Delerium – Royal Oak Music Theatre

Honestly, it was a waste of $25 and a Friday night.

Performance wise, it was OK.  I’ve always wanted to see Kristy Thirsk perform live, and she did not disappoint. Her vocal range is nothing short of inhuman, and she had at least some rapport with the crowd. The rest of the show was just kind of eh, however.  Zombie Bill Leeb was on keyboards, and the light show consisted of zooming closeups of Delerium album covers and time lapse video of clouds moving over picturesque landscapes. Yawn. 

Having said that, I could have still come away from the show happy and would have likely written a positive review of the whole thing. I have very nostalgic feelings about Delerium, having followed them for a long long time and loved their music through all the different phases. The thing that actually ruined my enjoyment of the whole show, and made me disappointed enough to leave early was the No Cameras policy.

I brought my little point and shoot camera hoping to grab some pictures to put up on Flickr, and share a few shots of the show with my friends and the world at large. No big deal, I thought. I certainly wasn’t going to make any money off of my crappy snapshots, nor was I stealing revenue from anyone. Who could argue with free publicity and getting the word out about the show? However, clearly stamped on the ticket was the policy of No Cameras or Recording Devices. This seems like a pretty archaic practice in a day when almost every cell phone manufactured has a ‘recording device’ as a standard feature.

I’m not certain if it’s a venue policy or a band policy, but it sucks and is a terrible business decision. I’m sure there are some reasons or other that someone felt that they needed this policy, and maybe they were in some way justified in hiring a whole bunch of security to enforce that policy.  But really it made for a very uncomfortable experience for me, and I would have thought that the enjoyment of the ticket purchaser was the most important aspect of a live event like this.

The overbearing presence of security made it basically impossible for me to concentrate on an already pretty humdrum show. I was shocked when one particularly zealous guard shoved past me to tell some people in the front to put away their cameras. I tried to sneak in a couple of shots, but was scolded by another no-neck thug in a security shirt “No Cameras.” He said. “Are you serious?” I said. “No Cameras.” He said again. And then three of them escorted a couple out the door, for the heinous crime of stealing the bands soul with their magic boxes.

I could see having a ton of security on hand for a show that might turn rowdy, but this was a bunch of black clads swaying gently in the breeze of Nag Champa. The guards were pretty clearly just camera police.

Anyway, what a disappointment. Delerium really is one of my favs. According to several years of last.fm data, they are my #9 most played artist. It’s really a shame that the show was ruined by something as stupid and even atavistic as this.

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