I had the distinct pleasure of covering the sixth annual Shred For Your Life competition at Webster Hall this weekend. Contestants were critiqued by Andrew W.K., Jaleel Bunton of TV on the Radio and Les Savy Fav‘s Seth Jabour. The field varied wildly from adolescent to old(er), from death metal to jazz and from ordinary to downright strange. After a series of brutal face-offs that included 20 second speed rounds and blindfolds, Lily Masse, the event’s only female competitor, was declared winner over last year’s runner-up Dylan Brenner.


Lily Masse was named this year's champion after a multi-round shred-off with the 2009 runner-up Dylan Brenner. (photo by Chris Owyoung).


Dylan Brenner competes in the 2010 Shred for Your Life competition at Webster Hall, NYC. (photo by Chris Owyoung).


Joshua Anzano performs at the 2010 Shred for Your Life competition (photo by Chris Owyoung).

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Shred For Your Life, Webster Hall – Images by Chris Owyoung

Concert Photographer’s Notes

I photographed this latest installment of Shred for Your Life with my pair of Nikon D3 bodies and the standard and telephoto zooms. While many of the other photographers in attendance resorted to flash, I found that the house lights provided ample stopping power given that shred guitarists tend to sacrifice mobility in favor of concentration.

  1. Great pics Chris. I love the shot of the guy doing the monitor stand. Total rock-star pose ;-)

    • Hey Kevin,

      I think that one and the third image that Daniel pointed out are my favorites. certainly one of those would have lead the post if one of those guys had been the winner.

  2. Awesome shots Chris. It’s easy to forget that there are so many insane, unheard musicians out there. You definitely gave them the rock star treatment. I actually heard about this event while checking Angela Boatwright’s blog site. Musta been fun.
    .-= Raul´s last blog ..CAPTURE: Hard Rock Battle, pt.II =-.

    • Raul,

      I hadn’t seen Angela’s work, thanks for pointing her out! It’s a shame that I couldn’t stay for the entire show. I can only image that the photos would have been crazy.
      .-= Read My Last Blog Post: Photos: Shred for Your Life =-.

  3. Andrew W.K., face-tatoos, 15 yr-olds, and "born to fuck" stickers: Photos of Shred For Your Life Guitar Competition –

  4. RT: @chrisowyoung: Andrew W.K., face-tatoos, 15 yr-olds, and "born to fuck" stickers –

  5. Hey Chris,

    I gotta say that third shot completely sells the set, in my opinion.

    In a non-photographic comment, I just wanna say it’s nice to see so many guitarists rocking out those Les Paul.


    • Hey Daniel,

      Yeah, there was a lot of Les in the house that night. The third shot is definitely a favorite of mine too. Thanks!