Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper with Ministry and Filter at Honda Center in Anaheim, California on September 23, 2023
This was not my first time shooting Rob Zombie or Ministry, but I will never not cover them. This was, however, my first show contributing for Highwire Magazine.
I love the Honda Center. It is my favorite stadium to shoot at and I will go back as much as I possibly can. They give me free parking.
Before the show, I found this little noodle house and had my first Vietnamese wonton noodle soup. I am hooked. It was like a combination of pho and wonton soup but 1,000 times better and more flavorful. If your pho shop sells wonton noodle soup, get it, with egg noods, and your life will be forever changed.
After my life changing wonton nood soup, I headed over to the Honda to pick up my credentials and do what I do best (after eating and sleeping)...waiting. I had plenty of entertainment in the sidewalk preacher telling us all that we are going to Hell and Alice Cooper is the devil and something derogatory about the LGBTQ+ community. I was laughing too hard at his ridiculousness to really pay close attention. Even the cops were laughing. He was very angry and I think he should get himself some Vietnamese wonton nood soup. That will calm his soul. After a little while, his friend showed up. An equally angry woman with a microphone and speaker attached to her somehow. She was so loud and walking all around the venue spreading her anger and it was just so stupid. Get some soup, lady!
The time came and the media escort walked us to the photo pit at the front of the stage. Because Filter's set was so short and there was only a 15 minute break between Filter and Ministry, there was no point in walking us back to the waiting area, so we all just hung out at the side of the backstage. I felt so important.
However, after Ministry, we were then escorted to a conference room that we weren't allowed to leave. We were trapped! There was no escape! That was our new home and we just had to accept our fates! This was the room that we were escorted from and back to after our three songs were shot. If you were hungry, too bad! If you had to use the bathroom, too bad! This was our room forever and we knew we were going to have to rebuild society inside this room. I was so worried that we were going to have a Lord of the Flies situation so I assessed my fellow prisoners and figured out who I could "take." They weren't going to hurt me trying to steal my glasses for fire!
I'm kidding. We were absolutely allowed to leave the room to watch the show if we had a ticket, grab food, or go to the bathroom, whatever we needed because we are adults and Honda Center does not keep photographers against their will, as long as we left our cameras in the room. They gave us water because they are just nice people. Our escort was fantastic and took really good care of us.
You can read my official review of the show here.
Ladytron at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, California on September 22, 2023
This was a last minute show that I was asked to cover the day before. I was thrilled to do it. I ended up being a night of highs and lows.
There is a night market a few blocks away that sells Birria Quesatacos. If you haven't ever had those, get them. Now. Just do it.
The music was amazing and I fell in love with Ladytron this night.
Ladytron's performance was absolutely worth stopping eating quesatacos for. Kidding. That's obvious. They are just plain amazing.
Okay, there was only one low. As I was making my way to the front to the photo pit that I was authorized to enter, someone got very angry at the thought that I was pushing (I said excuse me as I maneuvered through the crowd, I was polite) my way to the front to being able to see the show. I wasn't, but what if I was? What. If. I. Was????? I am literally 5 feet tall. I am not exaggerating. I am very short. This guy was well over 6 feet. Even if I was just trying to see the show, how does that effect you, sir? You can see over me. You weren't even at the front of the stage. You were in the middle. My presence would have taken absolutely nothing away from you. Nothing. At. All. So, this grown ass man who is over 6 feet tall was so angry that he literally pushed me so hard that I almost fell over. This man, started to pick a verbal and physical fight with me because I was trying to get passed him in a general admission pit. Dude. Calm down. Get some quesatacos and try to figure out why you are so threatened by a hobbit trying to see a show in front of you. Anyway, as he started to yell at me, I showed him my photo pass and pointed to the security guard at the entrance of the pit and simply said "I'm press. I'm going there." He looked where I was pointing and saw the security guard starting to unhook the blockade to come and help me. He responded with yelling at me "WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST SAY SO????" Ok, dude, first of all, it's not like you gave me a chance to say anything. Second of all, I DO NOT HAVE TO JUSTIFY MY EXISTENCE TO YOU." Who the fluff are you? No one. You are no one to me. I just gave him my trademark bitch face death stare and walked away. I couldn't risk getting into an actual fight because it's not just my reputation as a concert photographer on the line, it's also the reputation of the outlet that I was shooting for. They could also be blacklisted because of my behavior and I just hate fighting anyway. I had a job to do. I was in the right. I didn't need to get into it with this Neanderthal just because of pride.
Well, that dude was not done. A young woman who saw the whole thing because she was standing where I had already passed through, and she had no problem letting me through, found me after my three songs and told me the rest of the story. As I walked away he was still yelling and being profane about me and then he turned to her and tried to pick a fight with her! She was just standing there, minding her own business with her friend and this pathetic little man picked a fight with her accusing her of trying to get in front of him, too. WHY?? I know it was not my fault and I didn't do this to her but I still apologized that she had to experience that because I simply tried to do my job and a guy with anger problems got in her face over it.
If this is you, or you are at show and the guy you are with picks fights with smaller women and you do nothing, you have no place in these venues. Music is supposed to unite us. It's supposed to be the one thing we all share. Do not ruin the night by being a butthead. Just. Don't. It's not okay on any level.
I didn't let this sad little man ruin my night and neither did that sweet young lady. Ladytron is amazing and I love them.
You can read my less angry official review here.
Come with me on some awesome photo adventures and a few wild shenanigans.