Photographed a band at the Aragon Ballroom this weekend. It is a general admission, first come- first served venue with a capacity of about 5000 people. The true fans start lining up the morning of the show in an alley down the block, and when the doors open, they run up the stairs to get to the front. Historically, there have been bands that caused people to sleep out in the alley for up to four days (Van Halen comes to mind). These people, I am surmising, were aided by substances legal and illegal. Many of them passed out in the front row before the band came on and had to be carried out.
This weekend, the situation was a little different. The band was Rise Against, a punk rock band, who in the last few years have risen from playing at the Warped tour to selling out two nights at the Aragon. That is 10,000 tickets, or 5000 people coming two nights in a row. Either way, a great accomplishment! The band is very political, and has a faithful audience. They also preach being “Straight edge”, meaning no drugs or alcohol. I talked to some of the people being crushed against the barricade and they told me that they had been there for three and a half hours, after sitting in the cold in the alley for about 7 hours in 50 degree windy weather. That is some kind of dedication!
I think with these kind of fans, this band will go a long way (Doesn’t hurt that they are really nice guys, also)