Ultra Music Festival: Black Eyed Thieves
Friday, March 27, 2009
Bicentennial Park, Miami
Better Than: Having My Wallet Stolen
Call me a snob, but besides stage-front, my favorite place to hang at Ultra is the VIP/Press Lounge. And this year, was no exception. Put together by my ol' colleague Michael Sheehan, ex of the late, lamented Map Magazine, it's got everything a working journalist could need: free-flowing 42 Below, ice cold cans of either Pilon coffee or Penthouse Energy Drink, access to artists and organizers, and a comfortably cool configuration of settees and tables courtesy of Wynwood's wily Urban Icons.
The Lounge also has swag. Not Oscar-sized Gucci bags filled with lift tickets to Vail, mind you, but hip stuff that fits the program. Stuff like Skull Candy, which increasingly seems to be the DJ's first choice in headphones. In fact, I got my first pair of Skull Candy buds from DJ Miner when I interviewed him for this very paper. And I've been an acolyte since.
So I was understandably a little thrilled last night when Michael gifted me with a brand new pair of electric blue Low Riders; so much so in fact that I kept them in hand while I went off to cover the Black Eyed Peas' set. Since it was the last act I was gonna catch and I was only going to the photo pit in front of the stage, I didn't see a problem.
Boy was I wrong.
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When I hit the pit I set down the phones at my feet, behind the bass cabinets - basically between me and the Peas. And by the end of the first song they were gone. Yep, you got it: some scum swiped them right before my eyes. But while I'm pissed that someone nicked my gear; I'm more pissed knowing that the someone who did it was, like me, just another working stiff. In other words, someone who had to land a spot with a publication, hustle up the assignment, and brave the scrum of hungry lenses just to get a shot for the folks at home.
Now I'm pretty sure the guy who swiped my Skull Candy was the same guy who spent an inordinate amount of time helping me look for the lost package. I mean, it's common knowledge that he on the scene who seems most concerned is probably the culprit.
But I'll just let the guilty party ride out this petty thievery, despite the fact that I'm sure I'll see him again sometime. Miami may be a big city, but it's a small town, especially among media folk. And I don't have time to hold grudges against people I'm gonna bump into. I'd just like the bastard to know that he stole from someone who - like him I suppose - is out there every day just trying to keep up. Someone, I'd say, very much like himself, except of course for the thief part. Me? I don't steal things. Especially from people I work alongside, let alone those who can't afford the loss.
I do though hope his ears bleed when he uses those phones. Unfortunately, Skull Candy are so damn well made that's highly unlikely.
Oh, and those Black Eyed Peas? Well, if the way they exploded out on to the Ultra main stage is any indication whatsoever - they were phenomenal! In your face, on point and over the top! Beyond that I wouldn't know. Because I was so miffed by my Skull Candy getting lifted, I left.
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I did manage to get that shot though.
Personal Bias: I'm proud to say I know the folks behind Ultra, and I'm always elated to see them succeed so spectacularly.
Random Detail: At one point Fergie got so close to me I could feel her heat. Damn that dame is hot!
By the Way: Sadly, Bloc Party had to cancel over some illness. But by the time Black Eyed Peas had sung the first note, no one seemed to recall them having been booked at all.