Yes, I was once an entertainment writer for a college publication. In fact, I have been published by a reputable metropolitan newspaper as well. I was am the guy that refuses to pay for any show, no matter how good it may be. I became spoiled! The backstage passes, VIP cards, and the All Access Media Pass were my credentials. All sponsored by the bands and management groups. I have interviewed and wrote about bands such as Pepper, O.A.R., Los Lobos, Everclear, Godsmack, Slightly Stupid, Drop Kick Murphy’s (twice), Flogging Molly, Reverend Horton Heat, The Slackers, Non-Point, Cafe Tacuba, Fat Boy Slim, and many others. The interesting thing is the divide between the stage and the audience. There are two dynamically separate worlds at work during a concert. Especially during a tour, much like the Warped Tour (best gig ever). There is the stage show and the paying audience.
The stage show is not the wild party everyone talks about. Matter of fact, every interview I have done involved a lot of waiting around. There is no rest for anyone. They band may roll in just hours before having to unload all of their equipment, set up, and sound check. Just to depart a few hours later for the next city. Yes, party’s are thrown and good lord baby Jesus, beers get tossed back. I have seen some crazy things back stage and the people doing said things, well, would be in big trouble if exposed. In this realm you must understand you can have anything you want that very moment, I truly mean anything. Once you cross the threshold and become a pass holder, you are the keeper of this knowledge. There is a responsibility to maintain composure and just go with the flow. If not, your pass can be pulled; I’ve seen it happen.
The audience is oblivious to the happenings back stage. I watch people devolve into drunkin’ pools of stupidity while waiting for a band to come on. I remember I had finished an interview with the Murphy’s and the first band was about to go on. We were at the House of Blues and I positioned myself between the crowd barrier and the stage to get some good photos. I heard a group of people pissing and moaning that the band was taking too long; these individuals were way too drunk. Seriously cursing the bands first born! When the band took the stage, all was forgiven. Imagine yourself having a job where your critics were that fickle. No thanks, although I hear the money is good.
So, why have I been rambling on? It all has to do with a new addiction at work. Last.FM an internet radio player that has an enormous library of musicians. I have been hearing different bands and wonderful memories have been flooding back to me. I just felt like reminiscing and reflecting. Check it out, I think you will become just as addicted as I. While you are there, check out these artists:
- Alborosie- Gritty Reggae. Haven’t heard anything like this since “Welcome to Jamrock.”
- Hilltop Hoods- White boys from Adelaide Australia. Heard them while I was down south.
- Molotov- Because rock en Espanol is awesome.
- David Allen Coe- Old country is still awesome. Plus, he cut an album with Dime Bag Darrel from Pantera.
- Firewater- Makes Devotchka look tame in their stylings.
- Devotchka- Will take you on a wonderful ride of sound.
- Sara Bareilles- Has a very sultry voice and wonderful piano.
- NOFX- Because no work day is complete until you hear “kill all the white man.”
- Necromantix- Good fast Rock-a-billy. Helps me focus.
- Haystak- Has an album called “Crackavelli,” need I say more.
- Nightmares on wax- Can veg out and roll through your day.
- The Waifs- Folk music everyone can stand.
- HorrorPops- Because tattooed Rock-a-billy chick’s are awesome.