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.

Peter Hook and The Light UC Theater, Berkeley April 28, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Walking out onto the stage at Berkeley’s UC Theater and dedicating the first song of the evening to “Those of you who went and saw New Order last week,” Peter Hook immediately launched into “Dreams Never End,” telling the crowd “Here’s one you didn’t hear.” For the next almost two and a half hours the former and founding member of both Joy Division and New Order and his band deliver a set filled with songs from both bands that he was directly responsible for.…

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NAMM 2017 Anaheim Convention Center January 25-28, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show took place this year in Anaheim as usual. NAMM focuses on the creation, presentation, and propagation of music and features a wide array of instruments, production equipment, lighting, and anything else connected with music. Over 100,000 people attended in the Anaheim Convention Center, taking in the vast displays of gear and enjoying the music played in and around the Center. ESP Guitars announced the release of a new Signature Series guitar for Mastadon guitarist Bill Kelliher. Dubbed the LTD…

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Mac Sabbath Slim’s January 27, 2017 All photos by Raymond Ahner. What happens when you combine one of the most legendary bands of all time with a tongue and cheek social commentary on the fast food industry? Why it’s Mac Sabbath of course! Inspired equally by Black Sabbath as they are by the campy, over the top cartoon-like characters of the world of fast food, the “players” of Mac Sabbath include frontman Ronald Osbourne, guitarist Slayer MacCheeze, bassist Grimalice (who Osbourne refers to as “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butler”), and Catburgler (aka Peter Criss-Cut Fries) on drums. While their…

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The Dictators NYC Slim’s November 10, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Long running proto-punk legends The Dictators NYC rolled into to San Francisco for a raucous show at Slim’s recently and gave the packed crowd a glimpse of New York City at it’s finest. Handsome Dick Manitoba Led by frontman Handsome Dick Manitoba, the Dictators continue to be of the most influential bands to ever come out of New York. Their music is the perfect combination of straight-ahead rock and punk rock, filled with hooks, harmonies, riffs, and most importantly, attitude. With a setlist that included classics “Master Race…

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Primal Scream/Death Valley Girls The Fillmore November 7, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Scottish rock band Primal Scream played the Fillmore in San Francisco last week, one of just a handful of US dates on their current tour. After an earlier San Francisco date supporting The Cult late last year, anticipation was high as Bobby Gillespie and band strutted on to the historic stage. Primal Scream Leading off the show with “Movin On Up,” Primal Scream delivered a precise no nonsense set that was a nice look back into the bands history.  “Loaded,” “Accelerator,” and “Swastika Eyes” were all highlights, while…

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Devil Wears Prada UC Theatre, Berkeley November 4, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Late last week the “Rise Up” Tour rolled into Berkeley for it’s last show, and headliners The Devil Wears Prada put on a metalcore clinic as they blazed through a setlist that highlighted their entire back catalogue. Having just released just released their latest studio record, Transit Blues, on October 7th, the band ripped through a few songs from the record, including “Praise Poison,” “Flyover States,” and ‘Daughter,” as the strobe lights kept up with the frantic guitars. As the mosh pit grew, the band also…

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Pet Shop Boys Fox Theater, Oakland October 28, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Touring on the release of their latest album Super, Pet Shop Boys put on a spectacle to accompany their danceable electro-pop, setting the Fox on fire with stage theatrics and lighting while the audience danced away the night. One thing the duo has mastered is making pure synth-built sound as fresh and “live” as a full band, scaring away the DJ feel that usually results when the band is missing. Flanked by two huge light globes and surrounded by lasers, the Boys wore, as always, unique…

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Shonen Knife DNA Lounge October 6, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Out on the road to celebrate their 35th anniversary, Osaka Japan’s Shonen Knife pulled into the DNA Lounge in San Francisco recently and delivered a 17 song set of pop-punk that sounded just as good now as it did 30 plus years ago. And judging from the smiles of the fans who packed the venue, everyone seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, just like the band. With a discography of over twenty records under their collective belts, a Shonen Knife setlist may be hard to curate, but founding…

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Gojira The Warfield October 7, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Hot on the heels of their new album Magma, Gojira took the stage at The Regency and delivered an insanely loud, dense metal set in a packed Warfield. Anyone who wasn’t sweating by the end of the first song was probably standing outside. The crowd was a mass of motion that rocked everyone against their neighbors throughout. Gojira hails from France and is now that country’s best known metal band. A foursome – Joe Duplantier on vocals and guitars, Mario Duplantier on drums, Christian Andreu on guitar, and Jean-Michel…

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Stinky’s Peepshow Thee Parkside September 24/25, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Stinky’s Peepshow returned to San Francisco for one glorious and action packed weekend and brought back everything that everyone loved about it when it was an institution over a decade ago. From a great mix of punk, garage, and metal bands to the peepshows with the large and lovely dancers shaking their goods to sounds spun by four old school Stinky’s DJ’s, the two-day festival offered something for everyone who braved one of the warmest weekends San Francisco has seen this summer and made their way over to…

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Rock Against the TPP Regency Ballroom September 9, 2016 Photos by Raymond Ahner. Rock Against the TPP is a massive effort to sound the alarm about the toxic backroom deal that is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Through a series of large-scale educational concert events, protests, teach-ins, and trainings, Rock Against the TPP is reaching thousands of people who haven’t heard about the TPP yet, and ignite a movement to stop it in its tracks. The tour is a partnership between viral internet freedom nonprofit Fight for the Future and Firebrand Records, the new record label co-founded by Ryan Harvey and Tom…

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Heart, Cheap Trick, Joan Jett Shoreline Amphitheater August 24, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Cheap Trick have joined forces this summer for the “Rock Hall Three For All” tour, which is less of a tour and more of a celebration of all three bands being recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And if their recent stop at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View was any indication, all three bands show no signs of slowing it down or hanging it up quite yet. Cheap Trick Cheap Trick hit the…

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Vans Warped Tour Shoreline Amphitheater August 6, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. For over twenty years, the Warped Tour has taken punk and other bands around the country to large outdoor audiences. A staple on the summer festival schedule, Warped has been at Shoreline for years. Check out this slideshow of photos from 2016’s Warped Tour.

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Korn and Rob Zombie Shoreline Amphitheater, Mt. View July 29, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Korn, Rob Zombie, and In This Moment brought the ‘Return of the Dreads’ tour to the Shoreline Amphitheatre recently, and proved just why it has been one of the most anticipated metal tours of the Summer. Korn Nu-Metal pioneers and headliners Korn delivered a set of some of there most well known songs, including “Here to Stay,” “Coming Undone,” “Got the Live,” and “Freak on a Leash.” They also played a new song entitled “Rotting In Vain.” While musicianship is not part of Korn’s…

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The Cult Mountain Winery June 5, 2016 All photos by Raymond Ahner. Having released their tenth studio album earlier this year (Hidden City, Cooking Vinyl), The Cult have been out on the road supporting it, also playing a handful of songs from their 30 plus year career along the way. The Cult hit the stage at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga just as the sun had set and immediately launched into “Wildflower,” off their Love record. It put the near sold out crowd on their feet, and over the next 90 minutes vocalist Ian Astbury did his best to make…

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