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Ticket Stress

Scoring concert tickets can be very serious business - especially considering the outrageous prices, fees and usually (illegal) seating system.

This morning, I will attempt to buy presale seats for George Michael's first North American tour in 17 years. I predict hysteria when I log on to Ticketmaster. Sadly, my dear George isn't coming anywhere near Ohio - and when he does make his one Midwestern stop to Chicago I'll be en-route to Rocklahoma. This means planning an entire trip around a concert with tickets already priced in the hundreds of dollars.

Glam fans I am stressed. I think it sucks that seeing George is going to cost me an arm and a leg. It's bad enough paying for a plane ticket these days. The concert itself will break me. Still, I don't want to miss the opportunity to see George Michael perform "Freedom" live. You see, George has always been on my list of artists to see before I (they) die. I figure every die hard music fan has such a list. Other artists on my list include SIXX:AM and Eric Clapton. I recently crossed Van Halen with David Lee Roth off my list - and I'll be seeing them for the second time next month right here in Ohio.

So back to George and this trip planning. The fan club onsale is in a few hours. I still don't know which city I am going to, nor do I have a flight or hotel selected after I get the tickets. I'm appalled at how much everything costs these days. I mean, a can of soup is nearly two dollars! Milk and gas are nearly four dollars a gallon respectively. It's all becoming too much. I've complained about high ticket prices before - but something has to give. Festivals like Rocklahoma and South Texas are cheap compared to single act "big draw" shows. If you think about it - I'm getting four days of entertainment at Rocklahoma for the same price as spending two hours with George Michael! 

I suppose I can preach all day long. Ticket prices won't drop and I'll still go to shows and buy merchandise because I support artists.

I apologize for the rant but I am plain exhausted and a little stressed on this Monday morning. Please, share with me your "must-see in concert" list.

Reader Comments (16)

Eric is boring live...
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterchristian
I recently crossed Whitesnake off my list and will be crossing WASP off next week when Blackie brings his shock rock out fit to Sydney.
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBillyKiss
The worst thing nowadays is pre-sales. What a bunch of crap. If I dont have the right credit card or fan club membership, or have bought their greatest hits cd Im stuck in the back. Point in case Poison in Cincy. Didnt know there was a pre-order till the morning I tried to buy the tickets. First in at 10am Section 700 WTF?? This happened last time they came with a pre-order in the GH CD. I have almost just decided to buy off ebay and give up buying via Feemaster
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersockpuppet999
Ticket prices have been spiraling out of control for the last 10-12 years without fees. Always plan on at least $20 per ticket in Ticketbastard and shipping fees.

My best comparison is $50 for a very close seat at The Fleet Center in Boston for the KISS Reunion Tour in 1996 bought through the box office.....$100 for the Rock The Nation Tour with Poison in 2004 and that was face value! Add the fees and it was around a $120.

I used to go to dozens of shows a year, especially in the summer, but things are way too pricey and I've cut way down. This year I've already skipped The Station Nightclub concert and I am planning on skipping Def Leppard (saw them last summer) and Van Halen. I did buy Billy Joel tickets at $100 a pop for his last show at Mohegan Sun for my wife and I and I just grabbed a pair of Iron Maiden tix for their summer show at the Tweeter for $68 (incl fees).

The last few years I've passed on tix to Rush, Bob Segar, and Jimmy Buffet (my wife went, I stayed home - $120 a ticket) but I have still gone to many shows and paid serious bucks. It's all about how much is too much.....and which show is more important. I grabbed two Hannah Montana tickets in the first 5 rows the day of her show in Providence and even those were $75 face value! It was an important show for my daughter.

Some things I have done to lessen the expense: print the tix at home, saves the shipping fees. Fill out any email survey from LiveNation or an arena, I saw Heaven & Hell for free at the Tweeter last summer. Buy when there is a radio station deal, I just had the opportunity to buy a 2 for 1 deal on the upcoming Def Leppard show thru the local Rock station. Last but not least, go to the arena the morning of the show and pick up tix, they always open up tix the day of the show and you can get good seats at face value.

Heavy Metal Addiction

The only band really on my list is Van Halen with DLR, and that's about to be crossed off (if they last until April 22). I really want to see Ace Frehley live, and he's coming to Bogart's in May, but if I should happen to miss it for some reason it's not a huge deal. I will see Poison every time they come to Cincinnati (this year will be the third straight, and fourth time ever), but other than that there aren't any other MUST see bands for me.
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJT
I can totally understand your need to see George Micheals. However a large question mark does hoover cartoon-like over my head when I hear you say SIXX:AM is on this list. They are a new and decent band, that might be good live, but so good to make it to such a honerable list, I doubt it. It's a "project band" that probably won't be around in another year or two. While I have always been on your side with musical likings, this one has me bewildered.
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterreptilblvd
Van Halen, DLR, Extreme, POISON!, Skid Row (original), Warrant, Cinderella, Slayer, Dio, Scorpions, Phil Collins, Roxette, Michael Jackson, Winger, Mr. Big, Queensrÿche, Dokken, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, R.E.M., The Cult, Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Kiss, Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, Bruce Springsteen, George Michael, Gary Moore, Y&T, AC/DC, Motörhead, Anthrax, Metallica, London Quireboys (though i think theyre not coming back), White Lion, Stryper, LA Guns, Hanoi Rocks, Bullet For My Valentine, Ratt and some other bands.. I've crossed Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, W.A.S.P., Elton John, Whitesnake, Mötley Crüe, Guns N' Roses (or The Axl Rose Band as i prefer to call them), Iron maiden (damn they sucked!), Uriah Heep, Megadeth and Ozzy Osbourne
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNikke Sixx
forgot that i've seen Rolling Stones too =D
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNikke Sixx
It's funny you should mention George Michael as I was just looking at his ad in our paper (he's coming to MN). I think the cheapest tickets is like $50. I was thinking to myself that I wouldn't be surprised at all if this show gets canceled or moved to a smaller place than an arena. I know he hasn't toured in North America for 17 years and still has some devoted fans, but in the year 2008 I just can't imagine him filling American arenas with high ticket prices. I have nothing against him, but I just can't see this tour doing very well here. I could be wrong though I guess!

Here's a tour question you really think the Crue will tour this summer? I noticed that Vince Neil has a lot of solo dates this summer and it doesn't seem like there would be enough time to do a decent tour. Unless it goes into the fall or something.
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
If you like George, check out the show Eli Stone. I make it a general rule not to watch network TV, but I heart that show. And last week's episode with The Man himself was the best one yet.

As far as ticket prices and options go, I'm starting to think that it depends on where you live. When I lived in IN, no one hardly came around because of the locale. If they did, you had to go to a large venue, and the tickets cost too much. And then you have the rape fees. And the extensive travel time because said large venues are far away.

I moved to CA in y2k, and I now rarely pay over $30 for a concert ticket, and pretty much refuse to do so unless it's something I just can't miss (like...George!, which actually might be worth trying to score a ticket for). It probly helps that I live 15 mins away from San Francisco, and there are numerous clubs and venues at my disposal. This year, I've seen Information Society for $20, Tesla for $30, PUSA for $16, and Bob Mould for $22, Rush for $30, and there's an upcoming Maiden show for $25. Also in this area, a lot of the venues have stopped using Ticketmaster, seeing the evil for what it is. Lots of places have started using sites like In-ticketing, ticketweb, and I'll pay a $2 fee over a $20 fee any day!

As far as my dream shows go: Since moving to CA (and having seen a few gems before moving like Dio, Def Leppard, Poison, Van Hagar, and GnR, Metallica, and FNM in 92'), I've seen just about everyone I've ever wanted to see. I should probly put together a list at some point so I can read it and remember when I'm 80. I am very fortunate to live where I do. I ignore the cost of rent because of this :P. But, I'm a happy camper, and that's what counts!
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermissy
Hey Nikke, Quireboys have new album due out this year - I saw Spike supporting Hanoi Rocks at the beginning of March and he said the album was being mixed that week. I know they're touring the UK and Europe in April and May, don't know if they're hitting the US.

I'll never get my dream one because Freddie Mercury's dead, but I've seen Guns N Roses, Motley Crue and Alice Cooper (with Motorhead and Joan Jett - very good night!) so that's my main ones covered. I'd like to see Poison but goodness knows if they'll ever make it back over to the UK, its been years since they were here.

I must say though, I'm not that keen on the big arena gigs anymore. Sure, for people like GNR and the Crue I'll go, but I far prefer club gigs and I've seen some heroes of mine up close and personal that way - Hanoi Rocks most recently but also the likes of LA Guns (with Tracii), Faster Pussycat (2007 Brent Muscat version), Tigertailz, WASP, etc. It's cheaper, more intimate, and I don't feel ripped off by the likes of Ticketmaster, which is how I always feel with areans.
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCinnamon
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersleazyrocker
dunno why someone can be bewildered because a person wants to see a project band personally, since it is a personal choice. wow, that's a lot of persons. anyway

slash (in any band)
iron maiden
the cult
jason & the scorchers

probably a few who will never reunite, then again the police did so go figure. a lot who i'd see if it was convenient but otherwise i'm not worried. i will always go see rush, alejandro escovedo and tesla if at all humanly possible. other than that i'll see bands locally and try not to spend a ridiculous amount of money on tickets.
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdon
It's funny that you mentioned George Michael. I'm a fan of Eli Stone and have pulled out the old George Michael Faith CD I had stashed in my collection after watching a few episodes. Jonny Lee Miller, the star of Eli Stone, was once married to Angelina Jolie, which I suppose entitles him to bonus points, but I'm not a huge fan of Jon Voight's offspring. Miller does own the role of Eli Stone so I'd give him points for it.

As for seeing artist before I die? Perhaps before they die. Tony Bennett would be neat to see even if his voice is no where near his peak, (Of course, most of what I listen to is made by the now deceased). But I'm not sure who I'd really want to see in concert, but most everyone I'd go see probably has an AARP card.

I don't see paying such high ticket prices, but I suppose if there were not as big of a demand, then they would lower ticket prices. I would rather just go into work on a Saturday night, especially when the weather is nice and there's cold beer in the fridge and...

..ok, I cannot lie to you any longer..if Greg Page would do a reunion tour with the, that would be a kick ass least for my friend's four year old. I'm not a closet Wiggles least not in the George Michael kind-of-way. "Not that there's anything wrong with that."
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTommy
Well Allyson, this will either be our worst plan yet, or our most brilliant. Time will tell. I just hope ol' George is worth the fortune spent on these tickets, and the 10 hour drive!
March 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
i left out social distortion, the blasters and x. all still around and playing in some form or another.
April 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdon

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