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Nation & World

Sole Of A Band 2017: The Shoes That Made Noise

Clean, white Nikes worn by Jain, in the middle of a bouncing leap at the Container Bar in Austin, Texas during SXSW 2017.
Clean, white Nikes worn by Jain, in the middle of a bouncing leap at the Container Bar in Austin, Texas during SXSW 2017.

I saw and photographed over 400 bands in 2017. I've probably photographed thousands of bands in the last few years. In the course of doing so, one of the observations that has amused me the most is the connection between the music a person makes and the shoes they wear on stage. Maybe it's a thing you'd only notice if you see as many concerts as I do, but shoes tell me a lot about the person and their music — or at least I love thinking about the possibilities. Are they simply comfortable or outlandish? Practical or a statement?

Out of the thousands of photos of bands I took this year, I picked over 100 images of shoes that gave me the most amusement when I imagined these associations. You can see them in this video, from the toeless, elf-like slippers of The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, the comfy sandals of the sensuous sounding Arto Lindsay, the "don't-f***-with-me" combat-style Doc Marten's worn by Charly Bliss' Eva Hendricks or Dream Wife's Rakel Mjöl.

Next time you see a show, make note of the relation between footwear, attitude and music, and witness the "sole of a band." It's fun.

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