Another Local Music Show Ends on Sour Note
Columbus Ohio's Cadaver Dogs returned to Rochester for their third show this year
While we don't normally report on music events here at Rochester Indymedia, Rochester has an amazing local music scene. (Check out Rochester Insomniac for all the details!). On October 12 2013 one of the many shows taking place that day ended with yet another display of what can only be described as thugishness by private security agents.
The show at Dubland Underground started late but went well. Locals The Bygone Few and Buffalo's Anti Bodies opened. The Cadaver Dogs from Columbus, OH played in the middle of the show. They had been invited back for their third show in Rochester this year. Local powerhouses Keaton and The Results finished. That was when the problems began. Results guitarist Spencer Curtice was to play a new song on an electronic piano but an electrical problem on stage prevented it from working, delaying the start of the last band for 10-15 minutes. The Results began playing just about the time the bartender announced last call for alcohol.
The band did two songs and singer Bryan Bullet asked the sound tech how much time they had. He was told - loudly enough for the entire room to hear - that they could finish their set. They brought a guest vocalist on stage. In the middle of the song all the mics went dead. Frustrated at what appeared to be yet another electrical problem the band went into an instrumental song and kept playing. At that point one of the security people stormed into the room red with fury and didn't ask - ordered - everyone to leave immediately. People were being shoved and herded to the door. I first suspected there might be a fire but after getting halfway out the exit and seeing people just standing around it was obvious there was no emergency. I was there to photograph the show so I went back to get my camera bag. I still had the camera around my neck but the bag contained lenses, batteries and other expensive equipment. At that point I was grabbed by a security person and told very rudely and condescendingly that "the door was that way" (pointing at door). Trying to explain that I needed to get my equipment did no good. I forced my way past him to get my things and was threatened with arrest. I did not see any police anywhere and left without incident as soon as I had all of my gear.
Unfortunately another photographer, Melissa Pakusch, was not as lucky. She had left her camera inside and was not allowed back into the room. A band member was allowed back in to look for it 10 minutes later but the camera was gone.
Supposedly the bar received a noise complaint and was told to end the show. However even outside there were no police cars or officers. But why did they have to resort to force first? The people at that show did nothing wrong. There were no fights or arguments. They just wanted to see the bands they paid for. Why didn't the owner or manager of the bar take a mic and say we're sorry but we have had a noise complaint and need to end the show now? Why did the mics go dead? The sound operator says that he shut them off but other witnesses report seeing security pulling out wires and throwing equipment around immediately before the attack.
This wasn't an isolated incident but the culmination of a string of incompetence on the part of Dubland. Mr JB of Keaton reported that the bands were told to be at the venue at 7:00 to load their equipment in. No one was there at 7. We waited in the parking lot and didn't get to load in until 8:30. The show started an hour late and we had to cut our set down to 5 songs. Several concertgoers also reported being charged twice, once at the entrance and again at the door to the basement room where the show was held. Whether this was intentional or just stupidity is undetermined. The person collecting money at the door was wearing a security uniform. But the fact that people tolerated it and paid it just to see these bands shows the dedication of these music fans.
This is not the first incident of innocent music fans being brutalized by those with "authority." Rochester Police attacked a private party that had bands performing last year, destroying the first floor and sending several people to the hospital, some with serious injuries. Private security attacked and injured fans at the Main Street Armory two years ago.
Dubland management, these were your paying customers and they were ripped off. Even those who weren't overcharged did not get all of the music they paid for. It was your responsibility to get this show started on time, and to see that the security people you hired were respectful and professional. It is about more than just enforcing rules. You owe Keaton and the Results a free show. May it be a benefit show with all proceeds going toward replacing Melissa's camera. And you owe the bands and all the people in that hall who were insulted and brutalized by your attack dogs an apology.