Lots of things upset me.
Lots of things bother me.
Lots of things raise my ire.
And usually, I'm over it, quickly. I bitch, I whine, I complain, I may even blog about it (no, really?), but then I get over it and go on.
However, something happened this weekend that really got my bloomers in a bunch, as the British would say. (Well, at least it sounds like something the British would say, so unless your English, and can prove that it's not a common saying, mind your business, m'kay?)
My mad photo skillz were requested (yes, bold for a reason) by a band that I am/was (not sure of anymore) a fan of.
I wasn't planning on going to the show they were having, because it was in Columbus, during Hate Week (the OSU/Michigan game, look it up). I didn't want to go for a couple of reason:
- I don't live in Columbus anymore.
- Being on campus during Hate Week reminds me of just about everything I dislike about people - blind allegiance to a sports team, attitude fueled by alcohol, and the ability to be seen at an event in the hopes those who see you will think you cooler than before because you were at said event.
Then I got the email from a guy in the band asking me to come to the show, take photos of his real band, and photos of a playful side project that sees the light of day a couple of times a year ... and he was tossing some free tickets at me.
The venue is one I saw his real band at in March and said to myself then, "DAMN, I'd love to shoot this band in this venue."
So the band is playing the venue.
And they've asked me to come take photos.
And they're giving me free tickets.
Despite my dislike of the expected crowd of drunken revelers, and the campus location, I decide I'm in.
So I arrange to leave work early to drive down there, fight the crowds, find somewhere to park ... remember, this is Ohio State vs. Michigan week, so the campus of THE Ohio State University (it is required to use a capitalized article when referring to OSU by its full name. Look it up) was packed. And crazy.
And because the place that this show was being held is a regular concert venue, two days before the show, I ask the guy who requested me and my camera come to the show for a photo pass so I would have no trouble shooting from the side of the stage, the security barrier and anywhere else in the building I wanted to shoot from.
I get to the venue, get the tickets, disperse them to my peeps, but no photo pass. I did manage to get me a media pass from the nice woman at the ticket window. That allowed me to get my camera in the door.
That's all it allowed me.
Having photographed concerts many, many times, at regular concert venues, many, many times before, back in the day when I was a real-live member of the media and shot bands like Motley Crue, Queensryche, Tracy Chapman, Melissa Etheridge, Joan Jett (when she was popular), Alabama, and others ... before the show starts, I head up to the security guy at the side-stage entrance, show him my media credential, and ask him where I can shoot from.
He says, "Only in the crowd."
Hmmm .... to quote Will Durst, that's not good. Look it up.
So I ponder my options ... I don’t get the angles I wanted, I don’t get the shots I had thought about ... So I decide to track down said band member who, remember, invited me and my camera to this show, to ask for assistance to get greater access.
He basically blew me off with "It's a venue rule."
Which is fine and dandy, if that's the case.
Which it wasn't.
Because there were TWO people ON STAGE shooting photos and video of B.A. Baracus (they're a band from Columbus. That sucks. Look it up. Someone once described their lead singer as a has-been who never was. To steal a line from another friend of mine, his attitude-to-ability ratio is way outta whack).
So then I ask another band member and he says it's up to some other guy, who I should go find, or just shoot from the crowd.
Since I don't know who the other guy is, or where to find him, I start to realize that I'm getting no assistance from the band that invited me here to photograph them.
And I refuse to shoot from this crowd.
That's when I started to get pissed.
I can re-arrange a photo shoot in my head based on venue or band rules, or lighting, or lack thereof, so that wasn’t the issue.
The crowd was the issue.
Yeah, I was there early enough to get a decent spot up front. However, in my attempts to chase down band members to get greater access, I lost my cool spot in the front. And did not feel like fighting my way back into the crowd.
Because the crowd, for this event, was comprised of a whole lot of intoxicated people chugging depth-charge sized beer in the venue, and who knows what before they got to the venue, all proving they could spell at or about a third-grade level, by answering the "O-H" with the appropriate "I-O" ... which made me glad we live in a four-letter state.
And there were some people telling B.A. Baracus that they sucked, so there were some sober people with a taste for music.
However, based on the size of the crowd, density of the floor, and amount of beer being consumed, there was no way in hell I was taking my kick-ass photo gear into that crowd to shoot photos.
So basically, the trip was wasted.
That's when I got really pissed.
About five minutes after getting really pissed (and, contrary to my previous British reference, pissed in this case is not meant in the British way), I decided I didn't even want to stay and see the band that I like/liked that invited me to the show.
So I left, and drove back to Niles.
I got home about 1 a.m.
I left work that day at 2 p.m.
I wasted 11 hours of my life, and a tank of gas.
And honestly, it will be a while before I feel like seeing that band again.
I'm wondering if I'll hear from them asking me if I got any good shots.
That'll be a fun email to answer.