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"The only truth is music." ~ Jack Kerouac


Chris Casella’s New Book “Bravado” Brings Life to Live Music in the Time of Covid

Marilyn Manson (Columbus, Ohio)

Credit all images: Chris Casella

Bravado: (noun) a bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate

Nine months into a global pandemic and it is keeping everyone from enjoying live concerts, festivals, etc. with no firm date of when it will return. Covid-19 sucks, but our local music scene and the people within it do not.

Since we cannot go out and enjoy live music, what is a music aficionado to do? Chris Casella has the perfect item to tide us over until live music returns.

Chris Casella

He released the book Bravado, a collection of “some of my favorite images and some of my most important captures,” last month. The book is 184 pages and full of wonderful images that he has shot from the stage, the photo pit and elsewhere over the last three decades. Included are photos of Marilyn Manson, Foo Fighters, Clutch, Roger Waters and so many others that Casellsa shot in Columbus and across the country. While most of the photos are in black and white, he also included some color images for some contast.

There is no pretense and no bullshit with Bravado. And it is certainly not a “love me” collection of photos. Casella says in the forward, “This is book of moments. Split seconds. Breaths.”

His words ring true, as the images tell the story. He continues, “It is full of memories of places, experiences, dates and emotions. It is a document of people I have photographed and people I have met. These people have helped me achieve things I didn’t think were possible.”

The Refused in Chicago, IL (L) and
Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) in Columbus, Ohio (R)

The images he chose capture moments important to him, rather than define his style. The photos allow us to relive, vicariously, live music, easily imagining we are standing right beside Casella as he catalogues these moments. For that, we must be thankful.

In addition to photography, Casella also plays guitar in the wonderfully chaotic Columbus punk rock band Betty Machete and The Angry Cougars. Earlier this year, while putting the book together, he also kept the music juice within him flowing by writing and recording a few songs under the moniker Scorpio74.

When all is said and done after live music returns, you can thank Casella for allowing us to experience the music, the artists and the moments through his eyes and the images he chose to include in this book. His images truly bring the music to life.

You can purchase your copy of Bravado on Casella’s website.

“Howlin'” Pelle Almqvist – The Hives in Columbus, Ohio

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