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