Helpful Advice for Dealing with Security at S.F.'s Music Venues

Categories: Helpful Advice
It's not easy working security. Your job basically entails keeping drunk people safe, keeping minors sober, patting down strangers you probably don't want to touch, enforcing trivial rules you didn't think up in the first place, and pretty much freezing your ass off all night. All of the above things are terrible, so we sympathize. But, as we all know, dealing with security isn't always a picnic either. Here then is some helpful advice on how to deal with security across the live venues in this fine city of ours.

Regency-outside.jpg
Regency Ballroom
Remember the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld? The Regency Ball Room has a whole team of Gum Nazis. We get it! It's a pretty building! You don't want hardened-saliva-clad chewing candy stuck in crevices around the place! But man. When they locate that minty fresh Orbit of yours, they look at you the same way airport security does when they find nail scissors in your hand luggage. Do not take gum with you to the Regency Ballroom. The shame you will experience will leave your cheeks rosy and your head bowed all night.

parkside-show-inside.jpg
Thee Parkside
We have become convinced over the years that the people who man Thee Parkside's entrance are, in fact, low-level Jedis. Because we always want to buy them beer. And we don't want to buy anyone beer, ever. Maybe it's not Jedi mind tricks -- just the fact that their laid-back warmth, slouchy demeanors, and plentiful beards makes us want to befriend them. We never actually do offer to buy them beer because that would make us look a bit nuts. But we do want to. And that's the main thing.

bottom-of-the-hill-sign.jpg

Bottom Of The Hill
The security at Bottom Of The Hill should get together with the security of Thee Parkside and go bowling.

the-warfield-oustide.jpg
The Warfield
If you forget to get your ID checked at the door, do not, under any circumstances, let one of the guys that works behind the bar give you a wristband instead. Just walk back on outside, stand in line and do it the regular way. Because we didn't do that once -- we took the bartender wristband. And, later on in the evening, when we tried to return back inside from smoking, we were physically wrestled back out of the venue by three screaming banshee security guards who, even after an extensive explanation of the mishap, just kept repeating the phrase "I'm just doing my job." It was like that scene in Dangerous Liasons where John Malkovich is all, "It's beyond my control, it's beyond my control." Beyond aggravating, Warfield, beyond aggravating.

cafe-du-nord-outside.jpg
Café Du Nord / Swedish American Hall
Put on some nice shoes for these folks. Not because you have to, just because there's always an air of suave coolness on the door here and we wouldn't want to disappoint them. If James Bond was a security guy, he'd work here.

Slim's
It always feels a little bit ramshackle here, kinda like being ID-ed by your little brother's friends or something. Still, they do get the job done. The only thing we really don't like is when there's a random no cameras show, because they take away your luscious new Nikon for the night and hand you a raffle ticket in return so you can reclaim it later. Which feels a bit like entering a camera lottery. And, unless you've got a crappy camera, no one wants to be in that.

slim's-sign.jpg


the-fillmore-empty.jpg
The Fillmore
No one in the box office at the Fillmore can ever hear you, but they are generally pretty sweet, so we don't mind. Also, it's probably not their fault since their co-workers at the main entrance are prone to random bouts of yelling to keep everyone in the correct lines, or to move all the pesky smokers down the sidewalk to the post office. Our favorite thing about the Fillmore security staff though, is the older gentleman who sometimes waits at the top of the stairs and greets you warmly, like a long-lost relative, as you arrive. That guy rules. What's with the huge flyers on the way out though, Fillmore? We love it when you give us free beautiful band posters, but when you give us your upcoming schedule on an enormous ugly blue piece of paper and pretend it's a poster, you're not fooling anyone. [Editor's note, Pt. II: Initial editor's note regarding free poster distribution has been deleted following the revelation that it was all a big misunderstanding -- see Rae's comment below.]

great-american-music-hall.jpg

Great American Music Hall
If you buy dinner tickets for a show at Great American, you are greeted by a nice security person and led to your seats on the balcony. That shit is awesome because it makes us feel like Prince William's fiancé. Plus, security here is organized to the point of military precision, but never once steps into the realm of doucheyness. Good work, guys.

----
Need helpful advice on anything related to S.F. music? Let us know what subjects you'd like us to tackle in the future by tweeting us @SFAllShookDown, or leave a post on Facebook at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.
My Voice Nation Help
12 comments
Richard
Richard

The Fillmore has free apples in a basket at the top of the stairs, and that is really cool. Warfield is my least favorite venue, especially because of the crackheads. Next time you see a crackhead, do a quick compare and contrast to zombies. It's fucking eerily similar. Creepy! Slim's is just Slim's. It's club. Cafe Du Nord is a terrible club because the stage is low, the ceiling is low and they only have a couple red lights which makes it touch to see a band onstage. I prefer Bottom of the Hill for indie shows. The Independent is pretty cool and I'm surprised it's not on the list. BTW, the Endup is not a music venue. It's more of a dance club.

ben__w
ben__w

Every time I go up the stairs of the Fillmore and hear "Welcome to the Fillmore!" it feels uniquely special, familiar, exciting, all at once.

OdessaBlue
OdessaBlue

That guy's name is Tim and I think everyone agrees...He's the best! 

perplexus
perplexus

New to SF, one of the first venues I visited was the Warfield. My mistake was that I went to the restroom without my ticket. I'm in the building. I have the wristband. There are no visible signs that indicate you should do this. The door-guy, who obviously has control, and possibly mommy issues, would *not* let me in to the theater area without my ticket. He wouldn't even let me step inside to wave down my date, who was holding my ticket. I mean c'mon. I'm a middle-aged woman, with a completely non-threatening appearance. And it *might* be me, but I coulda sworn I saw a little twinkle in his eye as I was pleading with him to let me in. The bastard was enjoying this. I have never had such an urge to knee someone in the groin. Finally, I was able to ask a very kind stranger to tell my boyfriend of my predicament and got back in. My advice to this guy: hold onto that job honey, it's the closest thing to relevance you'll have. It will take something along the level of a zombie Jim Morrison performing with the original members of The Doors to get me back to that venue.

Chris
Chris

Should have mentioned the female asian lady who works the door at The Endup?! Come on Rae you missed a true SF staple.

ben__w
ben__w

Way better than that male asian lady. Worst bachelor party ever.

Rae Alexandra
Rae Alexandra

I am not familiar with the Endup lady! But thanks for the tip! :-)

Rae Alexandra
Rae Alexandra

Nooooooo! I wasn't talking about the actual Fillmore posters, guys (I've bought those from Amoeba on occasion)! Those are AWESOME!I was talking about their habit of printing their upcoming schedule on gigantic blue flyers that are actually poster-sized but so ugly that no one would want to hang them anywhere.Free posters = Great.Massive flyers = Massive waste of paper, annoying to carry home on the bus.That is all.

Glam72
Glam72

FYI those Upcoming show poster thingies are not printed that often. Usually only during Rocktober, when it's hella busy.   I kinda like them though, gives me something to look back on.....

Mani
Mani

My bad, sorry. We agree on the same thing. All is well in the world.

Mani
Mani

Hah. Really though, what's with rant about the Fillmore posters? If anything, the author's dismissal of these awesome posters shows how many times he or she has been to the Fillmore. I'm pretty sure NO ONE wants a huge poster of the upcoming schedule instead of a genuine Fillmore poster.. I want my free authentic souvenir dammit.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Drink

San Francisco Event Tickets
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...