in Checking In

Back from the R.E.M. show

I’m now back from the R.E.M. show and I have to say I enjoyed it. Its been a long time since I went to a concert and enjoyed every single band that played. The opening acts, The National and Modest Mouse, were awesome as was R.E.M. themselves.

What wasn’t awesome was the staff at Walnut Creek, who once again denied me my photographs. In spite of R.E.M.’s invitation to its fans to photograph, blog, and even video the event, no one seemed to have told the venue management. It was after 5 PM before the amphitheatre stopped telling fans they couldn’t bring in cameras. Then the policy became “all cameras except professional cameras.” I even tried to track down Bertis Downs, R.E.M’s attorney and manager, to ask him what the policy was but I couldn’t even get that far (not that Bertis would necessarily be friendly to the idea, as this talk he gave at Duke is any indication).

What. The. Fuck. How does my taking photographs at your event do anything but help promote your event? How does a photograph threaten your business model? If you as a band feel your performance can’t compete with a photograph, if you think your fans will stop going to your shows because they can just get the picture, then you need to put down the crack pipe, cowboy. I never sell my photos: on the contrary, I share them with everyone as I put them in the public domain. But even if I did happen to sell my photos, how does that threaten you or your livelihood? I know it isn’t R.E.M.’s fault, and I still enjoyed the show. I just never thought that stupid photograph policy made any sense.

I took notes throughout the show for blogging material, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. For now, I’d like to say welcome back to North Carolina, R.E.M.! It’s been too long.

(tagged, #remnc for your viewing pleasure)

  1. I’m taking my son to Iron Maiden next week and they have the same policy, “no professional cameras.” I think I’ll just play it safe and make do with my cell phone camera.

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