Monday, July 7, 2008

Caveat Emptor: The high price of a New York City concert

Pearl Jam put on their best New York area show in a long time at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday June 25, 2008. They came out strong opening the show with "Release," which led to a massive MSG sing-along. Eddie Vedder later led the band through some rare treats such as "Garden" and "I'm Open."

The three main highlights for me were:

  1. "I Believe in Miracles" featuring CJ Ramone rocking the bass guitar!
  2. Eddie Vedder giving a shout out to the recently retired Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers followed by "Let's Go Rangers" chants.
  3. And finally the performance of Kiss's "Black Diamond" with Space Ace Frehley on lead guitar and drummer Matt Cameron on the vox.

Pearl Jam still puts on one of the best live rock shows out there. It's the type of concert where you never want the band to stop playing, even after a solid 2 hours 45 minutes of Rock godliness.

Now were all these treats really worth the money?

My ticket ran me $100 on the secondary market (Stubhub);
Train ticket with Metrocard came to $17;
Food/Drinks prior to the show $75 (Houlihans in Penn Station - absolute ripoff for one greasy appetizer and 4 drinks in my opinion);
Total monetary cost of $192.

I would have been willing to spend up to $200 for my ticket alone so I made out well. I guess ticket prices are not that high after all.

But what if Ace Frehly and CJ Ramone did not show up to the show? Then I probably would have only been willing to spend $100 per ticket, and it would not have been worth it for me.

This has been a major issue for me; The ticket sellers (ticketmaster/stubhub) do not offer any satisfaction guarantee.

The Stone Temple Pilots concert at PNC Bank Arts Center on May 31 was awful. The lead singer showed up over an hour late and put on a disgusting performance. Aren't I entitled to at least a partial refund?

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