Friday, August 15, 2008

What Does the Artist Think About Tix Prices?

I have been obsessing over Cheap Trick lately. Can't listen to enough. I need to see them live as it's been a few years. They are on the road with Heart and Journey and are opening the show with a 45 minute set, which probably means they'll play the hits but I wouldn't get to hear Top Of The World or Say Goodbye. I went on the Jones Beach website, where this show played Thursday night, to check out ticket prices and my eyes nearly fell out. They were in the range of $65 for the cheapest seats, all the way into the $500 (this gets you the first few rows, VIP parking and tent) range with most tickets falling in the $150 range. I don't have the numbers yet on this show, but the tour is doing well, in most cases selling out the venues. Both Cheap Trick and Heart are still in tact, but the lead singer of Journey was found on YouTube and I'm sure it's Journey that is packing then in. Journey has had their share of lead singers.

People that buy the first few rows at this price are either independently wealthy or get their company to buy the tickets. In this economy, the vast majority will not have a grand to spend on one show. In this case, I'm guessing these are the people who would like a glass of wine or cocktail to go with their concert (who wouldn't?). I can't imagine they are the ones who know the lyrics to every song, can list all the tracks in order on side one of Evolution or stand up and clap, scream, etc. As a musician, don't you want the dedicated fans, the ones who know every album, the ones who know what your kids are named in the first few rows as that's probably all you can see anyway? Don't you want the excitement coming from the front and spreading to the back? Don't you want the rest of the venue to see the front rows standing and cheering every song? I'm guessing that doesn't happen when the ticket prices are that high. Maybe I'm wrong, I haven't seen the show. I know there is money to made, but isn't a show that packs energy, leaves the fan begging for more, a lot more satisfying. Maybe not. No one is getting any younger.

The PS to this story: On the Cheap Trick message board fans stated that the show started 45 minutes last, it was raining, the band only played for 25 minutes and here is the set list:
Oh Claire, 70's Song, California Man, I Want You To Want Me, The Flame, Surrender, Goodnight Now, Dream Police

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