Music is ALIVE!

My brother is a musician and an entepenure. He somehow makes it work while holding a full time job. So I’ve seen the struggles of paying to pursue your passion. It tears me apart knowing how corrupt the music industry is. He started a website that turned into this huge thing.

Photographers and writers volunteer to capture the event and write reviews about performances here in Minnesota. It’s brilliant! The website has brought people together in such an amazing way. So one night he posted an event and I volunteered to photograph it. Here’s my take on the event…..

crowd, fans, concert

Reunion show

“Lower your expectations, all the way to the ground” that’s exactly what I did when I read the ridiculous cover charge of $5-$10 for this show.


Holiday Reunion

The Role Call

The Picture Perfect

Love Out Loud

Give it up

It was weird!


I was waiting to get in and everyone was embracing each other, so many bro hugs!


Luckily, I didn’t just stumble into this venue and stay confused as hell. I had a personal narrator to understand this nostalgic reunion. The artists performing were formally in bands together. They performed in garages, basements, stages, and even toured together. Their loyal fans/family came to welcome them back for the holidays.


So… these bands aren’t bands anymore….lower your expectations.


Well known names and great musicians but they haven’t been together to perform or practice in how long?  I knew it was going to be a shit show. I imagined sloppy music, awful production, I started planning a reason to leave early.

My narrator filled me in on all the impressive backgrounds and accomplishments of each artist. They were no longer just artists, they’re husbands, dads, entrepreneurs, activists, leaders.

It was quite amazing to me that these people went their separate ways but came together for an intimate performance as if it were a Christmas gift, or a “thank you” to their fans.


The music starts and I’m blown away! They actually sound great! The lighting, the music, the performance, everything was outstanding. I would have never guessed they weren’t performing on a regular basis together.

I couldn’t help but feel the family vibe. They were all so happy, hugging on stage, grinning ear to ear.


One band took a break to annonce all the merch was free and donations could be left in the box for the guitarists’ family as his dad was fighting an illness. The bands after that announced their merchandise was free and to donate to the family as well.


Ah Come on, I was so ready to hate on this show. You’re making it impossible.


Sneaky guest performers hop on stage, my narator fills me in as everyone goes crazy.

I found myself liking the fans just as much as the music. Usually a photographer has to budge their way to the front and piss everyone off to get some decent shots. The front row fans saw my camera, smiled, and made

 a hole. I wish all concerts were like this.


“Who are you here to see?”

“My son is the lead singer up next.”


His mom was beaming to see him on stage, soaking up every moment of him on stage. I’m sure her phone was full of pictures and video.


“He misses this. I’m so happy to watch him performing again”

Ahh my heart!  


A wife of an artist said

“This is so fun to see him in this light. I met him after his band days”


I was talking to another musician that “grew up” and now works highly respected job. I asked what he’d rather be doing for a living

“This, I’d be doing this”


As much as I enjoyed this show, I had a heavy heart knowing they were all going their separate ways again. They sounded amazing, everyone was having such a good time.  They loved this, the music, the people, the stage. It was like a dream they had to wake up from eventually.


It’s a bittersweet production but there was a lesson that I took away from it all.


Music isn’t just chords and beats. It’s a vessel!  These bands might be history but they created a tight knit family with so much diversity. The music they put into the world created this group. The old and young, the strange and mainstream, the suits and piercings. They were all together and so… fucking…. Happy! Music connects humans. We need more music, more love, more happiness.



What is a Veteran

I was asked to speak at a Catholic school for veterans day. I hope you didn’t just spit out your wine, I mean coffee, like I did when I read the request.  4 valid reasons I should not speak at a Catholic school:

  1. I’m not religious
  2. I have colorful language
  3. I’m not a public speaker
  4. I’m not good with kids

So I told one of my friends and she said “no way”… instantly the ass hole competitive side kicked in and said “watch me”.

I agreed… had no idea what to say… I looked to my daughter for inspiration… And realized that simplicity is key.

“We thank veterans for fighting bad guys”

That was my message for the elementary kids.

Calinn’s Chaos


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