The Key’s Year-End Mania: Chris Sikich’s top five concert photos of 2012

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For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, contributing photographer Chris Sikich recounts his five favorite concert images from the year.

The following represent my five favorite concert photos I took this year.

1.Wild Flag, Tuesday, April 3, 2012, Trocadero Theatre, Philadelphia, PA

Very little in contemporary rock is closer to perfection than bringing together Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony, Janet Weiss, and Rebecca Cole in one space. The aural ecstasy that is a Wild Flag concert oozes forth from this shot: Brownstein’s leg-kick, Timony’s guitar crouch, Cole as keyboard-extraordinaire, and Weiss at one with drumming.

Photo by Chris Sikich

2. The Baseball Project, Thursday, June 5, 2012, City Winery, New York, NY

As a musical compendium of eccentric baseball knowledge, The Baseball Project, which is composed of Steve Wynn, Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, and Linda Pitmon, truly rock and roll the listener, with a dash of pure fun for good measure. This night they took the fun to one extreme in this faux shot of anger between rival (at least in the 1991 World Series) Minnesota Twins fans Craig Finn (providing vocals to his song “Don’t Call Them Twinkies”) and Pitmon and Atlanta Braves fan Mike Mills (pinch-hitting for Peter Buck on this night).

Photo by Chris Sikich

3. Andrew Lipke and The Azrael Quartet, Saturday, August 25, 2012, Christ Church, Riverton, NJ

The music of Andrew Lipke lent itself quite well to the reverential surroundings of Christ Church for the concert this photo was snapped at. With help from his Azrael Quartet, Lipke, one of Philadelphia’s most underrated musicians, filled the space with works as varied as apocalyptic tales from his 2011 record The Plague and his lengthy, multi-movement work “Siddqah.”

Photo by Chris Sikich

4. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, Saturday, September 8, Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL

Despite witnessing The Boss four times in Philadelphia and once in New Jersey during his Wrecking Ball tour, I found myself at Chicago’s Wrigley Field with quite a bit of luck in hand: a spot up close in GA. Springsteen certainly did not disappoint, playing his heart out in pouring rain and with the help of not only the magnificent E Street Band but also guests Tom Morello and Eddie Vedder. This shot, taken at the end of a three-hour master class on rock ’n’ roll, brims with the joy of experiencing The Boss.

Photo by Chris Sikich

5. The Minus 5, Yep Roc 15, Saturday, October 13, 2012, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC

Scott McCaughey, complete with his trademark bushy white hair and baseball cap, leaps in this shot, putting a final rush of energy into The Minus 5’s bristling garage-rock set. He is far from done on this third and final night of celebrating Yep Roc Records, as he later joins The Sadies.

Photo by Chris Sikich
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