my band recently played the viper room. our first impression was from the door guy...terrible. what a sad little man. let me explain. outside the entrance, there's a line on the ground. as we were arriving with our gear, the doorman refused to talk to us until we were standing on a specific side of this line. now, keep in mind, we got there early. it's not like there was a huge line and he was trying to keep everything under control. it was just us and him, NO ONE else. and still, like we were children, he says he won't answer any of our questions or check us in until we're standing outside this line. insane. i'm sure he's mad that his band went nowhere and now he's 41 and works as a door guy at a club that was cool ten years ago, but come on, that's just rediculous.
secondly, there's a no flash photo policy. i understand this is for two reasons. ONE, flashes can distract the band. (this is a little contradictory considering that when you're on stage at ANY decent venue, there are a million stage lights in your face, and with the alternating strobes of light and dark, you can't see anything...this is to be EXPECTED, so what's the problem with a few camera flashes? TWO...and this is the real reason...if a band wants a photographer to take pictures, the band pays the viper room $300. by not allowing anyone else to get a single shot, the more likely the band will have to pay for this privelage, and the club makes more money. the reason i mention this is that before we went on, a friend who was with us snapped a photo of all of us getting ready. the bouncer warned her, and she put the camera away. no big deal. after we were finished, we were all getting a drink at the bar, and a different fan asked if they could get a picture with the band. the only person to around to snap the photo was the same girl, so she took the camera from the other fan and snapped a pic. the bouncer immediately told her to leave. we explained that she was with us, that the photo wasn't taken from her camera, and that if she left, our entire crowd would leave. he didn't care. he shoved her toward the door and said she couldn't come back in. so we went around the club and told everybody who came to see our band to close their tabs, leave no tip, and head to the bar up the street. by the time we were done telling everyone, the place had gone from being packed to capacity to having only 4 people remaining. i hope they learned that if you hassle the people that bring you business, they're going to take that business elsewhere. i understand policies are there for a reason, but these meathead bouncers could use their heads and determine on a case by case basis what is in fact a true violation and make a good business decision.