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Published on November 2nd, 2010 | by Robert Franklin


Say Anything / Saves The Day / Motion City Soundtrack – 10.22.10

Salt Lake City.

Star Date: October 22nd 2010.

The Avalon Theater.

Motion City Soundtrack.

Saves the Day.

Say Anything.

39 hour Trip.

Eighteen hours of driving accompanied by copious amounts of C8H10N4O2 (that’s caffeine).

A Photo Pass.


Alrighty, where do I begin?

I guess from the beginning.

A while back, August, I think? I sent off a message to Kinch, a AZ band I really enjoy out of Phoenix.  Kinch was scheduled to open for Against Me! – another one of my favorite bands.
So I send off this message asking if I could score an interview with them before the show and I got a reply from Brian saying they’d love to do one.
I honestly didn’t think I had a shot…

Anyway fast-forward to the beginning of September and Jake Turner from Say Anything – one of my top 3 bands of all time – posts something on his twitter about a photo pass and with my new found confidence, I shoot off a message stating that I’d love a shot at a photo pass and I send him a link to my website.
I really didn’t think I had a chance in hell but I didn’t have a job at the time and all I was doing was homework – what did I have to lose?

Then a few weeks pass and an e-mail from Jake Turner shows up in my in-box stating simply “where would you like to shoot?”
I start smiling like a fool and send a reply requesting the Anaheim tour date, just because it didn’t interfere with school. I also mentioned that I wouldn’t mind the SLC date because it’s sorta my hometown and stuff.
But alas I didn’t have a camera!

A few days later I find “Say Anything/SLC” in my inbox.
I couldn’t believe it!
A Photo Pass to one of my favorite bands!

I’d been looking for a job for the past 3 months with NO LUCK.
Then a few more days pass and I get a phone call from Harkins asking if I still needed a job and I say “yes!”
So, we have the job interview and she offers me a position.
I do however let her know that I would not be available for that first weekend due to already committing to the Say Anything show in SLC… and Harkins was cool with it!

Finally after a month or so waiting… the week of the show arrives.

I still didn’t have a camera, so I decide to pawn my guns.
I take my guns – an AR-15 and XD-45 – down the to shop and they give me money.
I tell them why I need the money and that I was gonna buy a camera from Best Buy.
Then out of nowhere they pull out the exact camera I was planning on buying from Best Buy.
A Nikon D5000.
The said it had just fallen out that morning!

I was floored… I didn’t know what was going on.
It was crazy!
I had actually planned on pawning my guns a day before but was too busy to get over there.

Whatever, whoever is out there… THANKS!

Now I had my camera and just had to get to the venue – all the way in Salt Lake City – the next day.

So Friday morning – the day of the concert at 1 am – we depart for the great white North.
Cory, Utahana and Myself.
Utahana takes the first shift and drives all the way to Cedar City.
Where we crash at my friend EZIZ’s place for an hour or so.
Then we pick up my sister Ashley for her first concert!

Cory took over driving from Cedar City all the way to Provo.
There’s always something about driving into the Utah Valley… it’s kind of comforting.
But then I remember it’s just Utah and I chuckle.

We hit up the old haunts.
where we grew up.

(forgive the HDR photos… they don’t work very well when moving)

Our school.

Then we hit Stan’s a little burger shop with excellent shakes and fries.

Then we head over to our cousin Andy’s apartment and cory showers for the show.
We leave and pick up one more, Andy’s girlfriend.
Finally we hit the highway!
Too bad the highway was backed up with traffic.
We spent almost 45 minutes trying to get out of the valley…
By the time we actually got moving at a decent pace we were already an hour late.

We get to the Avalon.
My heart was pounding.
My hands were sweating.

We walk into the theater just as Valencia was ending – i’m kinda sad I missed their set.

*Cool Memory #1*
We walk up to the ticket lady and get tickets, then I bust out my line I’d been practicing all day…
“I have a photo pass”
But then it got even cooler when she asked which band I was with…
My reply: “Say Anything”

The band. The songs. The crowd.

*Cool Memory #2*
I was standing around and a kid came up and asked me how I got the photo pass.
I saw flashes of myself and told him everything I did to get there.
It was cool to be the guy with the camera.



I have more photos of MCS but… they didn’t turn out very well.
And some old dude wouldn’t let me stand on the bench… so I lost my nerve… haha.

At the end of the night I had taken 1,500+ photos.
I really would’ve taken more but the venue wasn’t exactly photographer friendly.
There were these little wooden/concrete benches through out… i’ll draw it real quick. (using MS paint and a mouse)

The red stars shows where I was standing to take pictures.
Notice the stars in front of the speakers… I lost hearing in my right ear for a few days.

So, this is the Avalon.
Sure, if you look at it, it makes sense right?  Nice little benches all over the place…
WRONG!! I hit my shins on those benches every other song and every time I tried to stand on top of them security would shoot me down.
PLUS since the venue is so small they had the wall of sound on each side of the stage… so, people wouldn’t stand in front of the speakers but gather in the front of the stage, making this… micro pit.
All of those little inconveniences combined made it hard to move about around the venue since people would be everywhere – except in front of the speakers – and I didn’t want to piss anyone off who just wanted to enjoy the show.


Ladies and Gentlemen.

I present to you, one of my favorite bands.


haha… I shot over 1,500 photos.
It took me FOREVER to get it down to just this.
I really wish I could’ve got over to the other side of the stage but once they played a Two Tongues song… I was stuck.

Thank You, Say Anything.
Thank You, Jacob Turner.
Thank You.

Say Anything… you think you guys could hit up Flagstaff, AZ? (The Orpheum here is bigger than The Avalon)
It would be nice to not have to drive 9 hours to see you guys play… or 2+ hours to PHX… or 5-ish hours to TUC…
haha, just a suggestion.

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About the Author

Robert Franklin serves as a photographer, writer, website editor, and content creator for 1121South. He enjoys video games, comics, movies, concerts, outdoor stuff, and sitting hunched over at a computer... and World of Warcraft.

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