Taking photographs up front at the Pixies show last night at the Tsongas Arena

Joey Santiago

Where do I even begin?

Last night Yves Etheart and I attended the Pixies sold-out show at the Tsongas Arena. We were there on behalf of Exploit Boston!, my event calendar website. It was amazing. I had a photo pass which allowed me to go up front with the photographers from The Improper Bostonian, Boston Metro and The Boston Phoenix. There were 3-4 more photographers but I didn’t have a chance to meet them. Eric Barry was there for The Boston Phoenix. He does freelance photojournalism and wedding photography.

When we first arrived at the Tsongas Arena we discovered that they were seperating men and women into different lines and doing semi-thorough checks to see if you had cigarettes, cameras, etc. When I got to the front of my line, I mentioned that I had a camera and needed to pick up my photo pass. They directed me to leave the building and go around to a side entrance. Once I got there, one of the security guys greeted me but had no info about the photo pass/comp tickets. He called one of his cohorts and then directed me back to the main lobby. Instead of leaving the building and going back through the main entrance, he pointed out an elevator around the corner. Once we got back up to the main floor we picked up our tickets and my photo pass.

The Bennies kicked things off and then Mission of Burma (!) performed. They are one of those bands I never followed much. I have no excuse. They were outstanding.

At 9:35 I wandered back down to the lower level to meet up with the other photographers and the Pixies’ manager who would escort us through the crowd up to the front. So there was a stage, a dozen security people, the photographers, a baracade and a sea of fans. Unbelievable.

While we were upfront waiting for the band to take the stage, a guy who was probably in his mid-40s asked if he could have my photo pass sticker. I said probably not. And then I think he mumbled something about offering me drugs after the show in exchange for the pass. Needless to say, I declined. I need to stop by Michael’s and get it (and the ticket) scanned. The pass is bright yellow with black words that says “Pixies worldtour 2004” with “Low 1 Photo” written along the bottom. And for some unkown reason, it smells like kerosine.

I took photos during the first three songs and then we were escorted out of the building to remove our camera equipment. I then wandered back into the arena and enjoyed the rest of a kick ass rock concert. This is definitely inspiring me to get a snazzier camera next year and take Beth up on her offer to teach me about how to use a camera more effectively. Amusingly enough, I was using a little Sony Cybershot camera at the show while all the other photographers had fancy digital SLR cameras with mega zoom lens.

I posted tidbits about the photos over at Exploit Boston!. Yves’ article will be up in a day or two.

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