It's best not to go back

Tonight I was handed a disappointment that pretty much shook the foundation of what I've built my life upon over the past twenty years.

And before you say anything, yes, I'm likely being melodramatic and pissy, but the way I'm feeling right now is equal parts fury, disappointment, and sadness. I felt that if I tried to bury it inside or feign letting it go--or hell, even trying to let it go--I would fail spectacularly.

I had been looking forward to this evening for months. Tonight was the night that The Breeders would be in Philadelphia, with their 1993 lineup, playing the "Last Splash" album in its entirety to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

You may remember The Breeders. They had the single "Cannonball." For some, that was the last you heard of them. For me, it was only one of many songs I loved. I've collected all their albums, even some of their singles and EPs. I've seen them in concert a few times. I could not wait for this show. "Last Splash" is as perfect of an album as I've ever heard.

We waited outside The Trocadero in Philadelphia, a place I hadn't been to in 16 years. We went in. I bought some merch. We headed to the balcony. And there we waited, with a solid view of the stage. 9:15 rolls around and The Breeders start playing. I'm grinning like a fool and enjoying the hell out of the experience. I'm taking some pictures with my little Canon Powershot. I'm feeling the rhythm. Everything's great.

Near the end of the set for the "Last Splash" album, I'm taking another picture when a staff member comes over to me and grabs my camera. She tells me there's no photography and she's taking my camera to the box office where I can pick it up after the show. Now, this comes as a surprise to me, considering when we walked into the venue, I emptied my pockets and had the camera in my hand. She asks for my ID, takes it and the camera, and walks away. A few songs go by, and my anger over the incident deepens. It's compounded with the fact that not 3 yards away people are shooting video with their iPhones of the show.

The staff member comes back, hands me my ID, and says that they deleted all the photos per band management. That was it for me. Fine, tell me there is no photography, but to treat me like a criminal and invade my privacy by going through my camera's memory card? Unforgivable.

I had enough. We were leaving. I gave Kristin my merch, asked her to return it, and went to go get my camera. I said to the woman in the box office that if there wasn't going to be any photography, they should put more signs up. She shrugged and was indifferent. Another staff member said there indeed was a sign. It was on the back wall of the box office. That one wasn't specific to the band, though. Whatever, damage was done.

Strangely, that wasn't the first time I had an issue at the Trocadero. Back in 1995, 15-year-old me was at a concert and was singled out by security twice wondering why I was holding a strange-shaped object under my arm. The object in question were T-shirts I had bought at that venue.

Consider this my therapy session over this incident. It's sad to say that not only was my night ruined but also my love for The Breeders is gone. Now I cannot listen to that album without thinking of tonight. That album had always made me happy. It took me back to a simpler time in my life. Yes, I agree that this seems melodramatic, but as I said to Kristin on the way home, it's like finding out that your favorite relative has a dark secret. You just can't look at him the same way, no matter how many great times you shared. All you feel is hurt.

It's easy to think what if I had just left my camera at home, or if I hadn't taken a picture at that time (I was even being considerate and not using a flash), or a myriad of other possible outcomes? This was shaping up to be one of the best concert experiences of my life, but unfortunately it ended up bookending a period of my life. I do feel better that I didn't end up spending money on their reissue of the album.

Goodbye, Breeders. You can feel safer now knowing that the next time I take a picture of someone, it won't be of you.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 6, 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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