Tuesday, December 23, 2008

That's My World Tuesday #10: Downtown Live

"This is the thin part of the crowd?"
Raleigh, NC - August 2008 (Click to embiggen)

Be a virtual tour guide on That's My World Tuesday

"Streetscape - S. Blount Street"
Raleigh, NC - August 2008 (Click to embiggen)

Be a virtual tour guide on That's My World Tuesday

"Yes, I am looking down your shirt..."
Raleigh, NC - August 2008 (Click to embiggen)

Be a virtual tour guide on That's My World Tuesday

During the summer one of the local radio stations along with a few other corporate sponsors put on a free concert series called "Downtown Live". Each show is essentially a mini music festival with the opening acts beginning at around 2 PM. The headliners start in the early evening and play until local noise ordinances say they have to stop (11 PM).

The acts are varied, but are mainly geared toward the college-aged crowd, which makes little sense to me since all of the area colleges are out for the summer. And despite the fact that this has been going on for several years now, this summer was the first time I had attended one of these events. The first show I went to featured Blind Melon as one of the headliners. I went with a group of friends who were all big fans, even though I could only name one song they'd ever done (and even that I couldn't name by title). But once I'd been to one I wondered why I hadn't been taking advantage of this before.

The second show I went to was different though. Different bands, yes, but a much bigger crowd as well. It was the last show of the season and topping the bill were Saving Abel, Eve 6 and Puddle of Mudd. That by itself wouldn't explain the increase in attendance though. That was largely explained by the return of the students at nearby NC State University. Move-in for the resident students had been going on all week, and by Saturday night they were all settled in their dorms and ready for one last blast before classes started the following Monday.

It was a crush the likes of which I haven't seen in a very long time. I have no idea what the official head count might have been, but Moore Square is a city block on each side and at least three quarters of it was nigh unto impassable.

Just a week or so before the show, I got into a discussion with a couple of other area bloggers and among us we decided that this would make an excellent opportunity to meet other area bloggers. So on each of our blogs we started promoting an improvised event known as "Bloggin' the Square '08". We got roughly the turnout we expected (which was the three of us) but it was still a great way to get together. We spent a good bit of the late afternoon and early evening in the shade of one of the live oak trees in the park, not far from a bench where three of the park's "permanent residents" were waiting for the party to be over.

Realizing that we were throwing a really loud party in what was essentially someone's living room put a bit of a damper on the mood. And it made me think a bit about the reasons we were in the park (fun and entertainment) as opposed to the reasons they were in the park (survival and no place else to go). So in addition to some good music, good company and overpriced food I also got a little lesson in perspective.

Whether it's the venue (doubtful) or the sponsors (probable) that were responsible, the "No Detachable Lens" rule is in effect for these events, so unless I wanted to try slipping it by security (which I don't think would have been difficult) I couldn't bring my camera inside (I really need to get a point-and-shoot backup for situations like this). I first encountered this brand of photographic prejudice at the RBC Center in 2001. For reasons that were called "security concerns" but (I'm sure) were more like "dollar concerns" cameras with interchangeable lenses were prohibited inside the arena. Which always rubbed me the wrong way. If you're going to ban cameras, either do it or don't but don't penalize only the people with one type of camera. And now I'll stop before I get into soap box mode.

Anyway outside the park was fair game, so I was able to snap off a few shots of the mostly orderly mob from afar. Had I been adventurous enough to do it, I probably could have gotten some decent long-lens shots from outside. But I wasn't sure my 200mm f/2.8 was long enough and I knew my 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 wasn't nearly fast enough, and I didn't yet have my 1.4x extender for the 200 (which would have still slowed me down to f/4.0 -- which is pushing it at best). So I passed on the opportunity. Perhaps some day I'll have the cake to afford better glass in the 300 or 400mm range. Yeah. Sure.

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Annie said...

Hi Jazz. This looks like it would be so fun to participate in. I'll bet you had a great time more than once.

tiff said...

I remember how HOOOOOT it was. And then? How very crowded. Still, memorable and fun. :) Next year, I'll do the ones that have less liability of being populated by returning college students on the lookout for a good time.

Sara G said...

Great post and pictures!
Thanks for sharing.
Happy Holiday's to you and your family from ours!!

fishing guy said...

What a fun thing to do downtown, it sounds like you had a ball.

Anonymous said...

Activities like this bring residents together. What a fun way to spend an evening.

Happy holidays.

Glennis said...

A great way to have fun together.
Merry Christmas to you.

Doctor Err said...

we have festivals like this in my town, too.
heh. they don't look like this....

i've seen Puddle of Mudd. one of the few rock bands i like. saw a helluva fight at their concert.

beer was in 32 oz plastic cups. good times...

Anonymous said...

It's sad that the world can be so prejudice and biased in an event that supposedly brings people together.

Jeanne said...

Mojo, all I can say is WOW! Thos photos are amazing. thank you for sharing them. We need some warming up here. It was 11 degrees this AM. Brrrrr.

It took me all day to respond to your lovely comment about our Babette. I was so emotional most of the day. Thank you for supporting my Blue Monday idea. Everyone has been so kind I didn't have to be concerned. I think we can finally say goodby to our Babette at last.


maryt/theteach said...

Grand photos, Mojo! :)

babooshka said...

I like this idea of bloggers getting together. This really was a bumper edition of my world ideas images and narrative and a good time had by all.

The Good Life in Virginia said...

great post. we've events like that here in the roanoke area called concerts in the park...they have a variety of acts. also have movies in the park...we never have attended but i hear that they have a fair turnout.
happy holidays from central virginia.

Arija said...

Sounds like a great night out for you.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

It looks like a wonderful event and how fun to meet up with other bloggers, Merry Christmas.

magiceye said...

all said and done you have managed wonderfully to transfer the atmosphere on the blog from your world. thank you!

Judith said...

Looks as though you had a fun-packed evening and how cool to meet up with other blogges :) take care, Judith

Anonymous said...

Great idea for a blogging get-together. I love local festivals and street parties like this.

Lawstude said...

beautiful night shot.

anyways, have a joyful christmas to you and your love ones... from my islands to yours.