Friday, January 27, 2012

For The Love of Music

There is a moment that any fan can recall when they fell in love with a band.  While parts of my record collection I have been given for free – and I mean in a physical way (my iTunes account is made up completely of music that I’ve personally downloaded from CDs and vinyl). But each record that I’ve bought, and some that I’ve been given have a very specific purpose. They remind me of someone, or some particular life event, or resonate with a part of me that I can’t quite explain, but somehow that album can make whatever I’m feeling make sense.
I am not the only person who feels this way, and I think most of my friends would agree – I can say that because most of my friends and I are friends because of a common love for a certain band. It’s kind of a litmus test when I meet people, not because I’m trying to be a dick, but because an interest in music and a love for it is often a quality people that are curious and observant and well, interesting, have.
They get it.

I don’t remember the first time I heard Pulp, but I do remember when I realized that those songs that I had been dancing to were by them. Spinning to the chorus of  “Do You Remember The First Time” – there aren’t words for that.  That probably seems silly to a lot of you, and that’s okay.
Today tickets to see Pulp at The Warfield here in San Francisco went on sale at 10 am. I set three alarms, just in case I slept through the first two (I didn’t) so that I would be up and have my information plugged in as their website allows. This was followed by an invitation to the “waiting room” – a virtual line of some kind before tickets went on sale. I did this on two computers – not because I had an interest in buying 293487 tickets, but because I wanted to make sure I had a decent chance of getting tickets at all, and I called their ticket provider AXS, and stayed on hold for a solid 20 minutes before I was told that they had sold out in five minutes.
Five. Minutes.
I looked around the internet yesterday to see if any tickets were for sale elsewhere, maybe leftover from a presale and there were. They were. I posted on The Warfield’s Facebook page asking when the presale had occurred. They said there wasn’t one, unless there had been one on Pulp’s page without their knowledge. I couldn’t find anything that would lead me to believe there was one of any kind.
I digress. The scalping. The website allowed for you to buy eight tickets at a time.  I know it’s up to the venue, but to allow the sale of such a high quantity plays right into the scalpers grubby little hands. I have been to a lot of concerts, with and without other people, and I’ve never known of anyone to need that many, let alone be able to afford it off that bat, and let their friends pay them back later. Maybe I just have poor friends.
One would think that if you own a venue, you do it because you love music, because you’re a fan. And The Warfield isn’t an arena, it is a dedicated music venue, with a capacity of about 2000. If you’re really a fan of music, and enjoy sharing that experience with others than why would you allow policies that fuck over the fans? With big names, you won’t lose money by restricting the quantity – people will still buy their tickets, though probably not quite as fast.
Which brings me to scalpers. Whether you’re charging ten or a hundred dollars more, you’re still making it that much more difficult for fans, presumably poor bastards like me who spend all our money on rent and going to shows, from seeing a band we love. You can’t love music, or really anything and willfully fuck over other people. 

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