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Going to see one of your favorite artists live in person is a fantastic way to spend an evening. James Taylor, John Mayer, Grateful Dead featuring John Mayer, or Panic At The Disco? Count me all the way in. I’ll even splurge for seats in the lower bowl when it’s someone like that. Maybe even buy a tour shirt if I’m really feeling crazy.
But lately it feels like the only thing my friends want to talk about while at the bar is the next live concert they’re going to. It seems like every weekend I’ve got a friend or close acquaintance going to see some obscure band play and I find myself having to turn down many invitations because I have no idea where all of this money to pay for tickets is coming from. Do people keep slush funds available purely to see live music?
I’ve got people adding me to group chats asking if I want to commit to a concert six months in advance because the tickets are on sale now and there is no time to waste. I don’t like committing to lunch plans more than 3 hours in advance. I’m hoping I’ll get hit by a bus in the next six months so I can go on disability for a year or so. I’m not buying a ticket to a show to see a band that I’ve never heard of.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room for a moment – there are a lot of very talented musicians who are overwhelming on stage. I don’t mean to continue bringing him up, but James Taylor is a revelation on stage.
If you’ve never seen “Fire and Rain” live in concert you haven’t lived a full life. That’s worth the price of admission. But 20 bucks for entry plus the bullshit 15 dollar Ticketmaster or Livenation fee for some guy playing at a dive bar that has one good song on Spotify? Sorry but I’m not wasting an evening and more than likely a hundred bucks on a few rounds of drinks for that bullshit.
It feels like many of you are going to these live shows just to go. You don’t know the band’s music all that well and it’s a deviation from your standard night out so you’re gung-ho about it. And for what it’s worth I think that’s sort of noble. You’re taking a chance on your Friday or Saturday night out to go see a live show from someone who may or may not be very good live. I just think the amount of times that people are doing this is getting ridiculous.
This might be a strictly Chicago thing, too. It feels like there has been a different three or four-day outdoor music festival here in the city every weekend since May, and I know people spending a few hundred bucks on a pass for the entire weekend every weekend. That’s insane, right? Or maybe I’m just an old curmudgeon?
I’ve said before that any live music is good after three or four beers and I stand by that, but I should have been more clear.
When it’s a free show, it’s wonderful. When you’re paying 30 or 40 bucks just to get your foot in the door that ain’t worth it, my friend. Buy yourself a nice stereo system and then smoke enough weed and drink enough booze that you convince yourself you’re actually there. Don’t any of you live music junkies have bills to pay or am I just making significantly less than everyone else? My guess is it’s probably a little bit of both of those things. .