Thursday, January 19, 2017

How much for rock tickets?

IN THE SPRING of 1983, my buddy Scott VanEewen and I went to a concert at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. To the best of my foggy and time-addled brain, Triumph and Foghat were on the bill. We paid $15 for general admission floor seats. Rik Emmett of Triumph was mind-blowingly good and I remember being deaf for days after the show. We got fairly close to the stage and the drum solo featured a massive light display that added blindness to our deafness. It  was bleeping PHENOMENAL.

Back then, $15 was a lot of dough for a Dutch kid. I thought we got our money's worth. I saw a great rock concert and it got me more fired up about playing guitar and getting into music.

What I wouldn't give to be excited like that again to see a rock show, like I was for The Who last year.

Let's fast-forward 34 years. I still would love to see a great rock show. Who wouldn't? But I'm discouraged after looking at venues and prices. Really? $100 to sit in the nosebleeds?

An 80s tribute band, Hairball, is playing at the Oakley-Lindsay Center in Quincy Feb. 18. Tickets are $20. To me, it would be worth it. But people around here don't want to pay $1 to see great local bands play. I have a gig that night so I can't go, but I hope Hairball attracts a sellout crowd.

I have a few bucket items on the rock show list. I'd like to see Tom Petty live. He's playing in St. Louis at the hockey arena in May. I looked up tickets and they are selling for about $100 way up top. I found a few for about $125 in the lower bowl, but they appear to be beside the stage and are probably obstructed.

I saw U2 in St. Louis and Detroit from behind the stage and it was actually quite good. But I'm not sure I want to pay that much. Sorry, Tom. Breaks my heart. I would love to see you - keep rocking and it might happen.

U2 in on the Joshua Tree anniversary tour this summer. The closest they are coming is Chicago. That means Soldier Field and binoculars to see Bono wrap 50,000-plus fans around his pinky finger. Would it be worth it? Nope. Not to go that far and deal with the hassle of Chicago.

Journey and Asia are playing the Quad Cities in March. I'm tempted. Asia was the first band I saw live, 35 years ago. And who doesn't like Journey? Might be worth it. Floor seats are $105. What? ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE DOLLARS? Don't stop believing, Journey. I'm sure enough people will fill the arena.

Still want to see a show at Red Rocks in Colorado. You never know. I might find a few grand on the sidewalk and have enough for the plane tickets and concert tickets - they'd probably be about the same. At least I could stay with my sister in Denver.

I'm intrigued by the Arcada Theater in St. Charles, Chicago's west suburbs. They have some amazing shows lined up. Wait a second .... $40 to see Rik Emmett and his band? Hmmm ....

And, of course, the Old Rock House in St. Louis and the Blue Note in Columbia often have great shows, worth checking the calendar.

Maybe I will see that one great rock show this year. Maybe.

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