Scars are souvenirs you never lose.


April 18, 2010 :: 10:10 PM

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goo goo dolls :: casino ballroom, hampton beach, nh :: april 14 2010

I saw the Goo Goo Dolls at the Casino on Thursday night. (Obviously!) They were awesome. The energy coming from the stage was intense and the energy coming from the audience was just as intense. The last time I saw them, we were at Great Woods and there was a tweenybopper next to us. Ms. Tween was whining the entire show: “When are they going to play that song? You know, the one from that movie?” I wanted to punch her so badly. I will never understand why people will spend so much money on concert tickets to just hear (in her case) one song. Seriously. She didn’t react to any of the band’s other hits - just “Iris”. That song, from that movie.  *sigh* This crowd was different - EVERYONE was into it. EVERYONE around us knew the words. We sang to each other. We sang to the band. We sang. And it was… orgasmic.  (Well, it was before and after they played “Broadway”. That’s the only one I can’t stand - in a ““Losing My Religion” makes me want to pry my eyeballs out with a spork” type of way. The lyrics just hit too close to home.)

It was general admission, which means standing in the crowd, getting jostled and trying to look around the tall people. I have to say, my years of hopping around to all kinds of all ages shows certainly helped make the night a wicked freaking awesome success and a half. I got the very nice tall, tall guy and his just-as-tall friend to stand behind me instead of in front of me. (There’s a certain way to do it so you don’t come across looking like a douche.) and I was able to get a spot in front of the soundboard. IMHO, that’s where the sound is best. Don’t ask me why - I’m sure there’s a reason, but I discovered it accidentally. From my awesome vantage point, I also got a very good reminder as to why it’s so damn hard to take good concert photos. So many people think all they have to do is point the camera in the general direction and push the button…

It’s not that easy.

For starters, there’s the issue of focus. Performers don’t stay still. Especially performers who have wireless instruments. I couldn’t keep up with Johnny at several points. If I couldn’t, there was no way my camera would be able to. You should find a stationary point about the same distance as the performer, push the shutter down halfway and get the focus to lock. Follow the intended target and snap the picture at any point after the focus locks. 9 times out of 10 it will be pretty decent. They won’t always be crystal clear, but they’ll be clear enough.

Then there’s the flash. YOU. DON’T. NEED. IT.  Turn the damn thing off, or diffuse it. Between your flash and the stage lighting, your pictures will either get washed out or it will look like they’re performing in daylight. I can’t think of a single concert picture I’ve liked where the stage lighting hasn’t been used to the photographer’s advantage. I can’t think of a show, either, where the photogs in the pit have used a flash. I actually got a new camera for my birthday - a Canon S90 specifically since it’s good in low light conditions. So far, I’ve found it to be a little too noisy when I’m taking photos at shows, but as I’m getting better with it, the pictures are getting better. Definitely operator error, so far. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that the better the camera, the harder it is to get good concert shots. I love my Nikon D40, but it’s too damn complicated to bring to a show. My wicked basic, point and shoot, Olympus Stylus 1010 was definitely my go-to camera, but I’m phasing it out in favor of the Canon.

Anyhoo, Johnny came out and performed “Sympathy” acoustically all by his lonesome. Best. Goo Goo Dolls. Concert. Moment. Ever.

I wish for things that I don’t need (All I wanted)
And what I chase won’t set me free (All I wanted)
And I get scared but I’m not crawling on my knees…

Stranger than your sympathy
All these thoughts you stole from me
I’m not sure where I belong
Nowhere’s home and I’m all wrong

It was such an amazing night. It was, without a doubt, one of my top three concerts.

In other news, I’ve decided I’m going to learn how to fence. With a sword! Yes, yes, yes, clumsy, awkward me with sharp metal objects. Someone’s losing an eye or dying. Better make sure my life insurance policy is up to date - J will be bummed if I die an accidental death and he doesn’t get that big fatty check. It’s something I’ve always thought about, but never done anything with. I’m pretty shy when it comes to learning new sports, especially since I’m so uncoordinated. But, I need to lose weight and I don’t want to “exercise” (*shudders*), so I’m looking for something fun to do. We’re also talking about biking, kayaking, and rollerblading. That all sounds like fun, especially since we can do a lot of it in the parks near the water, but I’m really, really excited to play with more pointy sticks. I really think it’s fate - there are 4 fencing clubs where I can take classes within about an hour of where I live.  Wow.

I’m a little amused that I received a very nice “thank you” type message in my Facebook inbox from an unexpected source. It’s not from who I wish it were from, but even if it were from that person, it’s just a little too late. All I’m going to say on the topic is “vagina boob”. Take from that what you will.