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.

Santana Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mt. View June 26, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner Celebrating not only the 20th anniversary one of their biggest albums ever, Supernatural, but also the 50th anniversary of their now legendary appearance at Woodstock, Santana brought their Supernatural Now tour to the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View recently, playing a career spanning setlist in front of a sold-out crowd. Opening the set with the Santana classic “Soul Sacrifice,” (complete with video footage of him playing the same song at Woodstock) Carlos Santana and his band hit the stage running. Not even one minute into the song, Carlos…

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Duff McKagan Great American Music Hall June 14, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner Having just released his second solo album entitled Tenderness, Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan has recently been out on the road with outlaw country giant Shooter Jennings in support, with Jennings’ band backing him up during his set. The pair recently stopped off at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco for an intimate evening of country-inspired music. McKagan has an impressive resume that goes way beyond GNR. He formed Neurotic Outsiders, with Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols and John Taylor of Duran Duran…

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The Cult June 12, 2019 Regency Ballroom Photos by Raymond Ahner  With the re-issue of their multi-platinum album Sonic Temple coming soon, The Cult recently performed a handful of dates in both North America and the UK, with a setlist that was highlighted by not only some of the most well-known songs from the album, but also some of their biggest songs from their ten studio album discography. The band recently stopped off at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom for a sold-out show, proving that there is still plenty of gas left in the tank. Opening their 17-song set with the…

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Buckcherry Slim’s June 8, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner Although they are most certainly known for their previous hits, Southern California’s Buckcherry recently released their eighth studio album entitled Warpaint, and are currently out on the road supporting it. They recently pulled into San Francisco’s Slim’s, and if the crowd reaction was any indication, their fans are more than ready to embrace the band’s new music. As the lights house light dimmed and the stage lights lit up (no pun intended), the new album’s artwork behind the drum kit, Buckcherry took the stage and immediately got the crowd going with…

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Avatar June 6, 2019 Fillmore Auditorium Photos by Raymond Ahner Swedish metalists Avatar may have just released The King Live in Paris (recorded from their set at the 2018 Download Festival in Paris) but they are also still out on the road supporting their latest studio album, Avatar Country. The band recently brought their entire production to The Fillmore in San Francisco and proceeded to give the packed to the rafters house exactly what they came for. Avatar has been together for over fifteen years, a major player in the “melodic death metal” space. It sounds like a contradiction but…

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Killing Joke The Chapel May 20, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner After a successful tour of the States in 2018, seminal post-punk stalwarts Killing Joke have returned to US soil to play just a handful of shows, and recently stopped off at The Chapel in San Francisco for a sold-out evening of classics. And judging from the packed to the rafters crowd, the band is just as relevant today as they ever were. Opening their set with “Tomorrow’s World” off their 1980 self-titled record, the four original members were in the groove from the very first moment. Vocalist Jaz Coleman…

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Acoustic-4-A-Cure Fillmore Auditorium May 15, 2019 Photos by Raymond Ahner Now in its sixth year, the annual Sammy Hagar Acoustic-4 A-Cure once again took place at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium on May 15th, and as always, all proceeds will be donated to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital for pediatric cancer research. Just like in years past, all egos were checked at the door, and there was nothing but smiles and an evening of spectacular music coming from the stage. The evening kicked off with Nancy Wilson of Heart joining Hagar, bassist Michael Anthony, guitarist Joe Satriani, and drummer Jason Bonham for…

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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…

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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…

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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,”…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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