First I want to say how seriously impressed I was with the MCR fans today. It was so packed and crazy, yet every single person I came across was so incredibly nice, excited, and just having a good time. I’m a concert photographer, so I often shoot concerts for bands I’m not crazy about (and some of which I am of course). There isn’t always a barricade at shows, and more often than not, even in tiny, not very packed venues, the fans can be so fucking rude, bratty, and just embarrassing to themselves. I was really proud to be part of the MCRmy today because every one was so fucking cool! I didn’t come across a single rude person, and that’s saying a lot because when you see where I started to where I ended up, I had to pass by A LOT of people. I had a lot of great conversations and awesome times in way too close of quarters (i.e. where hot, tired, dehydrated, unable to breath people could easily and understandably snap and act like a jerk), and it really made the show that much better. It’s really what’s special about this band; the fans really come together! So basically, as a group of fans, we all rule! But you all already knew that.
So I had passed on tickets and media passes to Bamboozle weeks ago; at the time (i.e. before MCR was booked), the very long trip to Asbury just wasn’t worth it to me. Also, shooting festivals is hellacious. In any case, when MCR was added to the bill to fill in for Blink-182, I was so mad at myself for passing (by then it was too late to get media passes). I’ve shot MCR once before (at the House of Blues in Las Vegas), and it was seriously amazing, but it was actually the very first “professional” (i.e. non house or bar show) that I had ever shot. I’ve constantly been saying that I want to shoot them again, so I was pretty bummed thinking I missed my chance. In any case, I’m actually so happy I just attended as a fan. It has been such a long time since I’ve gotten to go to a show without a camera in my hand (phone camera doesn’t count) and actually just enjoy it. So I am so incredibly happy it worked out this way, and I was able to actually just sing and thrash along instead of snapping shot after shot. I definitely wouldn’t have had the experience I got had I been there working.
My day was insanely hectic (subway delays, missing trains, hour and a half will call lines, etc.). I probably should have woken up earlier, but I’m terrible at that, and it actually worked out perfectly. I got into the festival and over to the main stage just a few minutes before Jimmy Eat World came on, and I still managed to get just two rows of people off the very very center barricade before MCR even walked out!
Jimmy Eat World opened up with “Sweetness,” and throughout their set, I slowly started meandering from the very very back center area (see the Helena video for reference), to the right side of the stage, which got me about halfway to the barricade. I then slowly worked my way toward the center. At that point, I decided I’d just crowd surf the rest of the way up. So during Jimmy Eat World’s second to last song, the kid next to me lifted me up, and I crowd surfed until I got about four rows of people back from the center stage barricade. Jimmy Eat World then finished with “The Middle.” The crowd then started to do its usual preemptive surge forward, but it was far stronger than usual and got much much more packed because of the insane size of the area and sheer number of people pushing in every direction. A few people against the barricade got lifted out, at which point I ended up standing just two rows of people off the barricade dead fucking center (though it felt much closer because of how packed in we all were). The barricade was abnormally far away from the stage for whatever reason though.
I’m Not Ok
Thank You For The Venom
Na Na Na
Our Lady of Sorrows
Famous Last Words
Welcome To The Black Parade
Vampires Will Never Hurt you
So by the time MCR came on, every one was pushing in every direction, and you really had to work hard to not get crushed. Again, I’m super sorry these videos are so shaky and short. I had so so much fun, but it was so packed that you literally couldn’t even jump and move around at certain points during the show. Seriously, I actually had to ask the kid behind me to grab my phone from my back pocket because there wasn’t even enough room to try to put my arms down. And because I couldn’t put my arms down, I just had them resting on the boy next to me (who was also jumping around), which is why his head is almost constantly in the shot during Vampires. So even though I really wanted to get you guys some video and share all the awesome excitement with you, I also really wanted to sing and jump around and go crazy. So that, along with all the crazy shakiness, not being able to control what got in the shot (i.e. the kid’s head next to me, and the ridiculously tall dude’s head in front of me) is why I stopped so short on all of them. I also didn’t even expect the sound to be at all audible. What’s strange is that during the show I really couldn’t hear any one singing around me, but you can clearly hear several different people singing in these videos. Anyways, sorry again and enjoy!
Vampires is seriously one of my top three favorite MCR songs live (the other two are Venom and Prisons), and they don’t play it that often any more, so when it came on, I went crazy (hence the video being only 38 seconds long). During the second half of Vampires I decided to crowd surf again, and I eventually (actually fairly quickly) went over the barricade. I ran ALL the way around the enormous crowd, back to the very very back center area where I originally started out during Jimmy Eat World’s set. They then played Helena, I took a bit of brief video before I had to stop because I couldn’t control the urge to move around and sing all crazy. It’s a pretty good reference of the size of the crowd, and it was taken from the exact spot I originally started out in during JEW’s set (I went back to the same exact spot to find my fiancé). So it shows how far my crazy adventure up to the barricade was! And that was it!
It was such an awesome show, and I feel so lucky I was able to make it! I can’t believe how long this band has been so important to me. The setlist was really well put together. They even played two of my three favorite MCR live songs (Venom and Vampires). Side story, when I saw MCR perform in Lowell, Massachusettes back in 2005 when the were touring for Revenge, I was front and center and they opened up the show with Interlude. Gerard stepped out in all black with that clerical collar he used to wear. The crowd fell dead silent and so still, it was insane. Every one was just staring listening to Gerard sing. And then immediately, they burst into Thank You For the Venom (allá the actual album track order), and the pit instantaneously swelled, and every one was going fucking nuts. I think of that every single time I hear that song, so it gets me so pumped, and I fucking love getting to hear it live!
Anyways, feel free to ask any questions. I have more photos, but they’re mostly all the same shitty camera phone shot from the same angle (nothing great really). I may post them at some point tomorrow. Gotta get to bed now though. I’m so exhausted, but wanted to share all this with you guys!