The Warfield March 18, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner Swedish heavy metal giants In Flames recently released their thirteenth studio album I, the Mask,  and have already been busy touring in support of it. After a quick run with All That Remains from late February and into early March, the band joined up with Within Temptation, directly supporting them for a handful of shows. That tour recently stopped off at the Warfield in San Francisco, and if the show was any indication, In Flames are primed and ready to take it to the next level. After a brief…

Read More

Dream Theater Masonic Auditorium March 24, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner Progressive metal titans Dream Theater are currently out on the road with their The Distance Over Time Tour, which not only supports their latest release of the same name, but also celebrates the 20th anniversary of their seminal Metropolis Pt2. Scenes From a Memory record. The band recently pulled into San Francisco for a show at the Masonic, giving their fans a healthy dose metal from their 30 plus year career. Although the show was a seated affair, many fans were on their feet as the lights dimmed and the band…

Read More

Lords of Acid UC Theatre, Berkeley February 24, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Supporting their latest release, Pretty in Kink, EDM/New Beat icons Lords of Acid are out on the Pretty in Kink tour with a heavy hitter bill that also includes Orgy, Genitorturers, and Gabriel and the Apocalypse. The tour recently rolled into Berkeley’s UC Theatre on a Sunday evening and gave their fans plenty of bass thumping music to move their bodies to. Opening their set with “Sex Bomb,” the band took their places on stage, but not before founder Praga Khan took center stage and admired the crowd, along with vocalist…

Read More

Danko Jones Slim’s February 19, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Canadian rock trio Danko Jones recently embarked on a U.S. west coast tour with Nashville Pussy and Prima Donna, and last week pulled in to Slim’s in San Francisco, where they proceeded to put on a rock show that had their fans almost as excited as they were. Opening their set with “I Gotta Rock,” Danko Jones set the tone for the evening early. Vocalist and guitarist Danko Jones was clearly happy to be on stage and was definitely feeding off of the energy that the fans in the front row…

Read More

Corrosion of Conformity Slim’s January 29, 2017 Photos by Raymond Ahner Supporting their latest release album No Cross No Crown, North Carolina hardcore/heavy metal stalwarts Corrosion of Conformity recently pulled into Slim’s in San Francisco and delivered a blistering set in front of a beyond sold out crowd. With a venue so full that another body could not have possibly been squeezed in, C.O.C. hit the stage with “Stonebreaker” and never looked back, playing some of their biggest songs during the evening. Frontman  Pepper Keenan sounded just as good as ever, delivering every song with the same heaviness as when they were…

Read More

Echo and the Bunnymen Masonic Auditorium December 3, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. England’s long-running post-punk/new wave stalwarts Echo and the Bunnymen stopped off at The Masonic in San Francisco recently, supporting their latest release The Stars, The Oceans, and The Moon, (featuring “reimagined” versions of some of their classics,) sounding just as fresh as they did over 30 years ago. Walking out onto the stage and greeting the crowd with just a ”Hello, San Francisco,” frontman Ian McColloch stepped up to the mic stand (where he stayed for most of the evening) and started their 17-song set with “Going Up,” with…

Read More

Behemoth Regency Ballroom November 23, 201 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Polish blackened death metal titans Behemoth brought their Ecclesia Diabolica America 2018 e.v Tour to the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco recently, and dished out some of their heaviest music yet, much to the delight of their fans who turned the venue into a beyond sold out sweatbox. Taking the stage in masks to the instrumental “Solve” off of their just released I Loved You at Your Darkest record, the band set the stage for what was to follow. Opening with “Wolves ov Siberia,” (also off their latest release), Behemoth wasted no time charging…

Read More

Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly Bill Graham Civic Center September 27, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. In a battle of the Irishmen, Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys have teamed up for one of the most anticipated tours in recent punk rock memory, and if the stop at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic was any indication, the winner of the battle is yet undecided. Opening their set with “Captain Kelly’s Kitchen,” the Dropkick Murphys bombarded the stage with an unbounded energy that didn’t let up even the smallest bit over the next ninety minutes. Frontmen Al Barr and Ken Casey almost…

Read More

The Interrupters Rickshaw Stop October 26, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner.  Hot off the heels of their latest studio release Fight The Good Fight, The Interrupters played their first proper Bay Area headlining show of 2018 at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco recently  (as part of Alt 105’s Monster Mosh) and left little doubt that they are primed and ready to take it to the next level. One of the most visible current ska-punk bands, the show had exactly what fans came to hear. Opening their set with “A Friend Like Me,” The Interrupters’ energy was infectious from the opening…

Read More

Garbage Fox Theater, Oakland October 3, 2018 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of their seminal Version 2.0 album, Garbage recently embarked on a U.S. tour that sees them playing a 17 state-run, playing the album in its entirety, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. The tour recently stopped of the Fox Theater in Oakland Ca., where Shirley Manson and company delivered a 23-song performance, sounding just as good, if not better than they did all those years ago when the record was originally recorded. Opening their set with “Afterglow,” Shirley Manson strutted out onto…

Read More

Metallica Dreamforce September 26, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Presented by Marc Benioff and Salesforce, the 9th annual Dreamfest concert took place in San Francisco’s City Hall Plaza recently and raised over ten million dollars, which will be donated in full to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. Always the highlight of the Dreamforce conference, the evening included something for just about everyone in attendance. Before both Janet Jackson and Metallica entertained the thousands who braved the cold, wind and fog, the evening kicked off with a cocktail reception inside of city hall. There the lucky attendees were treated to an open bar…

Read More

Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling Shoreline Amphitheater, Mt. View September 5, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. In one of the more unique pairings of the Summer concert series, American rock band Evanescence have teamed up with Lindsey Stirling for a thirty-plus date tour as part of Evanescence’s “Synthesis Tour” which has been ongoing since October of 2017. Backed by a complete orchestra, both acts shined during a recent date at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. Evanescence took the stage with the orchestra behind them and opened their set with “Never Go Back” off their most recent release, Synthesis. Vocalist and…

Read More

Killing Joke DNA Lounge September 4, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner In recognition of their fortieth anniversary as a band, UK post-punk stalwarts Killing Joke recently embarked on a thirteen date U.S. tour before heading overseas for another thirty shows that will be seeing them performing in Mexico, Germany, France, Belgium and Italy, (among other countries) before wrapping the whole thing up in their home country. If their recent stop in San Francisco is any indication, the band’s fans are definitely going to get their money’s worth, as they played an extensive setlist that covered every era of their career.…

Read More

David Byrne Fox Theater, Oakland August 16, 2018 With stark production, David Byrne and his ten-piece band put on an over hour and a half show, letting the music do most of the talking. While there were technically no instruments, microphones, or amplifiers on stage, there was definitely plenty of action, as Bryne was constantly moving around and interacting with his band. Highlights from his 21 song setlist included “Burning Down the House,” “Once In a Lifetime,” and “Every Day is a Miracle.” Check out Raymond Ahner’s photos of David Byrne in this slideshow:

Read More

Ace Frehley Cornerstone, Berkeley August 14, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. There is no denying that at this point in his career, Ace Frehley has become a living legend. Even years after departing one of the biggest bands in rock history, he has continued to maintain a successful solo career, touring the world and showing his fans that he’s still got the same guitar chops that have made him one of the most iconic guitarists in rock history. If his recent stop at Cornerstone Craft Beer and Live Music was any indication, he’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.…

Read More

Five Finger Death Punch Shoreline Amphitheater, Mt. View July 24, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Having just released their seventh studio album, And Justice For None, just a few months prior, Las Vegas metal band Five Finger Death Punch have just kicked off a US to support it, bringing Breaking Benjamin, Nothing More, and Bad Wolves along for an evening of music, more than enough pyro and production, and good times for their fans. Their recent show at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View was proof of that. Kicking off their set with “Lift Me Up,” Five Finger Death Punch made…

Read More

Neurosis UC Theatre, Berkeley July 10, 2018 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Nearing 30 years into their career at this point, there is no denying that Neurosis have already long established their legacy. They have more than weathered their way through any storm, and still remain on top of their game, while still growing and continuing to evolving as a band. Their live shows have always been a testament to that, and if the string of sold-out shows on their current tour is any indication, they show absolutely no signs of resting on any laurels, while continuing to keep their music just as,…

Read More