Music Photography by Joe Papeo

2012 Year in Review – My Best Photos

Best photos of 2012

It’s that time of year for photographers to put out their “Best of” list for the previous year.  And then for every other photographer to say things like “Really?”…”That’s their best?”.  I have found that if you put 1,000 photos in front of the photographer who shot them and the same photos in front of a random person and tell them both to pick out the best 50, you will have about 10 of those photos that both people pick.  See, photographers have an emotional connection to the photos they take that makes them a bit biased towards their selections.

So instead, I will call this a year in review.  Might it be a “Best of”?  Sure.  But I am sure others will have opinions that differ.  So here is my year in review…of best of…or simply some of my favorite moments and highlights from 2012, in photos, in the order WordPress decides to upload them.

best photos of 2012-14

One of my favorite photos of the year is Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers at Prudential Center

best photos of 2012-15

This photo of Florence and the Machine at Radio City Music Hall was shortlisted for Nikon-NME Magazine’s Music Photography Contest and hung in the Getty Images Gallery in London

best photos of 2012-17

This photo of The Gaslight Anthem made Rolling Stone’s “Hottest Live Photos”

best photos of 2012-18

best photos of 2012-19

Rolling Stone ran this photo along with their review of Radiohead at Prudential Center

best photos of 2012-20

This photo of fun. made Rolling Stone’s “Hottest Live Photos”

best photos of 2012-21

June  started festival season.  The night before playing Metallica’s Orion Music + More Festival, The Gaslight Anthem co-headlined at House of Blues in Atlantic City with Cage the Elephant.

best photos of 2012-22

And then 2 days of great bands at Orion Music + More starting with Cage the Elephant

best photos of 2012-23

And Arctic Monkees

best photos of 2012-25

Guitar phenom Gary Clark Jr.

best photos of 2012-26

And, of course, Metallica

best photos of 2012-27

best photos of 2012-28

best photos of 2012-29

I got to cover Roger Water’s amazing production of The Wall

best photos of 2012-30

Roger brings children from the local Boys and Girls club to every show to join him on stage.  This time at Yankee Stadium.

best photos of 2012-31

Then over to Warped Tour with New Found Glory

best photos of 2012-32

Central Park Summer Stage has a busy summer with great acts.  This time it was Young the Giant.

best photos of 2012-33

A few days later I was on assignment with Rolling Stone down at Firefly Festival.  My favorite weekend of the year with some amazing bands starting Friday with Walk the Moon.

best photos of 2012-34

Jack White headlined in the rain on night one.

best photos of 2012-35

A spent a little time with Grouplove

best photos of 2012-36

best photos of 2012-37

And then Grouplove and Walk the Moon stormed the stage during Young the Giant’s finale, “My Body”.

best photos of 2012-38

Firefly had Cake

best photos of 2012-39

Hip Hop Superstar Lupe Fiasco

best photos of 2012-40

I spent a lot of time with Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips this year and even took a Hot Air Balloon ride with him.

best photos of 2012-41

best photos of 2012-42

Firefly also had one of my favorite live bands on the planet, Fitz and the Tantrums

best photos of 2012-43

Flaming Lips mapped out all their activity at Firefly

best photos of 2012-44

And the Black Keys closed the weekend with an amazing set

best photos of 2012-45

Mumford and Sons played in front of 15,000 people at Peir A in Hoboken

best photos of 2012-46

The view was awesome that night.

best photos of 2012-47

Slash proved he was the heart and soul of G n R at the Wellmont with Miles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

best photos of 2012-48

best photos of 2012-49

I even shot a show on the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum.  Santigold took the term flight deck literally.

best photos of 2012-50

And Stephen Colbert even got into one of Wayne Coyne’s space bubbles.

best photos of 2012-51

And so did Wayne, obviously.  Everyone wants a space bubble photo, and I have many.  I always wanted to drop down to the floor to shoot up into the bubble, but since there is a ramp in the photo pit, it makes it impossible.  I was in the crowd for the end of the show and had the chance to drop to my knees and get this shot.  One of my favorite of Wayne in a bubble.

best photos of 2012-52

UK pop sensation Marina and the Diamonds started making her mark in the US.

best photos of 2012-53

Alanis Morrisstte toured for the first time in some years.

best photos of 2012-54

Train gave fans what they wanted.

best photos of 2012-55

I then headed down to Made in America Festival in Philadelphia on assignment for Rolling Stone

best photos of 2012-56

best photos of 2012-57

best photos of 2012-58

Made in America was headlined and curated by Jay Z

best photos of 2012-59

The Hives showed why they are one of the best live bands on the planet.

best photos of 2012-60

Run DMC reunited

best photos of 2012-61

Drake also played

best photos of 2012-62

Pearl Jam closed out Made in America festival

best photos of 2012-63

It band Imagine Dragons headlined at Irving Plaza

best photos of 2012-64

best photos of 2012-65

best photos of 2012-66

The Offspring brought their 90s sound to Terminal 5

best photos of 2012-67

I then headed up to Massachusetts for kid-friendly Life is Good Festival.  Here is Allen Stone with a sign language interpreter.

best photos of 2012-68

Allen Stone was nice enough to walk out to the middle of the festival with me so I could grab this shot.

best photos of 2012-69

Michael Franti proposed to a woman on stage to close out day 1.

best photos of 2012-70

The Fresh Beat Band headlined the kids stage.

best photos of 2012-71

And my son got to spend time with them in the photo pit.

best photos of 2012-72

Sharon Jones brought the soul.

best photos of 2012-73

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds closed out the festival.

best photos of 2012-75

The Avett Brothers closed out Central Park Summer Stage for me.

best photos of 2012-76

Gotye fit in very well at Radio City

best photos of 2012-77

Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund put on their benefit show at the Beacon Theatre with acts like Jason Mraz.

best photos of 2012-101

Cyndi played an emotional song with American Idol winner Adam Lambert

best photos of 2012-102

Roberta Flack joined the fun

best photos of 2012-99

And ‘Girls Just wanna Have Fun’ with Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells

best photos of 2012-103

Band of Horses played a unique 2 shows in one night when they did both an acoustic show and electric show at Hammerstein Ballroom

best photos of 2012-104

I had this photo of Black Taxi run in Spin’s Soundcheck

best photos of 2012-1

I got my annual shot of Scott Ian getting air

best photos of 2012-2

Van Halen reunited at Madison Square Garden

best photos of 2012-3

best photos of 2012-4

Jane’s Addiction put on an amazing show at The Wellmont

best photos of 2012-5

best photos of 2012-6

Jim James of My Morning Jacket joined forces for folk super group The New Multitudes at Webster Hall

best photos of 2012-7

I even caught someone using their mouth when I shot Drew Grow an the Pastor’s Wives

best photos of 2012-8

I got to cover Tribes at Mercury Lounge even though they are playing large clubs in the UK.

best photos of 2012-9

The Joy Formidable

best photos of 2012-10

Soul Rock legend Daryl Hall took his “Live from Daryl’s House” on the road

best photos of 2012-11

Bands from my childhood like Squeeze got back together for a tour

best photos of 2012-12

An John Lydon brought PiL on the road

best photos of 2012-82

Morrissey came through NYC solo

best photos of 2012-83

And New Order without Peter Hook came to Roseland Ballroom

best photos of 2012-86

Aerosmith played the Today Show

best photos of 2012-90

Indie Rock giant The Shins at Terminal 5

best photos of 2012-13

Newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Rush played Prudential Center

best photos of 2012-88

best photos of 2012-87

Grunge legends Soundgarden played an intimate record release party for ‘King Animal’ at Irving Plaza

best photos of 2012-94

best photos of 2012-93

Blue Oyster Cult reunited with all 5 original members at Best Buy Theater

best photos of 2012-91

I covered a little Alt Country when Zac Brown Band came to Izod Center

best photos of 2012-96

The music of Tom Petty was celebrated at Webster Hall.  Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon joined in

best photos of 2012-89

Even John McEnroe stopped by

best photos of 2012-1-2

When Levon Helm passed away, his friends put together a benefit to save the barn.  Joe Walsh and Robert Randolph payed their respects.

best photos of 2012-80

Roger Waters headlines an all star cast of musicians and friends

best photos of 2012-81

Matt & Kim brought their energy to the Wellmont Theatre

best photos of 2012-95

Dinosaur Jr got the band back for a show at Terminal 5

best photos of 2012-97

Silversun Pickups played Terminal 5

best photos of 2012-85

Overall, I am amazed to look back at 2012.  I shot so many amazing shows and amazing bands.  These photo make me smile, and I hope they do for you as well.  Maybe you were at one of the shows or just wanted to be and my photos took you there for a quick moment.  I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings.

best photos of 2012-92

Feel free to share this post and leave a comment below.  Let me know if you were at a show or you have a favorite.  Or maybe I missed one you think belongs.

Please help support the site buy buying from Amazon or Adorama  through the link on right.  There is no extra cost to you and I receive a small credit for clicking through my site.


9 Responses to “2012 Year in Review – My Best Photos”

  1. Tricia Boomhower says:

    So glad you posted this! Amazing photos and I can only imagine what happened the rest of the time while you are shooting in the pits or riding in hot air balloons. Very cool.

  2. Larry Hulst says:

    Joe, you have been really busy this year. Great selection of images.

    • Michael Mark says:

      I REALLY want to whine that Joe has better gear, has better access, has lighting setups that I don't… but the truth is, this guy's the eye and he's tuned in like I've never been.

      I wanna grow up to shoot like Joe.

  3. Justin Libano says:

    Always drool over your work Joe. Amazing stuff here!

  4. nice mix nice shots.

  5. Jim Green says:

    Amazing work Joe! I always look forward to seeing it.

Leave a Reply