Sunday, January 30, 2005

How much is a good concert worth?

U2 tickets for their Vertigo tour are a bit pricey which raises the question, how much is a great concert worth? Now, before the slings and arrows of musical discontent are slung at me, I should point out that I do not attend many mega-concerts (just as I avoid mega-churches) but how many more shows is U2 going to play? And I will still argue that Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby are great records. And Vertigo is a great rock song, in my humble opinion.

While I will always ask people to attend shows by great local bands that most of us have never heard of, once in a while a show comes along that I must attend. And U2 in Chicago is one of those shows.

But apparently the shows for their North American concert tour are selling out at record speeds and there is a controversy with presales for members of the fan club. Of course, fans never think that they are entitled to special treatment. Ok, ok, I know... there are fans who always feel entitled because they believe that "I was their first" or "this band changed my life" or "no one else understands the band, the way I do."

However it does seem that there is evidence that scalpers and touts were selling presale tickets on ebay and other venues before concert goers had the opportunity to buy tickets. And while that is not fair, let us be honest... illegal sale of tickets has a long and ignoble history in rock and roll. And if these scalpers kept fans from buying tickets by line jumping so that only the scalpers got the tickets for sale at the box offices, that should be investigated immediately and steps taken to correct that problem.

But the question still remains, how much is a good concert worth? How much will people pay? Is a few hours with a rock and roll band worth $49, $95, $165, or even $195 per ticket?

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