Never mind about the cost

My goodness.  When did a Tori Amos gig become a + $100 event??!  Generally if I want to see a band/musician badly enough, I’ll just go.  I’m not really one to bitch about ticket prices, particularly for international acts I’m wanting to see badly enough.  But man oh man – over 100 bucks for Ms Amos?  I wasn’t expecting that and I don’t think I’ll be there.  All the power to those of you that do go, though.

Bands like Wilco are getting up there, but there’s still something in my head about that magical $100 mark.  I paid that for U2.  I paid that (well, double that) when I bought tickets for my Dad and I to see the Eagles.  I just checked and yep, Bob Dylan is up there plus plus.  Acts like the Rolling Stones etc. are going to garner that sort of ticket price, because you’d guess the demand for tickets and the frequency they tour warrant it.

I paid almost that for Tool, and genuinly they put on a great show for that price, what with the lazers and all.  The Entertainment Centre is honestly though the most vibe-void performance space there ever was.  I paid just a little less than Tool for Wilco, and I swear to god I’d pay it three times over.  Especially to see them at the Enmore.  I’d expect DiFranco to be up toward the $70 mark when (if she god damn ever) comes back.

But then, the best gig I’ve seen all year (and really, I highly doubt it will be beaten) I paid $30 for.  A lot of the international gigs that blew me away this year were around the $40 to $70 mark.  And then there are those local gigs you pay a $10 or $15 cover charge for that completely surprise you.  We saw Dead Letter Chorus at the Hopetoun on June 15 and this was a perfect example of that – 2 pretty good bands and one great one for a teeny tiny cover charge.

Anyway I started this and I’ve no idea where I’m going with it, but I think it’s a little sad that there will be some crazyfangirls and boys out there who will miss out on the Tori Amos experience because they’re poor.  I remember being poor and wanting to see international acts.  It really bites the big one.  When you live in Wagga there’s the whole added shizzat of transport and accommodation and what have you, and when you’re 17, poor, and live in Wagga???  Seriously, you might as well forget a live music scene even exists.  I remember sneaking into the Union when I was 16 or 17 to see the Wagga band Stonehouse (who were terrible, incidently, but the lead singer was kinda hot) and thinking that was truly the most amazing musical experience EVER.  Dear me.

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8 Replies to “Never mind about the cost

  1. I hear ya Karen! I was thinking about tori amos the other day and whether I wanted to fork out that much for one gig or to go to numerous gigs. I’m not surprised I went with the latter option either. As amazing as the opera house is – bless Utzon, it is really asking to much for low-income fans and students.

    If i’m not mistaken was it not Ani who was supporting Bob Dylan last time he was here? If it was, that would’ve been one pretty, superb show.

  2. There has been a lot in the press about the Opera House this week with the heritage listing and all. It’s an amazing venue.

    And yeah, you’re right. In 2002 she toured with Dylan. It was the first time I saw her live, so of course it was amazing, but it was at the Ent Cent and the vibe was really weird. The crowd was very mixed and not a lot of people knew who she was, so there was a lot of talking through her set. Also, she recited a poem called ‘Self Evident’ that she’d written about September 11, and half way through someone in the crowd stood up and started yelling ‘bullshit!’ and generally heckling her, and some more people joined in, and then others tried to shut them up, and it generally got really nasty. She finished the poem, clearly upset, and then sort of walked off. It was really disappointing. When she was here in 2005 though, the vibe at those shows made up for it. Really amazing.

  3. Poverty stopped me from seeing Lou Reed when he toured like 3 or 4 years ago. Luckily I got the chance to see him this year.

    Not only are prices going up but so is the Australian dollar in exchange rate terms which is puzzling when you combine the two.

    I try to keep tenuous limits on how much I pay to go see a gig. Wilco I didn’t see because I wasn’t willing to spend $80. $80 is the upper limit of what I pay unless I absolutely must see a band and lately even $70 is starting to push it (I have a feeling that Ryan Adams will be around $70 but I’ll still go). So far I’ve paid over $80 to see Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Lou Reed and now The Cure.

  4. It hurt me not to see Wilco, but I have this mental block over $60. Although Radiohead were worth every penny.

    The Doves and Gomez both toured under $60. I mean, unless I adore a band, I’d rather split the money from one act and see an Augie March, a New Buffalo and a SubAudible Hum/ Laura, please.

    Don’t think I’d see another band at Rod Laver, either. Might as well stick my head and a stereo with one speaker on the fritz into a wheelie-bin, thanks.

  5. I think everyone has their own block on their head RE: what they’ll pay for a gig. Seems a lot of people didn’t go to Wilco because of the ticket price. I think, too, regardless of what your ‘block’ is everyone has a band they’d probably give a limb to see, regardless of the price.

    I often wonder how they set prices for gigs – I thought it might have had something to do with the venue and overheads etc, but I’ve seen gigs at the Enmore in Sydney ranging from $20 through to near $100. Oz I’m not sure either about the exchange rate thing – surely right now it would be working in our favour?

    I was only talking about Laura last weekend, but I’ve never seen them live. And I’m really hoping to see Sub Hum live again soon – I missed seeing them support Art of Fighting for some reason that I can’t remember right now but at the time I’m sure was significantly important.

    I hear the acoustics in wheelie-bins can be quite good. Provided you have two working speakers, of course.

  6. It could be worse – here in Perth, we have approximately two hundred and twenty thousand venues that have a capacity of between 0 and ~500 (I think I’ve seen live acts at 14 or 15 different venues at last count; excluding pubs!) and then for anyone likely to draw a crowd >500, we have the Dome. The Dome is a pressurised building with a freakin’ airlock that has twice been shut down because it was deemed to no longer be valid. You walk in there and expect to see Fiona McDonald hosting It’s a Knockout, or maybe Storm challenging Blade on the balancing beam with those oversize nerf cotton buds.

    Its sound is pathetic, and the general get in get out is woeful. Last time I was there they opened one of the emergency exit doors and one was ejected from the building like some Super Happy Fun Slide.

    They’re building a new Entertainment Centre, allegedly, but if there’s one thing we’ve learnt in (W)ait (A)while, it’s that they talk more than they build.

    I think you have to look at the pricing from a perspective of dollar value. Wilco played for 2.5 hours; were they worth $32/hr of entertainment to watch?


    Conversely, I’m not going to pay $160 to see Crosby Stills and Nash, because it isn’t something that I’m going to want to pay to see.

    I’m sure we’ve all wasted $32 in a single hour on more frivolous things than the wind blowing us back via Chicago in the middle of the night…

  7. Dude, you should get yourself some investors and build yourself a mid sized venue ala the Enmore. Seems like you have great need for it over there.

    The idea of a music venue with an airlock kinda freaks me out. And that’s even without the It’s A Knockout analogy.

    And wait, you have Super Happy Fun Slides!?!?! THAT’S IT I’m definitely coming to Perth.

  8. Dude, if you want to use the Super Happy Fun slide, you’ll have to go and see someone like Guns and Roses, Coldplay or the Countdown Spectacular. Or maybe Barbara Streisand.

    Your call.

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