My Favorite Sets 2019 – Kelly O’Donnell


It is always hard to pick favorite sets for a year’s worth of shows. It was a tough choice but after looking through my photos from the past year I think I got mine narrowed down. I was surprised it wasn’t more genre specific but everyone needs a little variety in their lives, right? Below you’ll find my favorites in no specific order. Enjoy reminiscing. 

Denzel Curry
Denzel is one of my favorite rappers that has walked in to the game for the past 3 or 4 years. I always enjoy his energy, lyricism and the ability to put on an amazing show. When he performed the Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls on Parade” he instantly secured a spot on my top sets list. Not only does he put on a great show but being around such an amped crowd is like no other feeling. I will definitely be seeing him again when he comes back to Minneapolis.

To be honest, I didn’t even know an Interpol song when I signed up to photograph this show. After I photographed this band though, I instantly fell in love. The band played at Palace Theatre and I thought it fit their band vibe SO well. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t followed them before. I was enamored with their multi disco ball setup on stage. It made it impossible to turn away from the stage. Their stage presence was so stoic too and I couldn’t help but get their songs stuck in my head. I think some of my favorite photos I took this year were at this show.


Sunflower Bean
This band is another that I had never heard about before photographing them! This was an opener for Interpol at Palace Theatre. I loved front-women, Julia Cumming. Her vocals were a perfect balance between rough and elegant alternative styled singing. To put it simple, I just loved their classic alternative rock sound, lyrics and their presence on stage. This is another band that I would happily have stuck in my head for days because it’s just so good. 


Okay so now this is a little change up in pace. Watain is a Swedish Death Metal band and they bring the darkness. I had heard rumors of their antics on stage and had to see it for myself. They performed at Fine Line in Minneapolis and it was a packed show. There was an esoteric vibe about this group as they performed a ritual before taking the stage. They even had a half decomposing goat head on stage and bones hung up everywhere. Talk about dark right? The music was intoxicating and I loved the style of the drummer. They are one of those metal bands that you just can’t help but headbang too and scream “YEAHHHHH!!!”, while shaking your fists in the air. Needless to say it was a great show.


Jai Wolf
I will end it on a high note. Jai Wolf’s music is some of my favorite to hula hoop and flow to so I couldn’t miss the opportunity to check him out! Jai performed at the typical EDM venue in the cities, Skyway. The lights and stage drew you in. He sat in a spaceship looking setup and he even had a drum like synth-pad setup so he could create some of the beats on stage. I really appreciate that from electronic musicians these days. It is so easy to just press a button but Jai went above and beyond. I could see how humble he was on stage too. I left the show feeling positive and uplifted. I would go back and see him again in a heartbeat! His performance was so well thought out. 


I can’t wait to see what 2020 concerts and artists have in store for me in the year to come!