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.

Udo Dirkschneider Slim’s March 21, 2018 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Udo Dirkschneider may have recently said that he is ready to move on from playing songs from his former band, Accept, live, but not before he completes an extended tour, which recently brought him back to Slim’s in San Francisco for the second time in just over a year. Armed with the same band and a setlist full of Accept classics, Udo delivered the goods and then some. After an opening set from Melbourne Australia’s Elm Street, which primed the crowd for an evening of metal, Dirkschnieder and his band…

Read More

Noel Gallagher Fox Theater, Oakland March 10, 2018 All photos by Raymond Ahner Out on the road to support their latest release Who Built The Moon?, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds pulled into Oakland’s Fox Theater on the Stranded on the Earth Tour recently, and Noel showed his fans that he is by no means living in the shadows of his brother (Liam) or former band (Oasis), and is doing just fine on his own. With a start time of just after 8PM, no support act, and the audience seated in chairs lined up on the floor, it almost didn’t feel like your…

Read More

Earthless Great American Music Hall March 1, 2018 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Supporting their soon to be released fifth studio album Black Heaven (out March 16th on Nuclear Blast), psych-jam aficionados Earthless have been tirelessly out on the road, and recently pulled into the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. With a psychedelic liquid light show courtesy of Mad Alchemy, Earthless delivered a set that was one part jamming, one part riffing, and all parts heavy. Led by guitarist Isaiah Mitchell, the band put the pedal to the metal and kept it there all night, with no complaints from the…

Read More

Marshamello Bill Graham Civic Auditorium January 13, 2018 All photos by Raymond Ahner. It didn’t take long for the distinctive but secretive DJ Marshmello to fire up the crowd at Bill Graham Civic. There’s no way to miss Marshmello with his distinctive marshmallow head gear with LED lighting, and the crowd follows his lead with their own costumes. The streets near Civic Center before the show were as entertaining as the How Weird Festival and Bay to Breakers, with people breaking out their bizarre best. Marshmello, the DJ/Producer who never shows his face, kept everyone dancing all night with groove-oriented…

Read More

Arch Enemy and Trivium Regency Ballroom November 28, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Arch Enemy and Trivium, two of the biggest names in metal today, have teamed up for a fall tour and recently stopped at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco for a night of heavy metal at its finest. After short but inspiring sets from both openers, Fit For An Autopsy and While She Sleeps, Arch Enemy took the stage and proceeded to lay waste to the packed venue. Opening with “The World Is Yours,” off their recently released Will To Power album, the band was on fire from the…

Read More

L.A.M.F. Tribute Great American Music Hall December 4 , 2017 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Although it’s been 40 years since it’s release, L.A.M.F. (“Like A Mother Fucker”) will always be considered one of the most seminal records in punk rock history, and with good reason. Not only is it the only studio album ever released by The Heartbreakers, it also spawned some of the most memorable songs of the in New York music history. Paying tribute to it, sole Heartbreakers survivor Walter Lure was joined by an all-star cast, including Blondie drummer Clem Burke, original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, and…

Read More

Gary Numan Fillmore Auditorium November 19, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Having just released his twenty-first studio album, Savage (Songs From A Broken World), longtime electronic music pioneer Gary Numan brought his current tour the Fillmore in San Francisco recently and gave the beyond sold-out crowd a spectacular night of music which spanned almost four decades. Ever since “Cars” hit the radio waves in 1979, Numan’s songs have been instantly recognizable. Taking the stage to a burst of strobe lights, Gary and his band began the evening with “Ghost Nation,” the opening track from the new record. With the…

Read More

Liam Gallagher The Warfield November 13, 2017 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Having just released his debut solo record As You Were a few weeks prior, ex-Oasis vocalist and founder Liam Gallagher embarked on his very first solo tour recently, with the sold-out San Francisco show at the Warfield Theater being his first stop. Judging from the reaction of his fans, the tour is definitely going to be a success. With minimal production and Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco” being played over the PA, Gallagher and his band walked out onto the stage as the almost over capacity crowd cheered and launched into the Oasis…

Read More

Ministry The Warfield November 5, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Long time Industrial pioneers Ministry brought their current tour to the Warfield Theater in San Francisco recently and proved that still have a little gas left in the tank. Since 1981, the Al Jourgensen-led band out of Chicago has been a dominant force on the industrial scene despite their early electronic pop work. That pop work resulted in the big dance hit, “Everyday is Halloween.” With the stage flanked by two inflatable chickens sporting anti swastika symbols that looked remarkably like our current “president,” founder and only original member remaining…

Read More

Punk in Drublic Concord Pavilion October 29, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. After being postponed for two weeks due to poor air quality from the recent North Bay fires, the Bay Area date of the first Punk in Drublic Festival took place at the Concord Pavilion this past weekend and proved to be well worth the wait. Soon after the gates opened, the concourse of the Pavilion was packed with punks enjoying the free beer samples. With over twenty different local breweries taking part, there was plenty to choose from, including 21st Amendment, Speakeasy, Faction Brewing, and Calicraft to name just a few.…

Read More

Venom, Inc. Slim’s September 20, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Having just released Avé, their first official record as Venom Inc., Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan, Jeff “Mantas” Dunn, and Tony “Abaddon” Bray are out on the road in support of their new album, and if their recent stop at Slim’s San Francisco is any indication, this incarnation of the band is not only the real deal but is also what the fans want to see. As the lights dimmed and the shadows of Mantas, Abaddon, and Demolition Man took their place at the stage with the intro to “Ave Satanas” playing, the…

Read More

Dead Cross UC Theatre, Berkeley August 23, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Dead Cross, the “supergroup” comprised of Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo, along with Justin Pearson and Mike Crain of Retox came through Berkeley recently and aurally assaulted the near capacity crowd with a brief but action packed set. It was a “take no prisoners” show that lived up to every expectation of the well-known musicians on stage. Opening the show with “Seizure and Desist,” the band tore through their debut album at a break neck pace. “Idiopathic,” “Obedience School” and “Grave Slave” all sounded even more frantic live than…

Read More

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers The Greek Theater August 22, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. After a few postponements due to a case of laryngitis, Tom Petty was feeling much better, making a triumphant recovery and return as he and the Heartbreakers delivered a set chock full of hits at a near capacity Greek Theatre in Berkeley. Judging from the crowd’s reaction, they did not hold the postponements against him but instead welcomed him back to Berkeley with open arms. Petty played two nights at The Greek on this tour. Strolling out onto the stage with a huge smile, Petty…

Read More

Korn Shoreline Amphitheater, Mt. View June 22, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. The undisputed kings of alternative metal, Korn, brought their Serenity of Summer tour to a packed Shoreline Amphitheatre last week, and along with a four-band support bill headlined an evening of metal under the stars. Kicking things off with “Rotting in Vain,” off of their latest release The Serenity of Suffering, Korn wasted no time getting their fans on their feet and pumping their fists in the air, as they sang along with every word. With a somewhat stripped down production and a clean stage, the band let their music do…

Read More

Seether The Fillmore June 5, 2017 Having just released their seventh studio album Poison the Parish, hard rock veterans Seether are currently out on the road, and recently returned to San Francisco to play to a near capacity crowd that spent the evening with their fists in the air and singing along to every song. It was obvious After support sets from both Kaleido and Through Fire, who both did a more than respectable job getting the crowd pumped up for the main event, Seether hit the dimly lit stage and tore into “Gasoline,” off of their first album Disclaimer.  It was one…

Read More

With You Cathedrals Buy Vinyl All photos by Raymond Ahner. On the heels of a packed show in San Francisco, Cathedrals share their new single, “With You.”  Of the track, Cathedrals say, “‘With You’ is a song very special to us, especially during these times of turmoil, about finding sanctuary in the person you love. That sense of comfort and peace you find when somebody ‘feels like home’ to you.” It is a different mood than the last two singles, with a dreamier, almost melancholy bent – a bit of a harken back to their first EP. Earlier this Spring, Cathedrals released “Don’t Act Like…

Read More

Jesus & Mary Chain The Fox Theater, Oakland May 20, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Known for their shoegazing, maybe the first band to be called shoegazer, Jesus & Mary Chain put on a dreamy but fuzzy show built on the back of their first album release in many years, Damage and Joy. As always, there wasn’t a big dramatic show, just the two brothers Jim and William Reid and the rest of the band with them presenting a drone-laden sound. While the new album provided many of the songs for the show, they did reach into the back catalog…

Read More

Poptone The Regency Ballroom June 7, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Former Bauhaus, Tones on Tails, and Love and Rockets members Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins have once again joined forces, and along with Haskins daughter Diva Dompe, the trio is currently on the road under the name of Poptone, and are filling venues as they perform the songs from their 30-plus year back catalogue. Opening their set with a driving cover of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel,” Poptone quickly confirmed that the evening was going to be something special. Daniel Ash’s guitar tone was full of the chorus and the Death…

Read More

Hammerfall Social Hall SF May 8, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Out on the road in support of their latest release Built To Last, Swedish power metal band Hammerfall pulled into the Social Hall SF for an evening of fist pumping and horn throwing metal that brought out a good size crowd for a Monday evening. Opening with “Hector’s Hymn” off their (r)Evolution record, Hammerfall didn’t waste any time in getting the crowd energized for the duration of their set. Guitarists Oscar Dronjak and Pontus Norgren provided the energetic guitar riffs that had the near capacity crowd pushing to…

Read More

Flaming Lips The Fox Theater, Oakland May 10, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Calling a Flaming Lips concert a “concert” doesn’t really even come close to doing it justice. It’s part concert, but it’s also a part spectacle, part party, and part circus, all led by frontman and ringmaster Wayne Coyne. Kicking the evening off with “Race for the Prize,” it took all of about two minutes before the stage (and the front row) was covered in confetti and gigantic balloons, which continuously bounced back and forth between the band and the audience members. Most bands would save this…

Read More