Muse, PVRIS, Thirty Seconds to Mars! / by Janet Eckles

Back in April, I came across an Instagram contest where winners would receive 2 tickets and a photo pass for any Muse show of their choosing that summer. All you had to do was post a photo you'd taken at a past Muse concert or of your Muse swag on Instagram and use the #Musephotopass hashtag, along with the tour date you wanted. Muse was my all time favorite band for years, and I had seen them live three times at that point. I highly doubted I would win, but I went through my old photos until I came across one that I'd taken of them at Target Center in Minneapolis my senior year of high school. The photo was taken on my old Nikon Coolpix (remember those point and shoots?), which was my best camera at the time, and the photo was kinda blurry. I posted it anyway because why the hell not, and promptly forgot about the contest. Fast forward to a week later, when I saw I had a comment on my post from the official Warner Brothers Instagram account saying I had won, and to check my messages for details. I absolutely could not believe it (especially considering other entries were a thousand times better than mine) and immediately started crying. 

The date I chose was their June 12th show in Kansas City, which was their closest stop to Des Moines on that tour. They played at the Starlight Theater (which is v fitting if you know the band), along with PVRIS and Thirty Seconds to Mars. 

In general, the experience was very exciting, but also really confusing. I had a bit of a rough time with security at the venue, who kept stopping me because of my camera, and kept giving me conflicting information on where I could or could not stand. I decided to try my luck when shooting PVRIS, the first set of the night, by standing off to the side down in the General Admission seating. I got through two of the three songs, when I was approached by the venue manager who informed me that for the other two bands I would have to stand in the designated photographer area, which was all the way back by the lighting booth. Because of that, I'm happiest with my photos of PVRIS, but did what I could shooting from such a long distance for Muse and Thirty Seconds to Mars. 

Overall, I am extremely thankful to Warner Brothers for choosing me. The experience wasn't quite what I had expected, but was a fantastic opportunity professionally, and in terms of personal growth. Also, our seats were really close to the stage, so no complaints there :) 

-June 21, 2017