today i'm looking at my elvis costello and the sugarcanes tickets for the orpheum theater in april, and trying to figure out how it is that we got heeyah from theyah...
livenation is disintermediating ticketmaster in a big way these days, and if you need any evidence as to the extent and efficacy of their rout, just take a look at the twelve dollar and ninety-five cent "ticket fee" livenation is charging (in addition to a $2 venue fee and unexplained fifty cents for "charity"), on a sixty-two dollar ticket. (that's over 20% to the livenation robber barons for running their little web ticketing widget, and adding absolutely no value other than that which accrues to a monopolist).
the business model is simple: pay off the big-name artists with cash bribes to book exclusively through livenation venues, then extort from the venues their livenation memberships to pay for the small part of it that's not recouped by charging the $12.95 ticket fee, to be levied on the backs of the poor saps (i.e. us) who might like to support the whole criminal enterprise with our attendance.
want to know what i think?
a few days later, i'm a classic case of buyer's remorse. if i could return these tickets and get my money back, i would. i've concluded that livenation is an abomination, and i'm nauseous to be caught enabling it. (and i love elvis costello more than i can say). livenation does abosolutely nothing (as in jack squat) to get more and better music out into the world--it's just extorting the popularity of a limited number of acts to corner the market on concert venues and then charge monopolistic fees for our misfortune. (yet more reason to be disgusted every time i have gone against my better judgment to see a show at the paradise, which, speaking of which, isn't nearly the rock and roll room that is church, which was a revelation when seeing jen kearney and the lost onion there last weekend--GREAT ROOM!!!)
yes, for the price of those livenation ticket fees alone, i'd could support half a dozen local acts at venues like the old court, gemstones, and the village smokehouse right here in downtown lowell, or church in boston, or johnny d's in somerville for that matter. (e.g. february 27th at gemstones, for $10, i'll be supporting speakermute at their cd release party, plus audrey can't die and air traffic controller).
fight the power.
not for nothing, but melvern taylor and his fabulous meltones are free at toad tomorrow. (though i've heard rumor that carl johnson is bringing his resonator down to the free open mic jam at brew'd awakenings, so i may just have to rely on having seen melvern this past weekend to tide me over til the next toad show in two weeks...)
it's so easy to fill your life with great music--insist that the money you spend on it goes to the musicians. you'd be amazed at how many great ones will be happy to come out and play for you for the privilege.