Sometimes you end up in a situation before you even realize you’re there. Important to note – there were no cameras or video-recording equipment allowed when The Breeders went on an anniversary tour of their iconic album Last Splash in 2013…but in absolute truth – unless you were paying attention to the internet and the rules online…which I certainly wasn’t…you might have missed the ban. So…here I am in the thick of the crowd, watching the opening band Tweens absolutely SLAY a set opening up for one of the greatest female-driven bands of the 90’s-era…and I realize that as The Breeders stepped out onstage that there wasn’t a camera or phone up in the entire crowd in front of me. Being no stranger to rules of this nature…I quickly realized that I wasn’t supposed to have that camcorder on me that night…you get the sense when you’re the only one with a camera that everyone else has somehow been informed. I completely missed the memo (which to be fair to them, I looked up when I got home and it WAS clearly posted online, I just had no idea or thought to check!) …and then of course, I’m faced with a choice. I either stop recording what would truly be a once in a lifetime moment…or I could somehow sneak a shot or two. So from underneath my gigantic beard…I held the camera under my chin. True apologies to bassist Josephine Wiggs…because she definitely noticed it halfway through the set and was certainly quick to dish out the death-stares of ‘I know what you’re doing’ my way. Certainly didn’t mean to distract them…just couldn’t help myself.
More than half of what I got that night was shrouded in a live-beard frame…I can certainly admit it’s not the greatest footage of all-time. However! Maybe one day…and you never really know…but MAYBE one day, we’ll be in some sort of documentary on this run of shows from The Breeders. About a month down the road on tour, the band officially posted to their Facebook that they somewhat regretted the decision to ban cameras & recorders from the shows…and low & behold began crowd-sourcing for any shots, photos or videos that were taken from the tour. Because I felt so completely guilty about having ANY footage at all, and because they’re certainly heroes of mine – I passed on absolutely everything I had to The Breeders’ camp…so who knows…maybe one day we’ll see some SBS footage in a compilation…or one day at least know that they somehow saw it. At the end of the day…even though I eventually realized I was breaking the rules…pretty sure I’d do it all over again. People mock us camera-types all the time for not ‘living in the moment’ and ‘being here now’ at the shows as we’re behind the lens filming for the archives of history…and then of course flock to any material they can find online to relive their own moment. I think both the band and the fans involved on this tour probably learned something about the importance of that documentation…and for those that haven’t, please remove thy sticks from thine asses…there’s only ever a handful of us in the crowd – and when all is said and done, you ALWAYS look for those clips and videos online to relive that same shared experience. Next time you see a camera in the crowd…instead of giving the person an elbow to the ribs, give’em a freakin’ high-five…because they’re probably not doing what they do to file it away in some unseen collection somewhere…they’re doing their best to preserve the moment for us all.
That’s my two-cents on that. Still managed to get some incredible shots from that night and some great videos too. The Breeders continue to be absolute champions onstage and their music still holds up just as strongly as if it was just released yesterday…which is amazing for any band. They’ve written timelessly inventive and innovative material…and hopefully, they’ll still be doing so for many, many more years to come. Take a look at some photos from their Last Splash tour at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC!