and it’s a good one…
Sunday night, July 29th, we went to our first “big city” concert in Dallas at the Gexa Energy Pavilion. There were a few snags. The venue was outdoors and it was 105 degrees. Ouch! So we decided to go late, which was a bit disappointing. We missed the first 3 bands. There was only really one I was disappointed about. Halestorm. I found some great songs by them. So when we arrived, the band Hellyeah was on the last part of their set.
Next up was Chevelle… I didn’t know them well, but I knew enough that I liked their music. They played a great set, great music and good entertainment.
Then, next up, the feature band, and reason I went… Evanescence. Like I mentioned, I have been a fan for a while and have been to one other of their concerts. I think it’s safe to say I was expecting an experience like before. It was not.
About 3 songs in, I am having a blast, really enjoying the show, and I stood up on the chair to get a few pictures and video. There was my mistake. Of course I got asked to step down (despite that there were several others around me up on the chair)… I’m short, so I just wanted to see. But no biggie, I got down. Things went awry from there.
A supervisor approached us (keep in mind that it’s loud and I am paying no attention to anything other than the stage)… he motioned me to follow him so I handed my camera to my husband and followed him thinking “really?, I got down… okay, what’s the big deal… and still seeing others on chairs around me.
He wanted my camera. He said “where’s your camera?”… I said my husband has it, he said “Go get it and give it to me”… (Ummmm….??) I said “Why?”. He said “You can’t have that in here”… I said “Yes, I can, I called, and there are tons of people in here with cameras”… He was being very rude about it… but he got downright nasty with me… To sum up… “Get your camera and give it to me now… go get it…(pushy, demanding, rude)… I went back down the isle and told my husband what he said… My husband said “no”. Well, that’s the polite way to say what he said.
I went back and told the guy and so he went and got my husband and made him come out too. While he stepped away, I tried talking to someone else to get the manager. One song had passed. The guy made us exit the venue to talk outside… but if you think he stopped yelling once outside the loud music… he didn’t. We were not “giving him my camera”… he said he will check it at the office… I still said no… if they lose it, I’m out A LOT of money. I offered many times to put it in my purse and still had no explanation why I was singled out.
This went on for half the concert. And you know what it boiled down to? My camera “looked too professional”. That was their basis for the whole thing, the yelling, the verbal abuse, everything. The manager was NO different. It did not matter that I called ahead and checked at the gate if my camera was okay. It didn’t matter that people inside had cameras and camera phones, it didn’t even matter to them that people were smoking marijuana two rows behind me and fighting several rows ahead. It mattered that I had a camera that looked professional.
My husband finally relented and put it in the car. I was fighting off a massive emotional breakdown, trying so hard not to cry, I was so upset at the way this had gone down, how I’d been yelled at, how I’d done everything right to be sure I followed the rules and that I had the camera out the entire previous set. My husband tracked the original supervisor down, asked him about his experience as a police officer, military member, etc… (which was none) and told him that there was a better way to handle the situation and his wife shouldn’t have been treated like that. The man put his hands on my husband’s shoulders and shoved him, then darted behind a secure gate. I couldn’t believe it. They were not security, they were bullies… just a bunch of jerks enforcing “rules” they don’t even understand.
Now… is my camera professional grade? Yes and No. I have a DSLR Canon 60D. It’s an amazing camera with 18 mega pixels. However, as instructed when I called, we were not allowed to bring interchangable lenses or even one lens with a “long zoom”… so I had a default basic lens attached. It has HD video. I like to shoot in RAW and get a small jpeg thumbnail so I can adjust out shadows and work out kinks in white balance. I am still learning all about photography and once in a while, I get lucky. My goal is to work towards a professional business in photography and I CAN do that with this camera.
So why all the fuss? Why didn’t I just hand it over? Well, obviously. But it’s a principal, and I am stubborn. First, I followed everything I was told. Second, there were TONS of cameras inside, TONS and everyone was taking pictures and videos. The difference was the appearance of my camera. They thought I was “reproducing the event”… I wasn’t. Not even close. I even said… “I’m just a scrapbooker”. Anything I photographed or took video was for me, not to reproduce, sell, or anything.
So I did a bit of comparison… I feel very strongly that my photos would have been good even on a typical point and shoot camera. It’s not as much about the camera as it is the person behind it. These days, point and shoot cameras come with high megapixels, long optical/digital zoom options, and HD video. It’s time that concert venues get on board with this. What is your actual concern? Well, the artist doesn’t want the show reproduced. The artist doesn’t want a full video made of the concert. The artist doesn’t want “insert random needs here”… I TOTALLY get it. But there is a better way to do it.
So… we left. I lost something special that day, I lost my ability to listen to my favorite band without a negative memory of verbal abuse, sweat, tears and my husband getting shoved by nothing more than a bully who doesn’t know how to do his job appropriately. I was the LEAST of his worries in a venue at a rock concert.
On the other hand… thank you. Thank you for looking at me and thinking my camera looks professional and that I look like someone with a professional camera taking professional images. Here’s my favorite shots… and I am PROUD to have them. The last one is my absolute favorite.
Here’s a video clip I took. It’s hard to take a good video clip when you are rockin’ out… lol! There are lots of other videos of the same event on You Tube… in fact, in one, I saw another, much more professional grade camera in the video with at least a 70-200 mm lens.
Thanks for letting me share.