Okay so I’ve done a few concerts in my short career, I’ve met some really interesting and some really difficult people along the way. (Rockers are the most difficult). So last night I went off to the Coca-Cola Dome in Jozi for The Killers concert- and let me tell you it was one of the most challenging working experiences I’ve had. Let me firstly say these guys are a big deal, they’re a great band. They sing songs that will forever hold fond memories of my wild, fun varsity days- that coming from someone who doesn’t really enjoy rock. My preference is more urban style music. These guys however are cool and I really do enjoy them. When I first found of about their tour details, I was ecstatic. I ‘youtubed’ concert performances, watched interviews etc and from what I saw, we were all in for a treat. For fans at the Dome, I’m sure you all rocked out and enjoyed, but for me the experience was slightly different. Here’s how the evening went:
3pm- photographers are told that they’re unfortunately not allowed to take photos anymore. This is a direct order from management, which therefore means the band. They have an official photographer. EPIC #FAIL. This is the first time I’ve experienced this. Apparently it’s how the industry is moving… well let me tell you, we don’t like using pictures from someone else, we like our own. We have award-winning photographers and often they take better pics and ones that are suitable to our market. Anyways, we’ll deal with the situation.
6:30pm- arrive at the Dome. I have to meet Penny and Dionne of Penny Stein Promotions to collect media accreditation. We have an understanding, we’ve worked together on several other, bigger concerts and festivals in the past so expectations wise, we’re on the same page. Unfortunately I had to delay this meeting, as I was quickly ushered to entrance 5 for my interview with Dave Keuning of the band. He is the guitarist. I read and watched several interviews with him prior and he seems awesome.
7:30pm- run into the interview. Set up and do interview. Dave is a bit “jet lagged” he tells me. Jet lag sucks. I flew to NYC a couple of weeks back. 17 hours on a cramped plane, economy class. I arrived, caught a subway into Manhattan, showered and went straight into a press junket. I, too, was jet lagged, but I gave it my best shot and the interview went well. Hey it’s not often one gets to go to The Big Apple, so I made the mose of it. My interview with Dave will be up in the next few days. Will post it when it’s live.
8pm- Zebra and Giraffe open up for The Killers. These guys are representing this country so well. Man oh man I get goosebumps thinking about how the crowd responded to them on stage. Big up Z&G.
8:30pm- go to the sound desk, where I am allowed to film from. I set up and I’m patiently waiting for the band to come on. The vibe is awesome thanks to Heineken, Penny Stein Promotions, Highveld and Big Concerts. One of the international production team guys comes up to me and says “You can’t be here”. I politely tell him I have the necessary accred and then he tells me that doesn’t apply, I must move. So I do. No time to waste, it must be done. I move to the area that he tells me too, but because the area isn’t elevated off the ground, my footage now looks like one of those pirated movies where u see people walking across the bottom of the screen. Wonderful. I’ll make it work though, that’s what I do.
9:15pm- the band comes on, the lighting, their stage presence; the yells and cheers from their fans is massive. It’s lekker, I wonder what these guys are thinking- feeling. It must be the best feeling in the world. Now what you wont know is that film crews are only allowed to film the first 90seconds of the first three songs. It’s tight, so you really have to make it worthwhile. There is always a rep counting you down and then you’re politely tapped on the shoulder and told to stop. That’s all good. Only this time, the sound feed (which is being manned by my friendly international production guy) is cut. Abrupt way of saying stop filming. That’s cool, whatever. So come the second song, they forget to switch it back on and because time is limited, I lose half of that song. Awesome! Thanks guy.
So by this stage I’m kinda over the production people. I filmed the third song and then the security decide it’s time to go. GO NOW!!! Get out of front-of-house and put your cameras away. Yes I know that, thanks buddy! I ain’t dumb and I’ve done this before. I swear they really treat you like a criminal sometimes, when in actual fact you’re giving the band promotion.
In terms of the concert and the band’s performance, they were fantastic… really they were. The local organisers were again, on top of things, but then the attitudes of the international team put a dampener on my night. Don’t treat me and the other media guests (invited VIPS I might add) like idiots. It’s for the fans to watch anyway! I don’t usually complain about this sort of thing, but I had to voice my opinion