Over the past year, I’ve worked as Live For Live Music’s videographer, traveling around the country to film and share videos of countless concerts. As 2017 winds to an end, here is the first part of a two-part series dedicated to collecting my favorite clips from the past twelve months. Enjoy!

Plus, check back tomorrow for part two of the series. Also, in 2018, I will be focusing more of my energies on raising money for children stuck in months-long hospital visits. Click here for more information and to donate.

The Nth Power | “NYE Countdown” > “Right Now” | 12/31/2016 | Hometeam Rally

I started the year off with a bang with The Nth Power at the Hometeam Rally New Year’s Eve Festival in Florida. The band brought out some special guests including the promoters for the countdown before kicking back into their call-to-arms classic “Right Now.”

Galbraith Group |”Jam”  |  1/14/17 | Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park

Having attended so many shows at the Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park over the years, I have become familiar with the members of the Galbraith Group. Recognizing their smiling faces made this blues jams all the more appreciated at the start of the year!

Lettuce | “Kron Dutch” | 1/14/17 |  Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park

Lettuce has put on some amazing shows at The Spirit Of The Suwannee, but their back-to-back shows in January were easily among their finest.

moe. | “Haze-Wicked Awesome” | 1/27/17 | The Plaza Live

moe. jumped off Jam Cruise ready to rock Florida. At their show at The Plaza Live in Orlando, they brought out a fun and very descriptive of their recent journey in this two-song jam that seemed to capture the essence of the atmosphere they had just departed. Enjoy!

Greensky Bluegrass  |”Just To Lie” > “Past My Prime” | 2/9/17 | Madison Theater

It might have been bitter cold in Eastern Kentucky but the Madison Theater was packed to the gills and sweltering by the time Greensky Bluegrass took the stage.

Yonder Mountain String Band | “She Smiles Like You Have Always Been A Friend” | 2/1/17 | Bijou Theatre

Yonder Mountain String Band bassist Ben Kaufmann took advantage of my filming and a simulcast to send a message to his son who was watching on a Facebook live feed. That mission accomplished Kaufmann, alongside guitarist Adam Aijala, proceeded to finish their set within a set with an acoustic take on “She Smiles Like You Have Always Been A Friend”, a rarely played gem.

The Mike Dillon Band | “Seeing The Dead” | 2/12/17 | Cosmic Charlie’s

Sometimes things go wrong when filming live shows. To help combat this, I use multiple sources for audio and video whenever I can. In this particular case, I was compelled to release the audio, as the story of Mike Dillon telling the story of the first time he saw the Grateful Dead was too good to keep to myself, despite only having a static still of his face.

moe. | “Not Coming Down-Wormwood-Opium” | 2/19/17 | SweetWater Brewery

An unseasonably warm outdoor show at the SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta saw moe. happy to shed their coats and enjoy an afternoon in the sun. They were enjoying themselves so much you just knew they were going to do something special and the “Opium” jams in this clip are just that!

Dumpstaphunk | “Sledgehammer” | 3/4/17 | Funk Fest Punta Gorda

Dumpstaphunk jamming Peter Gabriel‘s “Sledgehammer” was one of my favorite moments from Funk Fest.

Fruition | “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” | 3/18/17 | Anastasia Music Festival

The first annual Anastasia Festival was a blast of St. Augustine sunshine. Portland, Oregon’s finest, Fruition, took full advantage of the cheeriness in the air with this bubbling with joy rendition of the Motown classic, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.

Sam Bush | “Old Joe Clark” | 3/18/17 | Anastasia Music Festival

One of the founding fathers of the “New Grass” movement, Sam Bush, has built himself a reputation as one of the friendliest and easiest-to-work-with innovators on the scene. Countless bands like Greensky Bluegrass and Yonder have followed in his wake, and this rendition of “Old Joe Clark” show the master in proper form.

Tornado Rider | 3/25/17 | Suwannee Spring Reunion

Favorites of the Spirit Of The Suwannee festivals, Tornado Rider does a spot-on kids’ set that delights all ages. But, by nightfall and after tucking in most of the youngsters, the more adult-themed set cheerfully goes off the rails. Watch and learn!

Verlon Thompson | “Magnolia Wind” | 3/25/17 | Suwannee Spring Reunion

As much a storyteller as a music man, Verlon Thompson moved many a heart with the story behind the song “Magnolia Wind”, which he expertly weaved into the performance itself. This was a master class in how to not only perform but truly entertain a crowd each show.

Rev. Jeff Mosier | Amazing Grace | 3/26/17 | Suwannee Spring Reunion

The later fiddler Vasser Clemons was honored with a Sunday morning goin’-to-church set at the Suwannee Spring Reunion. The Rev. Jeff Mosier took point for the project, and his rendition of “Amazing Grace”, along with the tale of the tunes origins was a moving moment of musical history and a top highlight of the year.

Lettuce | “Slippin’ Til Your Satisfied” | 3/31/17 | Fool’s Paradise

Funkmasters of Lettuce followed up their previous appearance in this list of top moments with a second high point. Having grown to the point where they host their own festival, it was heartening to see that not only were they refusing to rest on their collective laurels—they were still pushing their boundaries.

The Main Squeeze | “Message To The Lonely” | 4/1/17 | Fool’s Paradise

Watching bands like The Main Squeeze progress is one of the best parts of my gig. Seeing the band’s raw hope and emotion take new audiences by the heart and not let go is always a joy to behold.

The Flaming Lips | “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Part One)” | 4/6/17 | Major Rager

I got a front row spot to see what I could capture during the Flaming Lips’ appearance at the Major Rager festival, and between the inflatable fish men, confetti, and bad-ass performance skills of the Flips, I got some of the coolest visuals of the year during this show.

The Freight Train Band | “Hot Lanta-Trouble No More” | 4/19/17 | Wanee

This emotional tribute to the late Butch Trucks by his own children and a crack band of friends and other family at the Wanee Music Festival earlier this year was highly emotional and completely enthralling. Easily a moment I will never forget.

The Trey Anastasio Band | “O-o-h Child” | 4/21/17 | Wanee

In this clip, one of the finest guitarists alive, Trey Anastasio, takes the time to slow it down and just have fun with a song built around a loving vibe. The end result is a looping bit of joy that had the crowd dancing in the sun.

moe. | “Mar De Mar-George-Time Ed” | 4.27.17 | La Petit Theatre

moe. scheduled themselves a special three-night run in New Orleans for Jazz Fest’s first weekend, the first night being a special show only for folks buying tickets to all three nights. The venue overestimated the amount of room for the band’s equipment truck, necessitating the transfer of the gear by smaller vehicle and on foot. Watching the crew joke and laugh as they worked their asses off made filming and sharing the clips all the sweeter.

The Daze Between Band | “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire On The Mountain” | 5/3/17 | One Eyed Jacks

Not all of these clips were selected for joyful reasons. The “Daze Between Band” was formed for the original idea of throwing a big jam party before the kick off to the second weekend of Jazz Fest, but with the passing of Butch Trucks it became a time to honor him. Then, without warning, Col Bruce Hampton died onstage in front of some of the participants the night before show time.

Shell shocked, we received word that the sold-out show would become a tribute to not just Trucks and Hampton but all the lost lights along the way. Though many things went wrong on the filming side of things, it was all worth it for the chance to help those reeling from the news to give a musical farewell to some of the best.

MJ Vs Stevie Jazz Fest Late Night | “The Way You Make Me Feel” | 5/7/17 | The Howlin’ Wolf

It’s become a tradition for the late-night series of shows that Live For Live Music sponsors during NOLA Jazz Fest end with a back-and-forth showcase showdown between the catalogs of icons Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Under the guidance of Lettuce and Shady Horns trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom, this year saw singer Nigel Hall take the vocals on a stellar rendition of Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” that had the crowd in full voice and all smiles.

Aqueous | “Kid Charlemagne” | 5/25/17 | Summer Camp

Aqueous is some of the cream-of-the-coming-crop of jam bands. Seeing them share the stage with Vinnie Amico from moe. and Joel Cummins from Umphrey’s McGee for such a spirited take on the Steely Dan classic “Kid Charlemagne” was truly impressive.

moe. & Twiddle | “Friend Of The Devil” | 5/26/17 | Summer Camp Music Festival

This special acoustic team-up of members of moe. and Twiddle was in promotion of the musicians’ then-upcoming (but eventually canceled due to illness) Colorado run. Thanks to the wide-angle lens, I was able to really capture the vibe of the performance and the chemistry between fans and musicains.

Keller Williams | “Eyes Of The World” > “Best Feeling In The World” | 5/25/17 | Summer Camp Music Festival

There are several artists who have made Summer Camp an annual chance to connect with their fans, and Keller Williams is at the forefront of that pack. Thanks to the plethora of bands he works with, you never know exactly what to expect, as this blend of a classic Grateful Dead tune and one of his own finest tracks shows.