Dead Daft

Ice Cream KidWhen they announced three Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago to celebrate the Grateful Dead’s 50th birthday, I wasn’t that interested. Why spend a fortune to see an ‘almost’ version of a band I love yet which faded long ago? The shenanigans around ticketing, reported on, confirmed my view.

But then they posted a sweet message announcing two more shows on Bay Area home turf and a lottery-style, fair-ish way of getting seats. Suddenly, I felt I was being invited to a party with 65,000 friends, so I committed to spending hundreds of dollars on tickets and a grand or so on flights and accommodation…..

But got the email last night saying I didn’t get any tickets at all.

Maybe my dream is better than the reality would have been – I still can’t see the music being up to scratch – but now I’ll never have the opportunity to be part of the full crazy Deadhead experience which may have been, as the ad used to say, ‘priceless’.

Is there a limit on the amount you’d pay to see your favourite artist?

37 thoughts on “Dead Daft

  1. Oh that’s a damned shame, Chris.

    It would have been worth the expense for the week amongst the faithful, regardless of the shows.

  2. I wouldn’t want to see the Dead without Jerry, personally. It would be like seeing the Jimi Hendrix Experience with someone else on guitar.

    I’ve never wanted to see The Who since Keith Moon died and I don’t want Zeppelin to reform. King Crimson is a different matter. That was never a tight-knit affair, KC is always about Fripp and his vision, so I am happy to be seeing the new incarnation in September.

    Is there a limit on how much I’d pay? Definitely. I’d never pay more than about £50-£60 a ticket for anyone.

  3. Chris – DSD sent me here. Because I posted on the RR about a friend scoring tickets. Actually two of our group scored tickets and we had too pick which night. So that leaves one set of tickets for Saturday night if your interested. Unfortunately they are behind the stage. Guess they are packing them in. Still those would probably be closer than many of ’em

    • Thanks for the thought, fintan, but I think the fever’s passed now 😉

      I would have shelled out megabucks to be able to see them play on both nights but not for one night behind the stage.

      You have good seats for Sunday? I’d love to hear what you think of the whole thing, once the circus has moved on to Chicago.

      • Not real good. Well to the side ( so if they break out the wall of speakers the view could be worse than from the back). I’m going with the same group who saw them in Kezar stadium 42 years ago. That was a Day on the Green concert ( first one I think) and an incredible day it was. Sorry you’re going to miss it.

  4. I’m sorry, Chris. Probably won’t be much consolation, but as you know, i badly wanted to see the Stones at Glastonbury a few years ago, but that would have just been icing on a trip to the UK which would have been the real excuse. But after seeing the BBC show, i really didn’t miss much, and i doubt i would have been in much company of real Stones fans either. Seems that it was a bunch of teenage Made in Chelsea twats who actually scored the tickets anyway. But i’ll always have Philly.

    Should the Dead (although i’m with Carole here, i wouldn’t be much interested w/o Jerry either) decide to grace the Commonwealth here with any shows after Chicago for their right coast fans, let me know. It’s a good bet you’d be among real Deadheads here, they’re pretty legion here in the northeast.

    • No, it seems certain that the Chicago shows are the last ones. The extra SC shows were slotted in before them, so that statement remained true.

      They are streaming the Chicago shows live to ‘selected cinemas’ but, as you’d expect, that won’t be anywhere near as good atmospherically, unless the smoking/drinking rules are relaxed. But techies assert that you’ll get a better view and better sound than at the shows (certainly compared to having seats behind the stage). Maybe worth having a look at one night?

    • Hey Amylee.

      Might be heading up to MA in the Summer. The artistformelyknownasShoeteen is heading to MIT to do her Doctorate.

      • Whoa, congrats to the Shoe20-something, that’s awesome! The one that was a Tarheel? What’s her field?

        You had better get in touch with me when you’re making your plans. Do you have any dates yet? I’m (a long) walking distance to MIT, and i work there every now and again. You should have my email from the Festive Spill, let me know if you don’t.

      • Time flies, it’s scary. Seems like just last year you were driving her up to NC to start school. I think MIT is the coolest school in Boston. I’ve come to the conclusion that i’m otherwise a state school kind of girl. For undergrad at least, then go to the grad school that supports the research that you want to do. At $40-70 thou a year for undergrad at these local private schools, Umass (and MassArt) are great state schools at a small fraction of the cost of the privates.

  5. It depends on the type of gig really. I might pay a big amount to see my favourite band in my front room (this kind of gig has been offered via kickstarter style fund raising things for some of the bands I follow, although it does seem a bit like prostitution), but wouldn’t to see them in Wembley Arena. Paid quite a lot to see the Cure a few years ago, but I’d wanted to see them for so long it seemed worth it and I’m glad I did.

    What do others think of the ethics of struggling bands offering a bijou live experience for a big price?

  6. Sorry you missed out on tickets, Chris. I still regret not having seen Roy Harper in his hey day, I would have paid a lot for that but as you say, I think the fever passed a year or two ago. I love live music but it’s difficult to arrange anything around poorly child and assorted pets, so I’m grateful for anything local and not too expensive! I saw Yes and Pink Floyd years ago, I expect they were mega-bucks at the time (both in London). These days I’d be pushing it for anything over £30! Roy Harper live in my front room though … now there’s a thing …

    • Ah Ali, I’d loved to have seen Pink Floyd, my brother saw them in the 80s, but I didn’t go. I have seen Roy Harper quite a few times and I’m sorry you missed him. Maybe when all the current stuff is over he’ll tour again, he’s still in good voice, I’ll go with you! 🙂

    • Led Zep is the one i’m sorry i never got to see. I have no desire to see them now though, the moment is long gone.

      I do kinda regret not seeing the White Stripes and Strokes bill at a small club about a decade ago though, just before they hit it big.

    • I remember seeing Roy Harper in a little Manchester club called The Magic Village in – probably – 1970. The stage was about 2 feet high and everyone sat on the floor, hippy-stylee. It was very much like having him play in your living room.
      I do hope his ‘current stuff’ passes over cleanly.

      • Yes, I think the heyday in the blood is tame, and I much prefer his old ‘stuff’ – he would still be an interesting person to meet, I think. Perhaps I’ll invite him for lunch!

  7. Dead daft is dead right. I can’t really believe you guys, 60 quid to see a concert, that’s $100!
    $100 times 20.000 = 20 million fucking dollars! No wonder I see Beverley Hills properties for sale by absolutely unknown rock drummers in the LA Times every day for umpteen millions of dollars! Literally, check it- LA property.
    Your problems are that you were born about 2 decades too late. In the early 70’s I saw BMW, Toots, Gregory, Dennis plus all the west coast bands either for free or at most, $2 – $3. In Jamaica it was $2 Jamaican! – pennies!
    I literally can’t believe the prices I see in the Guardian or the Spill! and what goes by unnoticed is that it’s seemingly totally normal!

      • Chris: My comment wasn’t aimed at you but was rather about my perception of insane admission prices; have you seen the ticket prices for the upcoming Mayweather fight, $5000 general admission, and that’s before the scalpers get involved! Insanity.

    • The worst thing here in the US, gf, with the sports stuff – stadium tickets are insanely priced enough as it is, but we taxpayers are the ones who basically foot the tab for the stadiums themselves as well. I’m glad that i always kinda hated Boston sports teams anyway (save for maybe the Bruins).

  8. I paid a lot to see the Stones in Abu Dhabi last year, but it was a last hurrah as I health issues mean we probably won’t be able to attend concerts in the future. To be honest, it was more of a great nostalgia trip (having seen the Stones in 1973) than a great concert. On balance, I’d say it was worth it.

    • So jealous you saw them in ’73, that must have been great. They were in peak form then, and had just gotten their best albums behind them.

  9. On the question of ‘what’s the most you’ve ever paid for a ticket?’ I can only twice remember ever going into double figures, and during the 70’s-80’s my wife and I went to music events in LA frequently 2-3 nights a week and to and Jamaica at least once a year!
    Most gigs at the clubs and venues we attended charged less than $10 at the door. The two that topped $10 were each to hear Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, once by the LA Philharmonic and once by the SF Philharmonic. These days I just don’t go, I prefer to spend money on either CD’s or stereo equipment.

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