The Concert Complaint

I’m about to complain.  Sorry, I just can’t help myself.  This one development in the last decade has me bugged, and it seems as if there’s nothing I can do about it.

Live music is no longer accessible to everyone.  Not the way it used to be anyway.  I know, I’m really starting to sound like one of those “well back in my day” kind of people, but it is just so frustrating.

I’m lucky.  I’ve seen probably 300+ concerts in my life, and that’s pretty damn good, given that I’m not that old.  At the same time, my biggest worries about going to concerts used to be as follows:

1.  Do I have $10-$40 to spare on a ticket?

2.  Does my car work well enough to get me to the venue?

3.  Do I have friends in the area in case I need to crash somewhere?

4.  How soon can I do it all again?

Nowhere on that list is “do I have enough time to sit in front of the computer and obsessively hit “refresh” until the exact time when tickets go on sale lest the show sell out to ticket brokers and all of a sudden it costs upwards of $300 to have a terrible seat…”  This is what the concert ticket buying experience has become.  I just don’t even participate anymore.

Sure, I know some people who have awesome stories about showing up at the venue the day of and scoring a front row seat because the band ended up not using all of their reserved seats.  Fine.  It happens.  I also know stories of people getting “miracles” (free tickets in the parking lot) and other lucky breaks like that.  I also know horror stories of people buying tickets on reputable (and not-so-reputable) sites and getting burned by scammers and fake tickets.  That actually happened to me a couple of years ago, ashamed to say.

Live music is such an experience for me.  The shows I’ve seen have shaped me in many ways.  After all, I’ve had the opportunity to explore cities and people I may have never otherwise have come into contact with, and that is priceless.  Not to mention the fact that I have gotten to experience pure, unadulterated joy in the form of art and emotional expression.  The surrounding nature of sound in a good concert venue combined with the vibe of the crowd and the unbridled release of the performers… well you just don’t encounter that anywhere else.  Not that I’ve found yet anyway.

The hassle involved in modern concert-going is enough to take the fun out of it for me.  There is a band coming to town next week that I would love to see because they are from out of the country and I’ve never had the opportunity to see them.  Oh, and I can walk to the venue.  Sadly, the show is already sold out, and I just don’t think I have the energy to cut through the BS to try and go.

This all could be a sign of getting older.  Or it could be a sign of technology and greediness obstructing the path to what used to be a wonderful thing.  Either way, I’m bitter about it, and it might just take a minute for me to get over it.


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