Van Halen ticket-hell!

So…. the Van Halen presale-tickets went on sale today. My GOD…. I didn’t realize what a MESS it is to get hold of tickets to the big arena-shows in the US. Oh, boy.

Here in Europe, or in Sweden at least, it’s plain and simple. A release date is announced. On that day and that time, it’s the law of the jungle that applies – whoever comes first grabs the best tickets.
And when it’s sold out – it¨s sold out. But you can, of course, always buy them unbelievably overpriced somewhere online at any time before the show. Even on the day of the show. So – you never have to panic. It’s all cool and it’s fair.

In the US it’s a freaking nightmare trying to figure out who gets what.
You get all these different “exclusive pre-sales”, all of them starting on different dates, different time zones, you need passwords and special links. Then of course, to make things even more confusing, there are the various VIP-packages and whatever else…..

It stressed me out so much I almost lost it. I REALLY – and I mean R-E-A-L-L-Y wanted a GOOD ticket to one of the Van Halen-shows (in this case the Madison Square Garden-show).
If I’m going to get on a plane and travel across the Atlantic, I really don’t feel like sitting in the nosebleed-section, thank you very much.

When the first tickets went on sale today, it turned out it was just for American Express-holders. I didn’t realize that. I can’t recall seeing that information anywhere before – cause if I had known, I would have asked around to see if anyone HAD an American Express that I could use for this.

I made a test just to see what kind of seats I would get, and got one on the floor, 5th rowthat I couldn’t buy..!. My temper got the best of me at that point.

A few hours later, Live Nation finally revealed the password for THEIR presale (sigh…) So, I went back to Ticketmaster, ready to purchase one of THOSE tix…. Nope. Presale on Friday – when I’ll be on a PLANE all day on my way to ATHENS, Greece for the Firewind-show! Gah!!

And then, the day after THAT – tickets for “the general public”…..

Seriously, what’s the deal?? Why not just get those tickets on sale and get it over with! Thousands of anxious fans out there are DYING to get their hands on those tickets, why all these meaningless “VIP” this and VIP-that -games?!

You know that even the so called “VIP”-seats are going to suck, because the REAL good seats are already reserved for the “important” people. I’ve never been front row at any arena-show in the USA except for the VH1 Rock Honors show in Las Vegas in 2006 – because I was “TV-audience”, chosen by VH1.

 I’ll never forget my very first concert-experience in the States (big arena-show). It was AC/DC playing at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, NY (I think it’s called the Pepsi arena nowadays). I was looking forward to standing in front of Angus jumping and screaming my guts out. You know, the way it’s supposed to be at a rock concert.

When I walked into the arena that night, I thought it was a joke. There were CHAIRS on the floor, in front of the stage….. WTF?! I wasn’t there to see the London Philharmonic Orchestra, I was there to see a ROCK BAND.

Over here, there are no chairs in front of the stage at rock-shows. I guess it’s a matter of reserving the “Best seats in the house” for celebrities, girlfriends, friends, radio stations, journalists, whoever. As a FAN you never get a chance at those really good seats – forget it. You’re lucky if you end up on the 5th row – and of course you’ll have to pay two months worth of rent for the ticket.

Very frustrating for someone like me who’s used to getting good tickets simply by being prepared: Logged in, links and everything else that I need, my credit card and all that in my hand…. That’s how I got a ticket for the Golden Circle for the Black Sabbath concert in Malmo this summer (if it happens, now with the shocking news we heard yesterday…. who cares about the show, I hope Tony gets well). I got the best spot in the house all over Europe all summer to see Ozzy for instance!

And then you get all this crap as soon as you want to see a band you love in the US.

American Express, Live Nation, passwords, codes, special links, different sales-dates, Facebook-pages (“Like”, “RSVP”, share to get a presale code…!) VIP-packages blah blah – and in the end, you’ll end up with nothing. A seat somewhere way UP or way in the BACK. Take a pick.

Am I pissed off? You bet I am. I think the system blows. It would be a lot easier for everybody if we all could go to a great show under the same circumstances

But maybe that’s just me…

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