These photos capture local music’s big moments, from Lola’s last stand in Fort Worth to Deep Ellum’s big birthday

This year, we’re looking back at the photos taken by our music journalist Jessica Waffles.  Waffles captured so many special moments in the North Texas music scene, both sad and celebratory. Here are some that moved her most.


A woman sings in front of a stage with image that says "Stand with Ukraine"

Ludmlla Kasyanenko performs the song “Ukraine in my Heart Forever.” Photo: Jessica Waffles1. “Dallas Says No To War” 

North Texans showed up to support “Dallas Says No To War,” a Ukrainian Benefit Concert at Amplified (formerly Gas Monkey) in Dallas on March 27. This event was a beautiful gathering of the DFW music community coming together to support Ukraine.

See: Ukraine article & photos on KXT

A full band on stage

Skinny Cooks captivated the audience at the Deep Ellum 100 live recording show at Trees. Photo: Jessica Waffles

2. Deep Ellum 100 celebrates Deep Ellum’s 150th Anniversary

Deep Ellum 100 hosted their celebration for the 150th anniversary of the Deep Ellum neighborhood on October 5, showcasing some of North Texas’ most notable artists. In this photo, the Skinny Cooks bring their unique brand of elevated music, making everyone wish they had more than two songs on the setlist.

See: Deep Ellum 100 article & photos on KXT

A young man sitting down signing show posters at a table

Jack Barksdale signing posters in the green room after the show for The Kessler Theater. Photo: Jessica Waffles

3. Jack Barksdale releases debut full-length album at The Kessler

Jack Barksdale released his first full-length album Death of a Hummingbird at The Kessler Theater, showcasing the 15-year-old’s transformation to a full-fledged headliner since he started performing at the age of nine. It was a heart-warming moment in this young artist’s career. Getting to see him headline at The Kessler for the first time in this stage of his life was a treat.

See: Jack Barksdale article, video & photos on KXT

A group of people on stage hold cups to cheers with the whole crowd

The Royal Sons called Lola’s owner Brian Forella to the stage to help close out the last Friday night at Lola’s Saloon. Photo: Jessica Waffles

4. “The Last Stand” at Lola’s Saloon

A few tears were shed this May, as Lola’s Saloon celebrated its last weekend at the legendary 6th Street location. The iconic venue moved to its new home on Berry Street, closing out the last show inside Lola’s Saloon with the Royal Sons toasting to all the memories on stage.

See: Lola’s article & photos on KXT

A full band on stage

Baby Snakes and The Texas Gentlemen at Double Wide. (left to right) Dancey Jenkins, Nik Lee, Jeff Saenz, Scott Lee, Ryan Ake. Photo: Jessica Waffles

5. Jeff Saenz returns to the stage after making a remarkable recovery from near-death experience

Jeff Saenz aka “Baby Snakes” played Double Wide with The Texas Gentlemen, celebrating his recovery after suffering severe burns and loss of limbs when he grabbed a downed power line.Many attendees grinned from ear to ear as they watched Saenz lead The Texas Gentlemen on stage through a set of cover songs that reflected his feelings beneath the wave of humbling support the community has shown him.

See: Jeff Saenz article & photos on KXT

A woman sings while a man plays guitar

Arlo Parks stopped in at KXT for a Live Session ahead of her show at Southside Ballroom on April 7. Photo: Jessica Waffles

6. Arlo Parks inside the KXT Studio

Personally, this one marked a rare moment in my career. This intimate setting with an international artist I’ve admired was a unique special moment that felt like a culmination of all the effort I’ve put forward into my work so far. Getting take behind-the-scenes photos and hear songs I love in a room with less than a dozen people was one for the books.

See: Arlo Parks article & photos on KXT

A band on stage performs

The Bastards of Soul performed without their frontman Chadwick Murray for the posthumous release of their 2nd album Corners. Photo: Jessica Waffles

7. Bastards of Soul’s posthumous album release at The Kessler

The posthumous album release of Corners by the Bastards Of Soul at the Kessler Theater was an emotionally bittersweet event, as the culmination of the band’s efforts came together to celebrate their 2nd studio album, without their fearless leader Chadwick Murray. Murray’s sudden passing in September 2021 cut deep into the heart of the North Texas music scene, as he had become known for his spirited vocal performances that struck a chord with audiences, essentially bringing the vibe of old school soul music to the stage in a time capsule of his own making.

See: Bastards Of Soul article & photos on KXT

A drummer on stage

JD Beck’s performance carried the ease of a master, with his skill and lighthearted stage presence on display. Photo: Jessica Waffles

8. DOMi & JD Beck return to Dallas after 3 years

Disruptive jazz duo DOMi & JD Beck started their debut album NOT TiGHT tour in Dallas in October, playing to a sold-out crowd at Deep Ellum Art Company. The stage was designed with decor from their album cover (which was also featured in their NPR Tiny Desk performance), complete with immersive florals and greenery. This photo was my personal favorite from the set, taken from a crouched position on stage – hiding from being seen while capturing JD Beck framed in the stage decor.

See: DOMi & JD Beck article & photos on KXT

“Last weekend was special. It meant a lot to see good friends after so long,” Richard Hennessy said. Photo: Jessica Waffles

9. Henry the Archer returns to Fort Worth for last set at MASS

Fort Worth band Henry the Archer made their triumphant return to the stage in February at Main At South Side, breaking their over 2 year-long absence from public shows since COVID began. The venue would later announce its closing, making photos like this enshrined in the past of what once was. Glad we had one more chance to dance to Henry the Archer at MASS.

See: Henry the Archer article & photos on KXT

A group of musicians on a sound stage

Before beginning their 3-song set, The Suffers let out a yell, throwing their arms in the sky together. Photo: Jessica Waffles

10. The Suffers live at KXT Studio

The KXT live session with The Suffers carried tremendous energy that filled my soul, reminding me of the reason I love working for KXT. Lifting up talent that deserves to be seen, giving a platform for passionate artists to tell their story and share their music. This is why we are here.

See: The Suffers photos on KXT

Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT. 

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