Still-live: Rock Photographer Robert Massie

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then Robert Massie’s work

could recite War and Peace. His ability to capture a poignant

moment comes not from simply an artistic vision – as concert photography

is far from an exact science – but rather his perseverance and

dedication each night to get just that one shot.

So to properly look back on such an eventful year in music, we

asked Robert to take us behind the lens, and share his personal

favorite shots of 2003.

Click on an image to enlarge.


25. John Bell, Widespread Panic

One of my favorite performers, caught up in an “unexpected

moment of bliss.” I think that JB had fun playing acoustic

sets this summer, and this was a moment that really typified

his mood during the sit-down sessions.

24. Warren Haynes, Rebirth of the Mule

Haynes is the hardest working man in show business, and

Gov’t Mule has finally been reborn. I love the mystery

this photo seems to convey, a great example of how to

make low light levels still work.



23. DJ Logic

I simply love this shot. ‘Nuff said.

22. Sam Bush

Sam Bush weaves reggae, rock, and soul into his bluegrass

pursuits and it’s truly a pleasure to photograph this mandolin

master taking the crowd to school.



21. Stanton Moore, Galactic

It’s hard for short photographers to see, let alone shoot

drummers. Stanton is one bad ass on the skins, and I was

really happy with this action shot of him looking thrilled

to be rocking Galactic’s audience during their Winter


20. Eric Lanese, Ekoostik Hookah

Proof positive that the golden rule at Hookah shows is

to always expect the unexpected. For their encore this

spring, Lanese came out to sing lead on “Life During Wartime”

dressed in this hilarious getup, complete with his huge

“talking head.”



19. DJ Z-Trip

No one mixes records like Z-Trip does. It’s always a

bit difficult to get good shots of DJ’s at festivals,

but my lens was long enough to catch Z during a booty-shaking

wax throw down in the June heat.

18. Cyro Baptista’s Beat the Donkey

Curtain calls always make for a good opportunity to get

a group shot, but it’s very rare to catch more personality

in a group that this one. Cyro was very kind to me each

time I saw him this summer, and hreally loved this shot.



17. Les Claypool

Caught in the middle of one of his stomping sessions,

the Col. looks like he’s completely absorbed in the groove.

Taken at this year’s phenomenal MidX Music Festival in

West Virginia.

16. Marc Roberge, Of A Revolution

Everfine Records puts on one hell of a show every year

at the “Feeling Better than Everfine” festival. OAR commanded

the crowd, and Marc seemed to be having a great time belting

out tales of heartache and poker.



15. Ephram Towns, Dirty Dozen Brass Band

ET sweats a lot on stage, but I honestly never considered

using it as a focal point. This was one of those times

where an artist looks away right when I’m about to shoot,

but the abstraction actually makes the shot what it is.

14. Guest

Athens, OH’s own Guest invited me to photograph the filming

of their DVD at Columbus’s Newport Music Hall. This is

my favorite group/cover shot of the year and it totally

showcased their lighting rigs.



13. Drew Emmitt, Leftover Salmon

Leftover Salmon’s own mandolin master, Drew Emmitt, gives

my lens a compelling look during a spring show at Cleveland’s


12. Houseman, Galactic

During a riveting version of “Saturday Night Special,”

Houseman assures the audience that “peace” is better than

guns and whiskey. The pattern on his suit made it pretty

easy to focus.



11. Keller Williams

Caught in full sway, Keller’s personality and performance

style really come across well in this shot. I think this

was during “Standing on the Moon” at this year’s Allgood

Festival. And, yes, he does move that much.

10. Eric Gould, Particle

Swimming in the light, Gould holds down the bottom for

one of my favorite groups in the world. 2003 saw the energy

levels and performance quality of their live shows push

straight through the roof and 2004 will be a huge year

for Particle. Clear the Launchpad and get ready for takeoff.



9. Willie Nelson

I love the motion implied in the blurs and streaks in

this shot. Plus, I still get the chills whenever I hear

Willie launch into “Whiskey River.” He is another living

legend, and I feel very fortunate to have had the chance

to capture him performing his art.

8. Warren Haynes, Allman Brothers

It’s tough to catch Warren smiling so big

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