Let me open this tale of last Monday's concert by saying my instincts were entirely wrong. My brother-in-law (age 25) and I (age 29) were, indeed, not too old for the Flogging Molly show. While it did indeed attract its share of young punks, it also brought in old punks, old lovers of Irish music and guys like us -- normal dudes who happen to like good music.
As Jethro Tull wisely told us years ago, "You're never too old to rock 'n' roll if you're too young to die." I'm way too young to die my friends.
By the way, where else but in this blog and my iPod can Jethro Tull and Flogging Molly live together without a hint of irony? OK, I suppose there is a motherload of irony, but you get my point.
As it turned out, though, the age thing was far from the night's drama. Instead, it turned out to be my function there at the show.
As we were nearing the front of the line, we got ready to have our pockets searched. One of the security officers, noticing my camera bag, wanted a look. Upon seeing it, she told me only point-and-shoot were allowed.
"But I have a photo pass waiting for me," I responded.
This seemed to confuse her for a moment. She called over an associate and told him to take me in to the office to check on this.
After a quick pat-down by security (standard procedure at this sort of show), we were walking briskly across the empty first floor of the Murat Centre. After a few minutes of waiting, a third security guard told our escort photo passes were at will-call.
And back across the building we went. Turned out the dude was right. I told the ticket girl my name, and she produced an envelope with two tickets and a photo pass sticker to put on my shirt. I was given no explanation of how the photo pass worked, which didn't seem weird at the time.
The first act, The Architects, passed without event. They were pretty good, reminding me of some of the stuff I listened to in high school. That made me feel pretty good.
Then the main support act, Frank Turner, came on. We moved a bit closer to have a better look and so I could see if I'd be able to get any pictures worth my effort.
I noticed during the first couple of songs guys right down in front with cameras. "Lucky dogs," I thought. "Wonder how I could get that access."
A few songs later, I was approached by security. The guy wanted to see my photo pass and whom I wrote for. I produced the pass and gave him an answer, and he walked away talking into his headset. Something was afoot.
A song or two later, another guy comes up with a similar set of questions. After I tell him the same thing, he tells me I can't have the camera in the audience and that I can only use it during the first three songs.
"Come with me," he says.
Of course, my mind is racing at this point. I will say, though, the guy was totally cool. He was just doing his job. We end up at the same office from earlier, only this time the girl with the answers is there.
I have to explain to her who I represent, who granted the pass and why I'm not on her list. I give her what I have and a quick call to Flogging Molly's tour manager clears things up.
As it turned out, I was supposed to be one of the guys right in front of the stage, but only for three songs. After explaining to them I'm also writing about the show, I was told I could go back upstairs after the photo session, but without the camera. I could leave it in the office, which was secure.
I agreed, but had I known the trouble it would cause, I probably would have just written about the show.
I will say, though, I made the most of my time. In my three songs worth of time, I took 169 pictures. I covered entire football games with fewer than 20 in the past.