How to sneak weapons into the Hollywood Bowl

I went to the Nine Inch Nails concert on Saturday at the Hollywood Bowl. The cool thing about bowl concerts is that you can take a picnic, wine and watch/rock out to the show. Well, that is, unless it’s Nine Inch Nails.

I packed my messenger bag with standard bowl picnic fair: cheese, crackers, a couple bottles of wine, chocolates and sparkling water in addition to the required cheese knife and corkscrew. The sparkling was on top and when I opened the bag, this was what the security guard first saw. She pointed to it and said, “I have to take the top off.”

Now, this was an ordinary plastic bottle of crystal geyser sparkling water with lime. I gave her a strange look and pulled the bottle out. I showed her the cap was still sealed, thinking she was concerned that I had refilled it with some other liquid. She told me that the bottle with the top on could be thrown as a projectile weapon. This I could not believe, and thought for sure, there goes my two bottles of wine, the cheese knife and the fun for the night. But instead, fortune turns my way.

I start to unscrew the cap of the water, which has been jostled in my bag for six blocks and it immediately starts foaming and exploding in hissing effervescent freedom all over my bag and the security guard. She jumps back and is distracted and weĆ­re laughing at the fizzing. The positive is that she doesn’t search the rest of my bag; the negative is that she takes the cap off the bottle of water and KEEPS it! I’m jostling through the crowd with an open bottle of fizzing sparkling water, but I still have the two bottles of wine and the cheese knife in my bag.

It was worth it though. Nothing like enjoying a 2003 Merlot and 2002 Cabernet while listening to Trent under the Hollywood stars. Magic was bound to happen.

4 thoughts on “How to sneak weapons into the Hollywood Bowl”

  1. I, too, was most bemused when the plastic cap to my innocent bottle of Aquafina was rudely apprehended by a security guard at Saturday night’s NIN show. I fail to see how a small, lightweight plastic cap can possibly do any damage, even from five feet away, much less from up in the third mezzanine, and I think that this rule happens to be utterly ridiculous…especially when, as you say, people come into the Bowl with all manner of much heavier and more potentially damaging objects. A block of cheese would do more damage than a bottle cap would. Those Rubbermaid, etc., plastic sports bottles with the attached caps can make pretty fair projectiles if you fill them with water and heave them at someone. My plastic water bottle cap is an innocent bystander next to a thug like that.

    Nevertheless, I obliged without argument; I was very much looking forward to the concert, the security and crew of the Bowl were very pleasant, it was a fantastic show and a beautiful night.

    A very strange, nonsensical, busywork sort of “fight the terrorists!” policy, in my opinion. Still, there’s an easy enough workaround; since all they did was look into the top of my bag with a flashlight and feel the bottom, I’ll just smuggle a back-up cap in next time.

    Viva la revolucion!

  2. better to take the plastic cap than not allow any food/beverages in at all, and make you pay ridiculous amounts for the same bottle of water and much worse food and wine. it’s silly, yes. but whatcha gonna do?

  3. Wow. Taking a picnic to a Nine Inch Nails show. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I fully expect Trent to play the 2006 LA County Fair.

  4. The security for the NIN show wasn’t our usual skeleton crew of yellow-jacketed CSCers; I was informed about a week before the show that we were to have 400 (four HUNDRED) private security personnel on hand for the Trentstravaganza.

    That said, I think the overabundance of security was totally unwarranted, they were expecting the worst and instead got the best out of the crowd.

    Better safe than sorry, I suppose. Glad to hear people enjoyed the show regardless of the Big Brother element. :)


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