YET ANOTHER CONCERT DISASTER
Here's an exciting NEW example of how concert promoters like Live Nation can make the concert-going experience even less of a joy than it's already become. If rising ticket prices aren't enough of a deterrent, try this hosing on for size.
Ticketmaster was offering three price levels of seating for last night's Jeff Beck show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. There was General Admission standing room on the floor for $56.00. First level reserved seating for $75.00. And, 2nd level General Admission Balcony seating for $56.00.
Standing on the floor for a sold out concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom is about as pleasurable as a wet tweed bathing suit. So, anyone wanting to actually see and hear Jeff Beck, would opt for the extra bucks and guarantee themselves a seat above the overcrowded floor, with a direct view of the stage. So, that's what I bought.
Ticketmaster listed the show as "An Evening With Jeff Beck: 6:30 doors, 7PM showtime." Excellent! Nice & early. I boought my seats. Section 104, Row D, Seats 5 & 6. A bit off to the side, not an aisle, but totally fine. With fees, charges, and raping, my grand total per ticket was $87.00. Well, at least I had a seat.
I assumed there would be an opening act. I couldn't find out for sure, no one would answer the phone at the Hammerstein Ballroom, which strangely enough has the same number as Irving Plaza. (I know) My friend and I arrived at 7:50, only to find the entire Mezzanine full, including our seats. The very kind (seriously) woman at the door said, "Hi guys. Sit anywhere." "But how about the actual reserved seats?" I asked. "Nope. Just sit anywhere." Well, the only seats left that weren't behind a pole were in the very last row, about 5 feet from the very well lit concession area, right underneath an air conditioner vent that was blowing as hard as a twin-engine jet. All for only $87 a ticket.
Well, Jeff Beck hit the stage at 8:25, played his guitar just like a'ringin' a bell, and put on a fantastic show. Can't complain about the performance. But, is there some class action law suit in the future? Is this allowed? I mean, why not sell Jeff Beck tickets, and then have Julie Budd perform instead? False advertising is false advertising, even if no one was complaining but me. But, then why would they? They all had better seats than I did.