Let me start off by saying that shellac is one of my favorite bands and they put on an incredible show! They’ve played the Vera Project the last 2 times that they've come to Seattle because it is an all ages venue. I think it's cool that Seattle has the Vera Project, which is a volunteer based all ages venue, but when you combine that with the general Seattle crowd attitude of not moving/dancing when not drunk, it makes for a weird crowd dynamic. I mean, shellac is a rock your face off kind of band and everyone was just standing there! I wasn't of course (and a few others). I would have to make a very serious effort to stand still while these legends rock out some of my favorite songs ever. If you don't know who Steve Albini is, he has produced some of the best albums of all time and he is the singer for shellac. Needless to say I had to get the raddest pics of them that I could. My friend and I managed to get up front at this packed show, but we were on the other side of the stage from Steve Albini. I didn't think I could go around the back to get close enough to get good pics (you can't zoom in with my wide angle lens) as no one was moving and everyone there had been waiting 4 years for them to come back to Seattle. So I hopped up on stage and quickly scurried across to the left side of the stage during the second song they played and snapped a few pics while right next to mr. Albini all the while trying my best to stay out of the way of the band and not encroach on anyone's rock experience. I then got a cue from the sound guy to get down so I hopped down on the right side of the stage. after the song was over Steve Albini leaned over and put his hand on my shoulder and asked me not to get on stage again in very calm and matter of fact way. He didn’t seem upset at all and I of course obeyed his command. He is known for calling assholes out over the mic at his shows so I thought that it was really cool that he didn't turn the whole crowd against me. But right after that some dude yells from the back "Hey get that red haired kid out of here! What he's doing is rude!". Suddenly everyone around me acts like I’m a paparazzo trying to get upskirt shots of Britney Spears, pushing me and giving me the stink eye.
This is the first time anyone has ever asked me not to get on stage and last time I checked it was ok to take pictures at rock n' roll shows. I do realize that not every band wants me to be all up in their grill flashing away, and if I could get great shots with a fish eye from the back of the room, I would. but god damn it, that is the way I think live band photos look best and some people might agree. You can ask the guys from Mad Rad, Champagne Champagne, Chk Minus, the Beats, Man, Fresh Espresso, Pleasureboaters, etc. I have addressed this issue with all of them and they’ve all said it was fine and they were not bothered by the flash or the close proximity. Judging by the rants on the Line Out blog post I seemed to have annoyed some people.
I did talk to Todd Trainer, the amazing drummer before the show and told him that I would be taking pics for some local music blogs, his reply was “have at it, snap away”. I guess I got a little carried away and got too close to Mr. Albini’s face, but I promise I made my best effort to snap a pic, then get out of the way. If he had asked me to erase every picture on my memory card I would have. I think I took a total of 5 photos that were around 3 feet away from Steve Albini. I honestly didn’t think hopping on stage for less then one song to snap a few pics would bother people. I’ve been in bands all of my life and I would be the first one to pick up the mic stand if it got knocked over or while they were playing (not by me, of course) or do anything to help the band out. I did not mean to seem disrespectful. I guess the kids of today have nothing better to do than hate. I'll be busy taking pictures.
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