Awhile back, I was in Denver. We were having dinner at my brother and sister in law's home. As always, we ended up sitting at the table for a good hour or so, discussing the problems of the world. Somehow (I dont recall the segue) the topic turned to the cost of tickets. Originally we were discussing the cost of sports tickets, but the conversation moved to other topics-concert tickets, and even play tickets (not expensive at the local level).
Being fans of all kinds of music including classic rock, we bemoaned the fact that prices had gotten out of hand. We also griped about the fact that it seems tickets for events are purchased immediately by resellers with a hard markup. This of course, led to a discussion of who we would pay for, if we had the money. I dont know about you, but my list these days, at least for rock concerts is VERY short.
So ask you, in the spirit of conversation today, two questions. First who would YOU pay for? Who is on your short list? I'm not just talking rock, but I am talking individual performers and groups -not orchestras or plays (although I enjoy them equally). When it comes to sports, I'll leave that one alone, except to say that I want a Denver Broncos playoff ticket for Christmas.
In my case I like all music. When it comes to groups and bands, I decided years ago that outdoor venues were not for me. I've stood at the twenty yard line for the very last time. If I'm going to go see someone, it had better be inside, at the Pepsi or American Airlines center. While I have not been to a huge number of performances in my life, I have seen Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (10 years ago, and the best concert of my life-no voice damage there), Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart (who in concert is nothing like you imagine) and even Jimi Hendrix. My serious wish list is very short, and last year my sister in law took me to see Eric Clapton, so it is much, much shorter. Still in the rock era, I would pay to see the Rolling Stones (and will sell my children outright if they tour in Dallas), and Pink Floyd if they ever decide to be on the same stage. And off the top of my head, that's my short list. I'm sure there are others I could add, but there you are. If we were talking about classical performers or musicians, there are a couple others I might add.
As far as those smaller concerts and club performances, I there are sitll few folks I will pay to go see. It should be noted that Dallas and especially Austin are big music towns and have lots of smaller venues where fairly big performers appear unannounced. I managed to see Buddy Guy and BB King in a local place that way. And when I go to Denver El Chapultapec has name jazz artists on a regular basis. Still, the more middle aged I get, the less, smoke, standing and crowds I can tolerate. Call me set in my ways! And frankly, when it comes to Austin, you often don't know who you'll get until you're inside. Jeff Beck is famous (for example) for just showing up and playing-but I can't count on that. So, while occasionally I pay the entrance fee and a couple drinks, more and more I am relying on my radio and my Itunes account. Call me a party pooper!
What about you-whose on your dream list? Who would you pay to see in the real world? Anyone?
Note: For true music addicts with the energy to stand and walk all day, the annual Austin City Limits concert cannot be beat for the true afficionado. A three day event, last year my twenty and thirty year old (and my sister and brother in law, bless them) saw Stevie Wonder, Cold Play, Alison Krause and heaven knows who else. This year, Neil Young, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White and about fifty other performers. I could almost be tempted for Neil Young and Crazy Horse-nor not!