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Nine Inch Nails and The Liberal Camera Policy

Monday 11/03/2008 7:39 AM

FYI, I updated my Jacksonville post with a photo of my awesome custom-printed tickets for the Nine Inch Nails show. The girls seated next to me at the show saw them in Duluth (just outside Atlanta) a couple months ago at a show for which I almost bought tickets. They said they got the same cool red-foil-stamped and custom-name-printed tickets for that concert as well. Since there is no extra charge for the pre-sale tickets, getting these souvenir-quality tickets is worth the minimal extra hassle of being able to buy tickets before the general public. Highly recommended.

Trent Reznor, the guy behind Nine Inch Nails (he writes the songs, plays most of the instruments and is heavily involved in the producing, mixing and engineering of the records) was released from his record contract almost two years ago. Normally this would be considered a bad thing, but Trent welcomed it. Since then he has released a double album of instrumental music that made him a couple million dollars by selling it online through his web site and then for an encore he released a brand new album of typical Nine Inch Nails songs for absolutely free (and he did so with the simple message “This one's on me”).

He's made the full multi-tracks of his albums available online for free so fans can create their own mixes of songs and he has encouraged the re-use of his music on web sites and in video projects. His working assumption has been that people are going to steal his music no matter what he does, so instead he is trying to make his music as accessible as possible while trying to make a little bit of money along the way.

All of this was going through my head Wednesday night as I got ready for the concert and kept staring at my camera on the desk next to the television in the riverside Wyndham in downtown Jacksonville. I was pretty sure Trent would let people bring their own cameras, but I wasn't sure if the venue might have their own restrictions. So I left it behind.

I caught a cab to the arena and it was only an eight dollar fare to go the two or so miles to the show. When I got there, I asked the cabbie to wait for me. I explained to him that I had tickets waiting for me (true) and I wanted him to give me a ride back to the hotel if my tickets weren't there (not entirely true). I walked up to the will call window, showed my ID and got my tickets. Then I asked the attractive thirty-something woman if camera's were allowed.

“Point and shoots are OK. Just no professional cameras with big lenses.”

I told her I left my camera back in my hotel room and asked her if she was sure it was OK.

“I'm with the band. Trust me. It's OK,” she explained.

So I walked back to the taxi and told the guy that he'll probably think I'm crazy but I wanted him to drive me back to the hotel so I could grab my camera. It was easy money for him so what did he care. And that is how I ended up paying thirty dollars for a two mile cab ride.

But I got to take pictures — legitimately — at a Nine Inch Nails concert.

The picture with this post shows you how amazing my seats were. I was in Row A, seats 5 and 6. Yeah, I had two seats to myself. I couldn't find anyone to go with me. Anyway, I was on the lowest row on what would be the floor risers at most shows. I was right in line with the people on the floor at the front of the crowd. If there was anything wrong with my seats it's that they were TOO CLOSE. Kinda hard to get a lot sympathy for that kind of problem.

I quickly realized that the pictures I was getting were not very interesting. Just typical rock concert images that failed to capture the excitement of the show with their snapshot frame of reference. It didn't take long before I started experimenting.

More to come.

File Under: Concert(s); Jacksonville; Nine Inch Nails; Photography
Music: Nine Inch Nails "The Fragile"

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