Monday, June 08, 2009

NIN 2009 Part 1- Preshow backstage @ Camden

Hello all you Hops fans. Mrs. Hops here. I'm commandeering the blog for the sake of documenting our NIN backstage experience for posterity. For the record - it was amazing. The band was thoughtful and everyone, including the crew and staff, really wanted us to have a unique and genuine experience.

So we are seeing 3 shows this tour - the first of which was in Camden and is the one for
which we had backstage passes. We were told to be at the venue on Friday at 2:30. We we woke up bright and early for the drive up from DC. It was raining the whole time and we were fully prepared to have to spend hours in the wetness waiting to get into the venue. In order to provide some pre-show nourishment, we stopped at a Nathan's when we arrived in Camden. Can you imagine a better meal to start out your afternoon - especially when the nerves of meeting your long-time idol are already making your stomach churn? In any case, the poster did not disappoint.

Next it was over to the venue. It was around 12:30, and there were already people lined up, but most were there because they had GA seats in the pit and wanted to reserve good spots. We were thrilled that there was an overhang at the entrance so we were able to get reprieve from the pounding rain. We met some very cool fans while in line and generally had a nice time despite the cold and wetness. We also watched a truck unload several white shag rugs and gray leather furniture, which was weird. It will come up again later...
You know it is going to be a good show when the venue posts this sign at the entrances:

At 2:45 we were met by the very nice and perky Keelie (sp?) who was the representative
. She was there to hand out presale tickets and gather the people with backstage passes to let us inside. We checked in with her and anxiously awaited the time when we would get to go in. At this point I was incredibly nervous. I had brought about ten different items that I thought I might like to get signed and still hadn't firmly decided on which to do (both Hops and I could get only one item signed). Not to mention the pressure over not knowing what to say to a man whose music you have admired for over 15 years. Hops was less nervous and was keeping me in good spirits. Here is a picture of him wearing his backstage pass.

So around 3:30 we were lead into the venue. Its unique because much of the vending is actually
covered even though it is an amphitheater. So we were finally out of the rain. There were about 60 of us that had passes for backstage, and we were divided into groups of about 20. We were in the first group, so we had the shortest wait before getting the backstage tour. During the tour we got to meet the guys in the production office for NIN, Jane's Addiction, and Street Sweeper Social Club. They guy pictured here is Bill - he does the production for NIN and was there to answer any questions we had. He and the other guys in the office wanted to do push-ups with us, so of course I volunteered. Apparently during long days on the road this is how they keep their energy up. Anyway, I hadn't really thought through the whole push-ups in a short skirt scenario. Thankfully my tights were pretty dark- and Hops was kind enough to cut my backside out of the photo. That's me on the bottom right. Just look at that form! :-)

Next was a long walk down a hall past the
dressing rooms for all of the bands. As we passed by the SSSC dressing room we looked in and Boots Riley (lead singer) was hanging out in there. Hops shouted "Boots" and Boots replied with a very chill "Alllright!". It was cool. At the end of the hall we went out the doors to see the loading dock were all the trucks with the equipment are located. At this point, I was pretty nervous because they didn't tell you where you were going before you got there, so each time they would open a door I thought Trent Reznor was going to be there. Very nerve wracking! Anyway, here is a shot of the loading dock truck with a picture of Mr. T on it. After this we returned to a holding area to wait for the band, which was apparently stuck in traffic.

Next post....meeting the band.

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