Dear Five Finger Death Punch,
Of course, “dear” is just a formality. Congratulations, you made the very short list of bands I actually hate. Whenever I write a review, I always try to say something very complimentary, so I will.
There were some things that initially impressed me about you. After quite a few overdressed and obviously styled-by-someone-else posers, I liked that you were all wearing what looked like your real clothes. I was also pretty sure I could get into what you were singing about. Your drummer was seriously furious. A new album due out called American Capitalist?! I was ready to rage with you.
And then it happened. Suddenly while taking photos I was doused with water. I thought for a second that it was an accident. Surely you were aiming for the audience. And then I realized I had just seen you spit water out of your mouth as you came onstage. Gross. And then I left the photo pit completely grossed out and upset. 2 minutes was all I could take.
None of us photogs are paparazzi. We all applied for permission to be in the photo pit at Epicenter. Most of us are serious fans of at least one of bands that played that day (if not more). None of us felt like we did anything to deserve your ire. If you didn’t want anyone taking photos while you performed, all you had to do was have your people let Live Nation know that you didn’t want photographers. When I was at the Pacific Festival, Snoop Dogg had his people close off the pit. And even those notorious Sex Pistols didn’t hurt people with a camera.
Here’s what you don’t understand. We photographers often get paid little to nothing. I’m an amateur with a high level amateur camera that cost a pretty penny. Others were afraid that their $10,000 worth of equipment in lenses and cameras would be damaged. Some of my fellow photographers work with a few publications and make more than the average joe.
One guy’s autofocus stopped working because of the water you threw on us. If it doesn’t work anymore and he has a repair bill, it’s your fault and you should be held responsible for it. Some of us were extremely upset, I thought you spit water out of your mouth which is really disgusting and someone told me it was from the bottle. That’s not much better since you might have drunk from it. Yuck. One of them said, “I’m not very motivated to make them look good now.” I’m really not either.
Even when I find it in my heart to forgive you, I promise I won’t ever take your photo again, go to see you live, buy any of your records, review them on my site, or even keep listening to the radio if you are ever on, etc. I’m going to focus on the really cool bands I met that day who were great live and great in person. And if I want to rage, I’ll go with RATM and The Bronx (who are also really cool guys). And, come to think of it, brass knuckles on your mic make you look a bit like a poser after all. A few pics to the left.