You know you are getting older, when your musical heroes appear equally on the covers of Rolling Stone and Modern Maturity. I’ve always had decent luck in securing a ticket for something I’ve really wanted to see locally. Even my mom was emboldened with some benign coolness as I had a test the day Bruce Springsteen tickets went on sale in 1980. My mom took mine and my friends money and went up to National Record Mart and scored first row golds. Couldn’t do any better than that in days of yore. In fact I think it set a precedent for shows that I really wanted into the next generation. I took my lovely eldest daughter to her first major show the last time U2 deigned to come to Buffalo. On the ticket, behind the stage didn’t sound promising, but since they played to whole arena, every few songs my daughter borrowed my phone to tell people she was “this close to flippin Bono!”
If you are over 30, you remember cueing up for tickets on Delaware Ave or one of the record stores, but it has gotten more complex and incredibly more expensive. Inflation and greed made my $5.00 ticket to my first Bruce show seem downright quaint. Witness the shenanigans of Live Nation and Ticketmaster as well as Tickets.com., where you get assessed double digit “convenience” charges for tickets you can run off your home printer. The upshot of this is I’ve gotten very picky about venues as I ease into late middle age.
To see Neil Young at an actual concert hall seemed like a worthwhile opportunity. The pricing structure for Shea’s seemed kind of odd. It was a little strange to see 69, 99 and 149 dollar seats in a building so compact. For 69 dollars, you would have the abilities to spit on the people who paid 70 dollars to sit 70 feet closer. That irony should strike some. Despite a little shock at $150 price tags, I thought it might be worth 69 bucks to see ole ‘weird Neil. But, it ain’t to be. Despite being armed with a decent internet connection and speedy cell phone, I could only watch as the retail tickets disappeared 5 minutes into the on sale time frame.
StubHub had some that had only been inflated 2-300% from the original selling price within 20 minutes.
Sorry, Neil, guess I’m sitting this one out. Heart of Gold was on tv last night. I think it was foreshadowing. Ticketmaster, Live Nation, Tickets.com? This thing of yours ain’t working for us working folk, but since profits are higher than ever before for you guys, I guess you really don’t care. Good luck with that merger.