Bucket List Band #1
I’m a nerd. I really have no problem admitting this. I’m not even a nerd about a just small collection of things. You know how people have like one or two little things that they’re kinda nerdy about and people think it’s cute? That’s not me. I’m nerdy about things in a way that my wife normally shakes her head at me for. One of which is my love for stadiums. Not just baseball stadiums, or hockey rinks… all stadiums. So when I shoot bands at a big venue, I spend a lot of time gawking around the place from the level of the playing surface. I think it’s neat, shoot me. I also have a bucket list of bands I want to photograph live. So, Saturday June 3rd was a double dose of neat-o for me.
Tim Horton’s Field. Homefield of my hometown Hamilton Tiger-Cats. As I stood against the railing of the floor surface, peering across the astroturf and up at the press boxes, I feel a sense of earning this one. In a couple of short hours I was going to photograph one of my bucket list bands. Billy Talent. A band that I almost fell ass first into photographing just a few months ago by mistake. Okay, “by mistake” is misleading. I knew exactly where I was. But I was there to photograph the opener, Monster Truck. I was also there because Janine, my wife, had bought me tickets for Christmas. It was shortly after Christmas that I decided I was to getting back into photography. So I started poking at some of my old contacts and looking into who was coming to town. “Oh right, Monster Truck is opening for Billy Talent!! I love Monster Truck”. So I do some of that stuff I do, and get approved to shoot them when they open at the Air Canada Centre. I had no allusions of photographing Billy Talent aswell. I was only just coming out of my hibernation as a photographer. I was just trying to punch my weight and get back some form of a portfolio.
February 27th rolls around and Janine and I head into Toronto. We go to our favourite downtown restaurant before the show (my second favourite if you count hot dog vendors) and I’m still waiting for final confirmation on my phone. We’re talking like 2 hours before show time. So of course when we get to the arena, what has two thumbs and isn’t on the media list? This guy. I assure Janine that I’ll get it worked out and meet her in our seats in a few minutes. It did not take a few minutes. It took forever, and my phone reception was spotty at best. Unable to get through to my wife, who in my mind is growing increasingly impatient, I start to get a tad jumpy. I can’t leave the media area cause they didn’t have enough passes to physically give me one, so I’ll never get back in. I can’t reach Janine to explain what is going on, and time is really starting to march on. I’m torn. I want to shoot Monster Truck. I've been told I can shoot Billy Talent. But my wife has been sitting by herself in our seats for almost 2 hours. I can’t stop pacing but atleast it’s time for Monster Truck to go on. As I stand in the pit waiting for them to come on stage I’m pretty much in a full panic attack over the situation. It dawns on me. “What am I doing? These tickets were my christmas gift. Janine doesn’t really even like Billy Talent”. One song into Monster Truck I pack my gear and head to my seat. I told myself that there would be other chances. It was only photography. Somethings are more important, and nothing is more important than the ones you love. I get back to my seat and Janine is like “what are you doing?”
“The lighting was terrible”, which it was. That’s not a lie. From a camera’s point of view the lighting was atrocious.
"Go back and finish, it's fine"
"Nah, the lighting really is awful. Couldn't get anything good"
Less than a month later it was announced Billy Talent was playing nearby again in June… and by nearby, I mean almost in my backyard. Karma was smiling upon me. The moral here is; do the right thing. Support those who support you. Your time will come.
Now I just need Monster Truck to come back, and with better lighting.