@Scott -- he's not a write for the paper, he took over the "footie" (as Harm would put it) content on the website. According to his brother (an aspiring photog) he can get creds through it.. that said, I dont' really know about the whole arrangement.
As for getting DSLR gear into a concert, I completely understand that since most shoot HD video fairly easily. It's more the artist/label though than the venue.
Well I'd be very surprised. Globe has season passes for their photogs that have photos on them of each photog...and I would image there would be a big tussle if a staffer was told "nope we have a friend of the writer shooting tonight"...but you never know, you could get lucky!