2023 Photos of the Year: Portraits

Join us as we take a look back at some of the best photos of 2023 taken by KXT music journalist Jessica Waffles in the category of: Portraits.

A singer on stage

Parker James’ energy on stage with Olive Vox has a hint of chaotic good. Photo: Jessica Waffles

1. Olive Vox “Superstition” single release at Tulips 

A new favorite band to see live, these young rock stars from Fort Worth are killing it in the local music scene. They’re about to start a tour through Arizona and California in January 2024 with Caroline Carr.

a saxophonist on stage

Jonathan Mones of Ghost-Note rips his saxophone solos with passion. Photo: Jessica Waffles

2. Ghost-Note at Trees Dallas

Ghost-Note was featured at the Future Sound show at Trees in Deep Ellum, showcasing this signature high-energy sound and bringing awareness to Dallas non-profit The Urban Specialists.

A person on stage playing guitar

Ceci Ceci has been steadily on the rise in the DFW metroplex, and is blossoming into a must-see Latinx act. Photo: Jessica Waffles

3. Ceci Ceci at Limbo Room (Ruins)

The Latinx alternative lineup at Limbo Room inside Ruins in Deep Ellum featured Nico Play, Ceci Ceci and Alyssa Gillen. Ruins supports many Latinx events and is a pillar in the local music community.

A singer in explosive motion with hair whipping everywhere

Chilldren of Indigo frontman Jo Indigo’s presence is explosive on stage. Photo: Jessica Waffles

4. Chilldren of Indigo at Sounds of Deep Ellum vinyl release party

The Cambridge Room at House of Blues hosted the Sounds of Deep Ellum vinyl release party, featuring artists from the vinyl recordings playing live on stage.

A drummer singing on stage

Drummer Mark Bitter often takes vocal leads in songs for Thyroids. Photo: Jessica Waffles

5. Thyroids at BARF WAVE final show at Club Dada

Club Dada hosted BARF WAVE’s final show this year, and the beloved DIY record label went out with a bang.

A woman smiling and holing a sign that says 10

Music lover Susan Carson was ecstatic for several songs in the blind listening session for the KXT Public Music Meeting at Sundown at Granada. Photo: Jessica Waffles

6. Susan Carson at KXT Public Music Meeting

Music lovers got the chance to share their opinions at several KXT Public Music Meetings this year, but this enthusiastic photo of Susan Carson is a keeper.

A musician on stage singing

Mean Motor Scooter closed out the show at Tulips. Photo: Jessica Waffles

7. Mean Motor Scooter at Tulips

Mean Motor Scooter’s new sound this year has been killer, and this image of frontman Sammy Kidd sticks out as a favorite of the year. Looking forward to new music in 2024.

A woman singing while sitting behind a keyboard

DAMOYEE performed at the PNC Patio Sessions event at Sammons Park. Photo: Jessica Waffles

8. DAMOYEE at PNC Patio Sessions

Award-winning singer, songwriter, composer and producer DAMOYEE performed for the PNC Patio Sessions at Sammons Park, showcasing her new sound that is cleverly crafted to be as rough and intense as it is calm and euphoric.

A singer smiling on stage

Sisqó from legendary R&B group Dru Hill on stage at the inaugural Juneteenth on Main Block Party in Deep Ellum. Photo: Jessica Waffles

9. Sisqó at inaugural Juneteenth on Main Block Party

Deep Ellum finally has an official Juneteenth event, and featured artists for the inaugural event included Dru Hill, Sisqó, Jada Arnell, Jayson Lyric, Dezi 5, Cure For Paranoia and more.

A woman singing and playing bass

Sunny Disposition has been hosting the Wake-N-Bake Brunch since June. Photo: Jessica Waffles

10. Sunny Disposition at Six Springs Tavern

Sunny Disposition radiates joy in this photo from the Wake-N-Bake Brunch at Six Springs Tavern in Richardson while she played one of her original songs.

A singer on stage

GLÜESTICK opened up the show at Tulips FTW. Photo: Jessica Waffles

11. GLÜESTICK at Tulips FTW

The movement in this photo showcased the energy GLÜESTICK brings to the stage. It was honestly difficult to capture, and the moment the photo was snapped was like a rush.

A musician playing guitar and singing

Nathan Mongol Wells all dressed up with somewhere to go for his 2nd night of celebration for his debut album From a Dark Corner. Photo: Jessica Waffles

12. Nathan Mongol Wells debut album release at Revelers Hall

The atmosphere at Revelers Hall was electric, with an intimate setting that allowed for a deep connection between the artists and the audience at Nathan Mongol Wells’ second night of celebration for the release of his debut album From a Dark Corner.

A singer smiling on stage

Remy Reilly played her latest releases “Avalanche,” and “What Do Ya Know,” as well as unreleased original music. Photo: Jessica Waffles

13. Remy Reilly at Louie Louie’s

“Mic’d Up” featured a substantial lineup of local artists, including Kirk Thurmond, Remy Reilly, Ryan Berg, Rodney and the Recliners, Chaz Marie and Quinten Hope. Fundraising and awareness were at the forefront of the night, giving local music supporters a chance to get to know the team behind Boarded Up Foundation and their mission of supporting local independent artists.

A musician playing violin

Zuriel Merek played intricate songs using his looper during ArtsGoggle 2023. Photo: Jessica Waffles

14. Zuriel Merek at Arts Goggle

The annual Arts Goggle free event in Fort Worth’s Near Southside neighborhood brought an estimated 60,000 attendees and featured over 1,000 visual artists + 50 musical performances – focusing on highlighting the medley of diverse talent from North Texas.

A musician playing two sets of keyboards

flipturn “makes indie music for endless summers, sun-streaked days, and introspective nights.” Photo: Jessica Waffles

15. flipturn at Longhorn Ballroom

flipturn’s dynamic stage presence coupled with their fans’ screams from the crowd made for an energetic set at Longhorn Ballroom. This was one of those photos that makes a photographer feel that, “oh heck yeah I got the shot” moment.

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

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