Monday, November 13, 2006

But he ain't no criminal

This weekend I went to see Bruce Springsteen play with his Seeger Sessions Band at Wembley Arena. Last night I had one of the worst concert experiences ever despite the band playing probably the best live musical performance I will ever witness.

Having warmed up on Saturday with seated ticket, my friend Janne and I decided that we should go early to get to the front of the gig. We got there at 5pm, secured our exclusive orange wristband which allowed us to get to the front section and decided to visit some local pubs. This being Wembley we ended up at the lovely hotel bars in the Hilton and the Hotel Ibis. The sacrifices one makes for Bruce!

So we turn up at 6.30pm and get to the front, we are about eight people back from the front of the crowd and Bruce is on fire, he’s so close you can see the sweat on his forehead and all the action from the amazing seventeen piece band. I decide that this is too good not to share and decide to ring a friend so they can witness some of the magic, albeit through the speaker of a mobile phone. After about 10 seconds two security guards come rushing through the crowd, yank my phone from my hands and push me up against the wall. They examine my phone for a while, rip the wristband from my arm and threaten to throw me out. It’s only when they realise that my phone is a piece of shit that can’t take decent photos that they decide to let me back into the crowd, albeit at the back of 8,000 people. I’ve missed two songs by now and I’m so pissed off. What should have been the most amazing concert experience ruined by security nazis.

What pisses me off the most is the fact that I spent the following on these concerts:
£60 x 2 for the tickets = £120.
£35 on merchandise.
£60 on overpriced beer.
£12 on his CD.

Which is a total of £227. Plus add to that all of my other Springsteen CD purchases and it comes to an even more hefty sum. All of that to be treated like scum of the earth. If it was any other industry then you would expect someone to get fired for that kind of service. I would have thought that they could have told me to put the phone away as a first warning. And as far as I could tell, there is nothing written on the tickets or the venue’s website about calling someone from the concert. Just the usual thing about not being allowed to take photos.

However, just to show how much of a sucker I am, I’ll probably still be going back next time the Boss hits town, I’ll just remember to keep my phone well hidden. As for the music at these shows, i'll be doing a proper review for rockbeatstone soon, so look out for that.

Percy's Song


jpt said...

evil machinations of concert conglomerates taking over the world... or an old man who doesn't understand the digital revolution getting uppity about recordings of his performance... or just over-zealous security...

my money's on the latter.. to volunteer to work security at gigs is more or less signing a contract that says 'i like stopping people having fun'...

James K said...

They all get off on that sense of power because they are unhappy people leading unhappy lives and it somehow makes them feel better.

They decided to make an example of me and if i ever meet that security guard in the pub, i'll smash his face in a comedy kung-fu manner. At least i'm kind enough to give him a warning.

Paolo Vites said...

do you want me to send the link to your blog to mr jon landau? I have his e-mail somewhere... artists should be aware how their security is doing the job, methink

Daniel said...

Bloody security halfwits. Sounds like they ruined a great gig.

James K said...

Yeah paolo, if you have his email address!

They should be aware that the security were over-zealous to the point of spoiling a concert for someone. I can understand why they were there and what they were supposed to be doing but this was ridiculous and so over-the-top. I hope that Springsteen uses another security firm next time he's in the UK.

Paolo Vites said...

when in Verona last october for the springsteen show, security was treatin' the people of the golden ring area like shit as well

really, an artist like springsteen should know better about these kind of things

Anonymous said...

You got everything you deserved. People playing with their stupid phones at concerts should be removed, taken round the back, and shot. We don't need them. JUST ENJOY THE FRICKING CONCERT!!!

Check me out, if you dare