Welcome to The Metro: We totally know how to do business

Since I hate the idea of giving one thin dime to Ticketmaster, I buy tickets direct from the box office on every occassion possible. If tickets are on sale exclusively through Ticketmaster, I usually end up not going (did you hear that Aragon? You might want to think about having a box office). So my sister and I ran some errands this morning and then headed over to Hi-Fi Records to buy some tickets for the Pinback show later this month. We followed our normal procedure; Brianne parked illegally with the hazards on, and I ran out to get the tickets. As I approached The Metro, I noticed a huge crown of people out front. This did not look good. I slowed down my pace and tried to figure out what the hell was going on. There were about 40 – 50 teenage goth / rapmetal kids hanging out, and a couple Metro / SmartBar security guards looking pissed. And the eye of this hurricane was directly in front of the entrance to Hi-Fi Records. Uh-oh. I flagged down one of the security guys and started to drill him for information.

Me: “Dude, what’s going on? What is everyone doing?”
Security Guy: “Being difficult”
Me: “Um, ok. Can I go inside?”
Security Guy: “No, it’s closed. For the rest of the day”
Me: “ok” (runs away)

I got back in the car and tried to explain to Brianne what had just happened. She didn’t understand. I reexplained, but I didn’t really understand what had just happened either. We thought that maybe it had something to do with the Coldplay tickets that had just gone on sale the day before. But then Brianne realized “Why the hell would all of these random people congregate outside a full 24 hours after the tickets sold out?” We get about 4 blocks away, and Brianne decides she just can’t live without knowing what all the fuss was about. So we turned around and headed back. By this time, the police had shown up. Brianne approached the same security guard.

Brianne: “What’s going on?”
Security Guard: “We have a situation”
Brianne: “What kind of situation?”
Security Guard: “A show on tuesday sold out and these people are pissed.”
Brianne: “Oh, um, can I buy tickets for Pinback?”
Security Guard: “No”
Brianne: “Is that why the record store is closed?”
Security Guard: “Yes”
Brianne: “ok”

She hopped back in the car, immensly proud of the new information, until we realized it told us exactly nothing. Unfortunately, by this point in time we were out of unique detectives in the car and had no choice but to head home. We rehashed all the facts that we had, and started forming hypothoses. Brianne renominated the Coldplay idea, until we realized that those were clearly not Coldplay fans. Coldplay fans would also be highly unlikely to stage such a protest; they would just write “Metro Sucks” on their wrist in totally passive-aggressive Chris Martin fashion. A couple more ideas came up, but we decided to hold off making assumptions until we could get some more concrete information. I vowed to call Hi-Fi as soon as we got home.

I immediately ran to the computer as soon as we walked in the door and went to the Metro site for Hi-Fi’s phone number. That is where I stumbled across this nugget of information. It was like tearing off the mask at the end of a Scooby Doo episode…

Tickets for System Of A Down will go on sale Sunday, May 1 at noon. Tickets will go on sale only at the Metro Box Office (Hi-Fi Records, 3728 North Clark Street) and all transactions will be CASH ONLY. Ticket buyers may not line up before 9:00am. The person buying the ticket MUST BE THE PERSON GOING TO THE SHOW. YOU MAY NOT PURCHASE A TICKET FOR SOMEONE ELSE. Ticket buyers will be sold ONE ticket each and at that time will receive a wristband. In order to enter the Metro on the day of the show, you must return with your ticket AND your wristband; the wristband must be attached to your wrist and UNTAMPERED with.

Did I read that right? Does that make any sense at all? Given this new information, that swarm of kids had every right in the world to be pissed. Those insane restrictions are the stupidest load of crap that I have ever heard. The Metro was asking for trouble, and they should have known better.

I guess this is just the load of crap that people have to start dealing with as a side effect of every band and their mother deciding all at once that playing small venues is the new black. All shows put on sale on short notice, all shows sold out in minutes, and all shows too big for their venue. Smart move.

7 Comments so far

  1. Drdick (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2005 @ 1:28 am

    That’s nuts. I put up the trib article on http://www.flowfeel.com regarding coldplay. This one is next!

  2. tankboy (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2005 @ 11:15 am

    hey, i’m all for big acts playing small venues. system of down seemed like they were actually trying to be fair as well, unlike the legions of pissed off yuppies that discovered that waiting in line didn’t guarantee anyone other than the first ten folks in line anything close to a ticket.

    i got tix for my little brother for the garbage show since he was on the road at the time and while i felt a little guilty about just clicking on through and having tickets withing a minute or so of them going on sale i certainoy didn’t feel TOO bad about it.

    i come from the old days; for big shows you would sleep outside and hope to be close enough to the front of the line to get a decent seat. that wasn’t such a bad time…

  3. steven (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2005 @ 12:03 pm

    i would hope that SOAD had good intentions, like cutting down on scalpers, but those restrictions are insane. you were lucky not to get sucked into the teenage goth/rapmetal hurricane…we might not have recognized you at the next meetup.

  4. Lauren (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2005 @ 12:18 pm

    Yeah, but here is the real problem.

    I fully understand that all the assinine restrictions were to ensure that only “true fans” made it to the show. But there are some ridiculous inherent flaws in the process.

    1. You can only buy 1 ticket. How many times have you bought only 1 ticket to a show? And how much would it blow if you got a ticket and your friend didn’t? And what if you were relying on your friend to drive to the show (because all these kids were totally 14 and from the suburbs) and now you can’t go?

    2. You have to wear the wristbad for 2 days. What if you can’t wear the wristbad for 2 days? i can think of a whole slew of reasons – You are in sports at school and cannot wear anything extraneous (This holds true for sports like swimming, gymnastics, wrestling, etc), you are required to wear a uniform and cannot wear bracelets, you work at a job and have to go to an important meeting and cannot wear the bracelet, you fall off your bike and tear the bracelet. You get the idea.

    It just seems like a lot of room for some serious error, and some kid ends up getting assed out at the end. I am sure these kids realized all of this, and were fucking pissed. Good for them. The whole setup is fucking ridiculous.

    I love the idea of big bands playing small venues. here’s a novel idea – Don’t presell tickets. Sell tickets at the door at the start of the show. Only do a couple bits of choice advertisement. Send out a thingee to people on your band’s mailing list / fan club. Get a big fat deal with a local radio station to promote, and have them send it out to their listeners. Whatever. Some just something more fucking logical.

  5. Fuzzy (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2005 @ 12:59 pm

    Not only are the conditions ridiculous, but you have to factor in the “surely these rules do not apply to me” factor — I’m sure all the conversations at the ticket counter began “I know it says just one ticket, but I really need 5…”

  6. tom (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2005 @ 3:16 pm

    y’all know how i feel about the metro. plus, it’s gonna have to be a REALLY GOOD SHOW to get me to set foot or tire in wrigleyville now that baseball season is here.

  7. Bill V (unregistered) on May 11th, 2005 @ 9:08 am

    We are lucky to be in Chicago, just about every type of act passes through, so I buy tickets at the box office when I can, or at the venues that have minimal service fees like Empty Bottle, Schuba’s, and the Abbey. So you miss some shows at the Aragon, no big deal, there are other shows to go to.

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