Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Message in a Bottle & My Battle with the Event Staff Nazis

Went to the Police show and saw Henry's plane with the banner flying across so kudos to movement. Hopefully it works. Now for my review.

I arrived in the hot and humid afternoon with the intent of getting decent pictures - esp. paying $225 a ticket. I paid less than $20 a ticket when I saw then in the 1980's at the Sportatorium.

The guard at the gate sees my camera and brings me to his supervisor. She says no pro cameras allowed. I told her, "this is not a pro camera. It's an amateur camera which I take all the time to the Marlins' games. I brought a Canon EOS 20D and 75-300 zoom. Left the pro gear at home. She takes me to her boss who measure my extended lens and lets me in.

As I arrive, I was friggin hot (probably the only Police fan in a Guayabera) so a beer looked good. So I go to the vendor: "Are they nice and cold?" He says, "You bet." So I bought one and he says "$8 plus a tip." Oy vay. Eight bucks for Bud Lite in plastic bottle. Not so bad considering I paid $30 to park. (De pee pee).

So I get to my seat on the field, section 18, and they were quite decent. They had some opening act there. And I know I must be getting up in years as all I could say..."this is too loud." More on that later.

The people watching was fun. Intersting sites always at concerts.

So the next band, Maroon 5 comes on. They are popular I guess. I've not heard any of their tunes until yesterday. All the girls were saying "that singer's cute." And I'm thinking to myself, "yeah, like you have a chance." So I pull out the camera and take some decent shots --

And then . . . my en- counter with the Event staff Nazis. Yes, the pimple faced dude who could be a character on the Simpsons tells me, "Sir, no professional cameras allowed; you have to put that away." I tell him ... "it's not a professional camera. Look, it has a pop up flash. This camera costs less than $500. Pro cameras cost three grand -- and, the head of security cleared it." So the putz gets his supervisor who gives me the same crap and by that time, I put it away until the Police come out (the band, not the cops). While all this is happening, of course, people are smoking pot all around. The dude next to me is videotaping the show (copyright violation anyone?). Yet these jack booted shmendricks with the event staff shirts are concerned about lil ole me. The Police came out on time at 8:45 p.m. and put on a decent show. I took out the camera; cranked up the ISO to 3200 and shot nearly 100 images by the end of the night.

Then, I figure, during the encore, where there were only minutes left, I decided to say, "pa la mierda", no more incognito shooting. I'm going balls out. So I'm there shooting when another event staff compact flash nazi comes to me and says "give me the film, that's a pro camera." The putz didn't know that I was shooting digital. But I said the same thing to him as before. He then started talking to another security dude, which by then, I slipped out the CF card and put a blank one in the camera, and started walking away. They backed off. I think next time, I'll have a camera with 2 CF slots and have one to hand to them if they hassle me with perhaps pictures of hairy butts or something.

In any event, back to the sound. It sounded great. Copeland was as awesome as ever on the drums. Sting sounded good and his bass playing was great. Andy looked bored, but he always looks bored. The funny thing is that during the show, between the Coke and Beer sales dudes walking by, there was this dude going by selling, "earplugs." Man, a genius. I should have thought of that. Back when I was a teenager at the Police concert, folks were selling bootleg t-shirts and dope. Now, they sell earplugs and $40 t-shirts made in Korea for 50 cents of child labor.

Finally, other than the cruise sluts and groupies which you always find at shows, it was funny noting how friggin old everyone at the show was, including the band. The times have a changed.

And a spendid time was guaranteed for all. And it'd better at $ 500 for 2 tix; $ 30 for parking; $ 8 for a Bud Light; $8 for a Cuban Sandwich; $5 for a bottle of water and a night of dodging the camera nazis.


Alex said...

Hilarious. I was kicking myself for not bringing the camera (not that I have a long zoom lens or anything) but I tought they would not allow it, but where I came in they didn't even check you. I could have brought in a bottle of rum and a picnic ham.

The prices, unreal. I spent over $100 between parking and drinks.

You know what I thought about the sound. A friend down in the field tells me the sound was good there and another up in the 400s say it was horrible, so it's all about where you were I guess.

Srcohiba said...

Maroon 5 was too loud in my opinion, but the crowd had not filled in. The bass was really punchy at time; you could feel it in your throat. But the drums sounded great. the mix was very clean. no distortion. I was impressed with the sound. But the venue is not known for good acoustics, so if you are in the upper seats, I could see how you would lost some of the punch.

Tomás Estrada-Palma said...

I like the Police but $500. No way! I'm way too Cuban.