Wednesday, March 25, 2009

U2? 4GET IT ...

I am a member of

Not because I am that big of a fan, but because members receive first crack at tickets when the band goes on tour. I joined more than a year ago, thinking the band would tour last year.

They didn't. So I reupped earlier this month to have a crack at early tix for this year's tour.

Membership, as they say, has its privileges: In addition to the presale code, members also receive a members-only CD and a T-shirt, so the $32 I plunked down for the presale code was money well spent, indeed.

Except that yesterday, when the presale started for the September show at Soldier Field, I didn't buy tickets.

I could have. Over and over, I drew some pretty amazing seats. (I didn't even dip for the general-admission pit on the field; GA at the United Center? Fine. On Soldier Field? Nah. Too expansive.)

Problem was, each of those seats was – is – $250.

Not just the 100-level seats, of which there are a zillion, but also the 200-level seats, apparently, as I dipped for a pair of $95 seats right off the bat and was presented with an option way up in the 300-level.

I wavered. I did. The Vertigo tour in 2005 was easily one of the best concert experiences of my life. (In rereading that post, I was reminded that I spent $165 apiece for those tix, but it was a night-before purchase on a whim; and I'd never seen 'em before.)

But I just couldn't pull the trigger on $250 tickets. And there was no point in buying the 300-level seats, I figured, since I'd probably miss most of the show while I kept my head tilted back from the nosebleed I'd likely encounter up there, and if a beer is $10, can you imagine what they charge for a canister of oxygen to help you breathe at that altitude?

With TicketBastard fees, I would have shelled out about $550 for a pair of tickets to a band that I like but I don't love. (I haven't picked up the new CD yet, and I don't like "Boots.")

As my friend Anna asked yesterday, "Has Bono heard about the recession?"

It's not like the guy needs the money. Ditto The Edge, Adam, and Larry.

And I don't buy the "Well, the promoter sets the ticket prices."

Nuh uh. I've been to shows for which every ticket, except for the obstructed-view tix, are one price, as if the bands are saying, "Hey, you wanna see our show? Cool. That'll be $55. Thanks."

I paid $250 to see The Police from the field at Wrigley. Not worth it.

The only artist for whom top tickets were $250 and for whom I would have willingly paid that much is Paul McCartney.

But I drew $125 tickets for that show.

Which I then gave to a friend who was shut out.

But L.A. Dave, bless his heart, bought a single on Craigslist and sent it to me, so I saw the show anyway, and from a seat a couple of rows closer than the seats I gave away.

U2, though? I'll catch the highlights on the news that night once I'm through watching my DVD of Vertigo tour. Let's hear it for surround sound.


Anonymous Jane Winebox said...


This surprises me. I've heard of that troll Madonna asking folks to shell out hundreds, along with their first born, but U2? This is disappointing. $250 is a LOT of money, especially now.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I know, Jane, I know. It's very disappointing.

Maybe the (RED) initiative has spawned the (TED) initiative as in INFLA(TED) and EXAGGERA(TED).

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a fan and I don't like Boots, either, so doubt I'll even bother with the CD unless something significantly better comes along. I worked outside of the horseshoe (stadium at Ohio State) when their tour went through there in the mid-90's with tickets in the $150's. I was truly amazed by the sheer number of ticketholders out milling around during that concert and bugging me where I worked. Had I paid money like that, my butt would have been plastered to the seat, even if it was disappointing. Sad.

8:23 PM  

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