Tampa Bay's best concerts of 2012, Part 5: KISS, Lil Kim, Psy, MGK and more
(All week on Soundcheck, our contributors are looking back at the best local concerts of 2012. Up today: tbt* photographer Luis Santana.)
Lil Kim and Trina (Jan. 13, Channelside IMAX): In 2012, hip-hop legend Lil Kim made her first ever appearance in Tampa (according to her) at the Channelside IMAX theaters in Tampa. Although a really odd choice for a first-time impression of Tampa the place was packed wall to wall to see her and “co-headliner” Trina, who, by the way, is no stranger to the Tampa club scene. As it was, the fine folks of Tampa Bay did not let Lil Kim down, and showed her how a hip-hop show goes down in the 813. Despite fistfights and flying wigs, bottles and shoes, the show went on. Trina’s security pulled her from the venue after the crowd became too rowdy and unsafe. Lil Kim, however, hopped on stage surrounded by her fans and did her set. She did not disappoint — she literally brought the house down. Eventually Trina came back on to a makeshift stage set up in the lobby of the movie theater and sang a few songs with Kim. After the show was over I managed to get this shot of Lil Kim being carried away by her massive bodyguard.
Machine Gun Kelly (Last Damn Show, Oct. 6, Tampa Bay Times Forum): I’m pretty sure anytime MGK has stepped foot into Tampa Bay something crazy happens. Whether it was being arrested, climbing stage trusses, or trying to bash out windows of a hotel during a show, he stirs up something ... and people love it! My most memorable MGK moment of 2012 was at Wild 94.1’s Last Damn Show, where he jumped on top of a brand new Scion and completely dented in the roof! He later came back to apologize and actually autographed the car.
KISS (July 28, 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre): I wouldn’t say that I was a KISS fan. However I do appreciate their cooperation with us photographers in the pit to make some fun shots of their performance. You can say what you want about them, but unlike many bands ,KISS seem to “get it” when it comes to preserving their image for years to come. When these guys get old — I mean, OLDER — and can no longer perform, these photos that professional concert photographers and videographers have taken of them throughout the years will preserve their coolness forever. These guys realize that they need to look good on camera, and out of the hundreds of shows I have shot in my 11 years, KISS worked the cameras the best.
Psy (Dec. 8, University Mall): And my No. 1 concert memory of 2012 was someone who will probably go down in one-hit-wonder history forever. Yes, I’m talking about the Gangnam Style man himself, Psy. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought that a Korean YouTube star would draw crowds of more than 3,000 people to the FREAKIN’ UNIVERSITY MALL IN TAMPA! If you had told me last year that there would be a concert featuring a song called Gangnam Style and that people would wait more than five hours in front of a closed-down JCPenney store to see a 5-minute performance of a Korean guy riding an invisible horse, I would have told you to lay off the drugs, because that would never happen. But it did, and I have photos to prove it!
-- Luis Santana, tbt*
PREVIOUSLY ON THE BEST TAMPA BAY CONCERTS OF 2011:
Sean Daly’s picks: The Kills, The Civil Wars, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor
Stephanie Bolling's picks: Radiohead, The Ventures, Fun., Antiwarpt Music Festival, Andrew Bird