The last Everclear photo I took last night
Well, now that I’ve written it all out, it sounds kinda petty. Just dance, enjoy the show, and don’t expect anything like courteous staff I guess. Like going to baseball games – buy the fan gear, sit in your seats, clap and cheer, but don’t expect concessions to work smoothly, any effort on the part of the players, a win, or any appreciation of your efforts supporting the team for years? Nah, doesn’t work. I think my disappointment is valid.
Lesson learned: Don’t go to an event with any expectations. I guess I have this personal problem – I feel part of an event if I can photograph it and I hold memories in photos. I’ve been a fan of Everclear for too many years to admit and have seen them whenever they’ve played locally, and by locally I mean Fairfax County and west of Baltimore. I’ve photographed them every time — at least when I remembered to bring my camera! I’ve found band founder and lead singer Art Alexakis to always be fan-friendly and engaging. I jumped for joy when I saw they’d be playing very locally at the State Theatre in Falls Church! I was also really looking forward to photographing them again now that my skills have improved over the years, as well as my equipment. But I was denied and disappointment unrelated to my confiscated camera only escalated from there.
I swear I read Art looked forward to seeing the photos fans took. So when I was told the strict “absolutely no photography” policy was set by the band, I was surprised and left wondering what the explanation behind it was. Okay, no problem, I still got to see the band I’ve been following for years and hopefully would get my camera back by the end to get a photo with the band, another custom. But we didn’t bother trying after the concert. And I was informed by security at one point to stop taking photos with my iPhone.
That “fan connection” felt like it was severed last night in a heartbreakingly painful way. It was such an awful experience, I don’t think I’ll be going back to the State Theatre. The acoustics in the building were awful (a fact we’ve noticed before). Our food orders (required for reserving a table) trickled out missing things we ordered and ingredients. Another concert-goer took exception to me standing and dancing. The staff, with the exception of our waitress and a guy outside I vented at, were rude and downright obnoxious. One employee even offered to take Mr. Chatter out back to settle something Mr. C disputed. Seriously? Is this junior high?
The sad thing is the place is an icon of history in our small town and only blocks from our house — a place we should be proud to visit and enjoy, sharing some historic kinship. My expectations were so high for this concert based on past experiences with Everclear and the thrill that they were playing walking distance from my house, that I was left feeling punched in the gut after the whole thing. We didn’t bother waiting in line for a photo and autographs. I didn’t want to risk any more disappointment.
But maybe I should have just taken it all in stride, smiled, danced, and enjoyed the show, just appreciating the fact I was present for the musical stylings that included only one new song. The lyrics suggest not taking crap from anyone, yet I felt like a steaming handful was thrown in my face by the night’s end. And I paid for that luxury. I even bought a t-shirt.