One of the advantages of covering shows for the media is that sometimes, I get to spend the evening in the VIP section of the venue, and occasionally I get one of those nice photo passes as a souvenir.
For some reason, when people see my photo pass they automatically assume it is a backstage pass and that somehow I have connections that I don’t have, and thus, they become my new best friend.
This has led to some funny incidents, including one that happened recently at a ZZ Top show when a guy called me over to help get him into the VIP area at Artpark. I know nothing good is coming when someone opens with the line “Hey buddy, can you help me out?”
The guy flashed a newspaper ID and told me he was reviewing the show. The funny thing is that I know the names of the people who write for that newspaper, and not only could this guy not name any of them, when I told him I would Google his name, he told me to look up his brother instead. The conversation ended there.
There are always people at concerts trying to self-upgrade, and some people are actually very good at it. I have to admit that if I have lousy seats I am always contemplating a way to get closer by the end of the show, and I am usually one of those idiots that bum rushes the stage for the band’s encores.
These days I rarely fight for that spot right in front of the stage because it usually isn’t worth the hassle. I still have nightmares about the time a guy burned my back with his cigarette until I gave up my spot in the front row.