Between the Headphones of the Publisher


I’m all about big stars in little rooms.

Some of the best concerts I’ve ever seen were shows where the act was much larger than the venue. Nothing can beat that feeling of intimacy that those situations provide.

Obviously, there’s an added price for intimacy, and obviously too, there are super fans who will sell their kids to pay that price, but how much is too much? And more importantly, should any of us care, because the show that I think dropping serious cash on, is probably way different than your must-see, break-the-bank show.

For example, these upcoming Prince shows at the Ogden went on sale for $250 a piece. They’re already on Craigslist for double that. (There are also some classy broads offering to be dates for dudes with tickets, should any of you want an STD with your concert experience.) Now, personally, I hear $250 for Prince and I scoff at the notion, but that’s because The Purple One isn’t worth it to me. But for others, the chance to see Prince in that close of a setting is a dream come true and they’ll happily pay that price (and many will pay way more through scalpers) for that chance.

There are very, very few acts that I would even consider dropping more than $100 a ticket to see, and there’s at least one act that I know of, where I’m probably the only person in the world who would drop serious cash to see them. Such is the reality of personal preferences.

So, I have no problem with outrageous prices for intimate shows. But what I do have a problem with are outrageous prices for intimate shows with nothing extra. We’re in a society of value-added and I think when there are a couple zeros at the end of your ticket price there should also be some extra bonus too — regardless of how big the star and how small the room.

$250 for a show at the Ogden? That’s fine. Who the hell am I to say what the market should bear? It might even be worth it, but you mean to tell me you can’t throw in a special commemorative poster, or a t-shirt, a friggin’ sticker pack? That’s the part that I don’t support, because that’s the part that’s fueled by greed. Prince should be paid well for his gig, and the promoter and production crew should also be well compensated. I contend there are ways to do that, which also show appreciation and respect for the fans who attend, and their wallets.

It’s like when I saw Roger Waters perform The Wall. It wasn’t an intimate show, but it was an expensive one with the better tickets going for $200 a pop, and on top of that they were hitting people with $45 t-shirt prices at the merch booth (“store” is probably more fitting than “booth,” but you know what I mean). Think of a dad taking their kid to that. With tickets, parking, a t-shirt and a beverage or two, you’re talking a $500 night.

Rock and roll shouldn’t be that exclusive, at least not without a little something extra.

See you at the shows.


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