I went to see Wild Light play and a Killers show broke out…

Ah, my first encounter with Superstardom and the lovely Wamu Theater. What was supposed to be a cool night out at a sold out show in the big city, turned out to be something else entirely…

The night started with the usual rigamarole at the ticket office. It seems the bigger the Venue, the bigger the hassles. “Uh, we don’t know about any Guest List”, Um, OK dude. I then talk to someone else and finally get handed the magic envelope with tickets and press pass courtesy of opening band “Wild Light” (Thanks!).  Rock Star photog Alex was there as my guest to handle the picture taking duties for the night and I gladly handed over the photo pass so he could do his thing. Despite our relatively lofty credentials, we endured the incredibly long line to the front, only to discover another possible security situation at the door. Alex has his backpack and a big camera in it, and apparently that was a problem. You’d think we were holding a fucking Improvised Explosive Device the way we were questioned about this. Again, not sure where the dis-connect is, we flash the PHOTO PASS and explain to them that this sort of thing is pretty standard. After a flurry of walkie-talkie discussions, we are now told to wait off to the side until we can get an escort inside. An escort? Really? After a few minutes more we are then whisked away to the front of the stage area by yet another security representative and introduced to the stage control folks. Finally! We get to where we need to be next to the photo pit entrance by the stage. As expected, Security was pretty thick down here with a few of the main security guys hanging out and a couple obvious supervisors running the whole show. Everything up until this point is going fantastic. We are making friends and joking with the Security guys, doing some networking with a couple industry peeps, and basically just chill out waiting for the opening band to go on. The place is definitely filling up at this point and security informs us the event is Sold Out to capacity at 7,500. They go over the rules that we will be allowed to shoot the first 2 songs of the opener and then they ask that photogs leave the pit area. It was nice to finally be treated like professionals and the staff was actually great during the entire evening. Here are some of the great photos of the opening band that Alex was able to take during the first 2 songs: 

Photo by Alex Smith

Photo by Alex Crick

 

Photo by Alex Smith

Photo by Alex Crick

 You can view the entire slideshow HERE.

After a great set from Wild Light, Security does mention that we will not be able to shoot photos from inside the photo pit area for The Killers. Surprise! And there we have it. Of course we had already heard the band was finicky with photos, we just weren’t prepared for the extent they would go to protect that. The Killers are one of only 2 bands I’ve ever heard of that actually go to these lengths to restrict photos being taken of them. Who is the other Artist you ask? None other than Sir Paul McCartney. Bet you didn’t know that little tidbit about your favorite bands eh? Did we push the envelope a little bit with the telephoto lens and big camera just to get some rare shots of The Killers? Maybe, but with the Photo Pass and credentials, plus the fact we weren’t shooting from the pit, we had no idea it would become the issue it did. What a huge ego these guys must have. Can I ask why you wouldn’t want someone with any type of skill taking your photo?

Now mind you, up until this point we still had absolutely no problems. In fact, we had a perfect little niche carved out in the shorter crowd ahead of us that was going to allow us to get some good shots of the band from the side. It was going to be snippity snap, grab a few photos and we were out of there. Boy were we wrong. Right before the end of the 1st song (one of their crappy new singles…), I see out of the corner of my eye Alex being pulled backwards by either the shirt collar or backpack handle, and hard! I figure this could be either one of 2 things; a pissed of drunk fan behind him angry about the camera, or security yanking him out of the crowd for taking pictures of the Killers. As I turn around, Alex is literally being dragged backwards by what looks to be a large Security guy and all the sudden he dissapears backstage and completely out of sight! Now mind you, he has the photo pass, I have nothing. I have a free General Admission ticket stub and that’s it. Certainly not access to the backstage area I saw Alex being dragged back to. What do I do? I follow him as close as I can and then just walk right past security to the backstage area. The large black Supervisor we befriended earlier gave me a nod like “Go ahead” so I thought going back there may help de-conflict the situation. I assumed they just had no idea he was a GUEST of the opening band and actually wearing a Photo Pass. So I get behind the curtain and we are right to the side of the stage now, fully backstage and I can tell one guy in particular is pissed. Alex is almost fully encircled with Security and the only thing I hear is “So you lied to me?” Wow! So now I’m just thinking to myself, how did we get to this point so quickly and why is this guy so hot-headed? To make matters worse (and the story funnier), not only is this guy “with” the Killers, I think this guy IS the Killers. He was like the big-wig Manager guy who runs the entire operation. As I tell him what’s going on and that we didn’t know it was a problem, he snaps back with “Oh, it’s a huge problem!” and proceeds to march Alex back to another area even further behind the stage as he clearly wants to see what photos Alex took. Again, I try to keep up and again walk past a security checkpoint asking for my pass. I point to the man leading us and keep moving. The Tour Manager then proceeds to tell Alex to delete all the Killers photos he took and sat and watched while he sifted thru every single shot. This guy may have been doing what he thought was his job, but he was rude and a complete jerk about the whole thing. Is it really that big of a deal? One of the things I find most ironic about the whole situation is that the Photo Pass actually said The Killers and had a huge picture of the band on it. How would a person know they couldn’t shoot the Killers from outside the photo Pit with that in the first place? One bright spot is that Alex is now in possession of 1 of only 2 Killers Seattle photo passes in existence.  Hey geniuses, if you’re that worked up over it why not just issue a separate photo pass?

So after the photo deletion bitch out session, we agreed to just leave the Venue which he seemed to be just fine with. He did allow us to keep a single photo of the Killers that sums up the evening perfectly. It also happened to be one of the most beautiful shots of the set, so take that Killers! Think of what we could have done if you weren’t such assholes about the whole thing:

hoto by Alex Smith

Photo by Alex Crick

 So, I guess The Killers have taught us some valuable lessons about stardom – don’t forget the “little people”. In the corporate machine that is The Killers, my word probably doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot but it seems like just yesterday I was watching them at a Deck the Hall Ball as one of the opening bands. They had the red velvet suits going, it was a fun and energetic show. What happened to that spirit guys? Now you’re so big nobody can even take your photo? Get over yourselves (p.s. you haven’t put out a decent album since Hot Fuss).  And while I’m obviously bagging on the band here I’ll just throw this out too. Their twitter profile shows almost 10,000 follwers, yet guess how many people they are following back? I’ll give you a clue, it’s less than 1. That’s right 0! Talk about full of themselves, that might be some sort of Twitter record. It’s at the very least a big Social Media no-no!

If I could sum up how the evening felt in a story, it might be this one: Remember the scene in the Movie “Casino” where Pacino catches the guy cheating at Blackjack and then has the Security goons take him to a back room where they crush his hand with a ball-peen hammer? It was kinda like that, except no ball-peen hammer.

Fucking Rockstars……….

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~ by clickdagger on April 24, 2009.

5 Responses to “I went to see Wild Light play and a Killers show broke out…”

  1. Uh, that’s not their real Twitter- some fan made that. Didn’t you notice there’s only ONE update? You sound very bitter, you need to chill out and then think about this with a clear mind. I understand why you’re pissed but I highly doubt that the band is out to get you personally. Some bands (a very select few according to you) don’t want a bunch of photographers running around in front of the barrier. That’s all- it’s their concert, they get to make the rules. Why freak out at them when there are a bazillion other bands that would LOVE the extra press and photographs? Just move on. I’m sorry you were manhandled by security but you shouldn’t blame this on the Killers themselves. It seems like they said no photos, you went around and tried to get some anyway, and you had what was coming for you, albeit a bit too harshly.

    • Maybe you’re right, Killers probably don’t engage with their fans at all. Honestly, I could give two shits about The Killers. If you looked at the bands I review you’d know that. Thanks, I will continue to review those other bands as I’ve done for the past 20+ years. Let me make something clear though, Security at the Venue treated us very well, it was the Killers staff who were ultimately the assholes. And like I mentioned in my article, we had a Photo Pass and were not shooting in the photo pit!

      Now go back to your media job working for The Killers…

  2. thanks for a great post, i may put a link to it in my own blog.if thats ok with you?
    cheeres
    liran

  3. […] 1. The Killers | Wild Light – read the whole drama HERE. […]

  4. […] 1. The Killers | Wild Light – read the whole drama HERE. […]

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