Ambient Music

The Year In Photos 2023


Skrillex (Listen In Festival), 1st October 2023, Mount Smart, Auckland, New Zealand.

Well would you look at that!? Another year has passed us by, and while everything has changed, as I sit here in isolation with Covid-19, again – it also feels like nothing has changed. Yes, the gigs are now well and truly back but it feels like at what cost? I have spent much of the year struggling with motivation to photograph live music, the hoops required to jump through constantly getting smaller and higher, while the risk of sickness increases with the amount of people in the audience who have given up, happy to stick their heads in the sand and pretend the last few years never happened all the while spreading the sickness further. Good times.

This year was also a particularly injurious year for me as a live music photographer – from being savagely bitten (yes, bitten!!) by a punter at the Mayhem gig because he took exception to me being there, through to tripping on a barrier in the dark while entering a photo pit at Listen In Festival, slamming my head onto the concrete ground ensuring a pretty gnarly concussion that saw me not able to perform basic tasks for days afterwards.

But, looking back it wasn’t all bad. The time Fred Durst hung over the edge of the stage mid set, personally inviting me up to photograph Limp Bizkit from on stage in front of a sold out Spark Arena springs to mind. Or getting to finally photograph the legendary Kraftwerk after growing up listening to their albums from a very young age via my Mothers record collection, or getting to photograph both L7 and Bikini Kill (both bands I could only dream of being able to see perform as a teen, let alone being able to photograph). My Chemical Fucking Romance!!! Witnessing Fatboy Slim throw down an absolute banger of a set in my home town of Taupō was also an absolute highpoint, and getting the chance to photograph it too!? Get outta here!

So, here we have it. One image from every gig I’ve covered this year, from the very very wet Juicy Fest in January through to the exhausting but very special Save The b! Festival in December… check it out below!

Ja Rule
Ja Rule (Juicy Fest), 8th January 2023, Due Drop Events Centre, Auckland, New Zealand.
Rina Sawayama
Rina Sawayama, 9th January 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers, 21st January 2023, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand.
Mayhem
Mayhem, 26th January 2023, Galatos, Auckland, New Zealand.
ZZ Top
ZZ Top, 4th February 2023, Riverside Park, Taupō, New Zealand.
Fatboy Slim
Fatboy Slim, 5th February 2023, Riverside Park, Taupō, New Zealand.
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran, 10th February 2023, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand.
Peaches
Peaches, 20th February 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
Electric Six
Electric Six, 1st March 2023, The Tuning Fork, Auckland, New Zealand.
Pavement
Pavement, 7th March 2023, The Civic, Auckland, New Zealand.
My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance, 11th March 2023, The Outer Fields, Auckland, New Zealand.
Bikini Kill
Bikini Kill, 15th March 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
Schizophonics
Schizophonics, 18th March 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
Counting Crows
Counting Crows, 25th March 2023, Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.
Synthony
Synthony, 2nd April 2023, The Domain, Auckland, New Zealand.
Ashnikko
Ashnikko, 8th April 2023, The Town Hall, Auckland, New Zealand.
Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart, 9th April 2023, Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.
Larkin Poe
Larkin Poe, 13th April 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
PRINS
PRINS, 15th April 2023, The Tuning Fork, Auckland, New Zealand.
Papa Roach
Papa Roach, 18th April 2023, Trusts Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand.
Ho99o9
Ho99o9, 6th May 2023, Neck of the Woods, Auckland, New Zealand.
Weyes Blood
Weyes Blood, 29th May 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
The Damned
The Damned, 2nd June 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
Deafheaven
Deafheaven, 8th June 2023, The Tuning Fork, Auckland, New Zealand.
RATSO
Ratso, 9th June 2023, Big Fan, Auckland, New Zealand.
Trentemøller
Trentemøller, 17th June 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
King Woman
King Woman, 19th June 2023, Neck of the Woods, Auckland, New Zealand.
IDLES
IDLES, 21st July 2023, Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.
Tove Lo
Tove Lo, 27th July 2023, The Town Hall, Auckland, New Zealand.
Loyle Carner
Loyle Carner, 29th July 2023, The Town Hall, Auckland, New Zealand.
Erny Bell
Erny Belle, 4th August 2023, Point Chev RSA, Auckland, New Zealand.
Eagles Of Death Metal
Eagles Of Death Metal, 5th August 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
Teddy Swims
Teddy Swims, 28th August 2023, The Town Hall, Auckland, New Zealand.
La Dispute
La Dispute, 31st August 2023, The Hollywood Theatre, Auckland, New Zealand.
Skrillex
Skrillex (Listen In Festival), 1st October 2023, Mount Smart, Auckland, New Zealand.
Pendulum
Pendulum, 6th October 2023, Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.
Descendents
Descendents, 11th October 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
The Chicks
The Chicks, 27th October 2023, Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.
The Corrs
The Corrs, 9th November 2023, Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.
Sam Smith
Sam Smith, 11th November 2023, Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.
Highly Suspect
Highly Suspect, 12th November 2023, Trusts Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.
Joji
Joji, 22nd November 2023, Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.
Behemoth
Behemoth, 24th November 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
Limp Bizkit
Limp Bizkit, 26th November 2023, Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.
Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk, 1st December 2023, Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.
L7
L7, 6th December 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
Nessa Barrett
Nessa Barrett, 19th December 2023, Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.
Shihad performing live at the Auckland Town Hall, Auckland New Zealand, 2023. Photo by Doug Peters.
Shihad, 20th December 2023, The Town Hall, Auckland, New Zealand.

So there it was, one image from each headline set I photographed in 2023. And now, I need to add a huge thank you for everyone who has contributed to and/or supported Ambient Light in 2023. It’s a pretty hackneyed phrase, but I do need to emphasise that without you all Ambient Light simply wouldn’t be where it is today.

So onwards, 2024. The year of the future. I already have a few gigs penciled into my calendar, so it looks like I can’t give up just yet, even if I want to. I already feel like I’ve been participating in this malarkey for a lifetime already (2024 will be my 25th anniversary of shooting concerts) so what’s another few years eh!? See you all on the barrier at a gig sometime soon. Ngā mihi nui Ambient Light whanau!


Doug Peters
Editor in Chief / Photographer

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