This post is dedicated to my discontent with Ticketmaster, the memories of how easy and fun it used to be to get tickets to shows, and my love for Tears For Fears and this song. #TearsForFears #HallAndOates #TDGarden #TicketmasterFAIL
Earlier this week, presale tickets went on sale for the highly anticipated Daryl Hall & John Oates / Tears For Fears show at Boston’s famed TD Garden for June 2017. First, presale tickets went on sale for folks who have some sort of special membership or an American Express card. Then there’s the general presale the day before the general public can get tickets, so if you have special presale codes from folks like Pandora or Ticketmaster themselves, you have a (small) chance to get good seats before the everyone else does.
I remember years ago, living in Portland, Maine – even just a few years before the Interweb became popular – when you could wait in line hours before the box office opens to be guaranteed a good seat at a show. There wasn’t all of this presale bullshit or special VIP package nonsense costing one’s paycheck. You could buy a ticket for $20 or $30 and have a great time. For the “big” shows, most of the general admission seats are gone. It’s all reserved seating, which in most cases, is a good thing (I left tenth-row RESERVED seats of a 2004 David Byrne show at Portland’s State Theatre because people started going crazy when he began singing Talking Heads songs, and everyone migrated to the front. Did you really think I really wanted to leave a David Byrne show early?! Of course not! He was amazing to watch. Well, after some asshat spilled beer on me, I was done. Reserved seats are reserved for a reason, asshole.
Thank God for acts like The English Beat, who still have accessible prices for their shows, and their shows are always fun and memorable. Club shows like that remind me of the concerts from the old days. Mostly general admission, a great time and you’ll even have enough $$ to get a T-shirt or some swag.
I recently reconnected with my old friend Travis after way too long, and he was going to pay for our tickets to see Daryl Hall & John Oates and Tears For Fears. When the general presale tix went on sale yesterday (3.9.2017), I was ready. But I couldn’t get tix at the level we wanted. The special presales before mysteriously snatched all those seats up?! Not likely.
Unlike getting tickets to see Cyndi Lauper in Bangor, Maine in July 2017, where I could pick my own seats, the only option I had was “Best Available” for each category. And the seats offered were terrible. Nothing close. And this was the presale! When my friend Shawn in NYC and I saw Duran Duran and Chic in Brooklyn in April 2016, I was able to get 16th row seats NON-PRESALE! Granted, I spent a little more $$ for that, but it’s New York, at least twice the size of Boston!
When HopeyT and I saw Peter Gabriel and Sting in Worcester, MA in July 2016, I bought those tickets – the most $$ I’ve ever spent on a show – five months in advance! And they were THE WORST seats I’ve ever had for a show. I complained to Ticketmaster and the DCU Center in Worcester, but to no avail. Ticketmaster seemed to care at first (like today), but nothing ever came out of it, not that I expected it to. WTF is it with Ticketmaster and Massachusetts shows?!
When the presale option for Hall & Oates / Tears For Fears show in Boston didn’t pan out, I was ready at noon today (3.10.2017) for the general public tix. The option we wanted wasn’t an option, and I ordered tickets for us for a section we didn’t want, but didn’t want to miss out on the show either. Had all of the information entered in on Ticketmaster’s website, hit “enter” to reserve the seats, and all that popped up was the next screen was not a confirmation of seats, but of gibberish, which looked somewhat like an error message. The credit card and transaction did not go through. When I went back to get similar seats, they were gone. When I kept trying, the Ticketmaster site stopped working altogether. I later learned that site was down. When the site was up and running again, all they had left were balcony seats. We were more than willing to pay extra for good seats, and they were gone.
Sometimes I wish I could relay to Ticketmaster and the powers that be who organized these shows that I’m not just a huge fan of Daryl Hall & John Oates and Tears For Fears, that I’m also someone who hosted a little 80s radio show in Portland, Maine for almost 21 years, and 80s music is not only my passion, it’s a way of life for me, and it keeps me young. The music of Hall & Oates AND Tears For Fears proudly made ALOT of appearances on STUCK IN THE 80s over the years, and will again once the show is back. I was so looking forward to seeing this concert. But, I’m not going to get balcony seats when I had reserved better ones just because Ticketmaster wants me to conform to their douchebaggery, elitist ways.
I’m not a rich man. I don’t get to see shows all the time. It’s been great for the last several years, where I have been able to see some folks perform that I didn’t get to for whatever reason back in the 80s. And I don’t think people should have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars just to see two of their favorite 80s acts from the third row. It’s not right.
If you’re still reading, thanks very much for letting me vent. And now on to a much better subject…
Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith formed Tears For Fears in Bath, England in 1981, and released a brilliant debut album in 1983 called THE HURTING. But, it wasn’t until two years later when they were picked up on my music radar, with “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” from their also-brilliant second album, SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR.
“Everybody Wants To Rule The World” was enjoying its second and final week at No. 1 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 in mid-June 1985 when the second single from SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR, “Shout,” debuted on the chart at No. 66.
In other parts of the globe, “Mothers Talk” was the first single released from the album (in August 1984; a U.S. remix was released in April 1986). “Shout” was originally released in the U.K. around Thanksgiving 1984, well in advance of its U.S. release. It was one of the biggest singles of the year, spending the first three weeks of August 1985 at No. 1 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100. It also spent two weeks at No. 1 on BILLBOARD’s Dance chart, reached No. 6 on BILLBOARD’s Rock chart, and even peaked at No. 56 on BILLBOARD’s R&B chart.
“Shout,” with its strong lead vocals by Roland Orzabal, impressive guitar solo and keyboards, and that infectious pounding drum of producer Chris Hughes, was not only one of the biggest singles in America in 1985, it was one of THE biggest global hits of the year, and of the decade. “Shout” reached No. 1 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand and Switzerland, No. 2 in Italy and South Africa, No. 4 in the U.K., No. 5 in Ireland and Norway, No. 6 in Austria, and high singles chart rankings in France and Sweden too. It was a massive hit just about everywhere on the planet.
Roland Orzabal once said of “Shout” years after its release: “A lot of people think that ‘Shout’ is just another song about primal scream theory, continuing the themes of the first album. It is actually more concerned with political protest. It came out in 1984 when a lot of people were still worried about the aftermath of The Cold War and it was basically an encouragement to protest.”
Curt Smith added to that sentiment: “It concerns protest inasmuch as it encourages people not to do things without actually questioning them. People act without thinking because that’s just the way things go in society. So it’s a general song, about the way the public accepts any old grief which is thrown at them.”
As I lament (and protest, I suppose) tonight about the more-than-disappointing assjackery shenanigans of Ticketmaster, I couldn’t think of a better song to choose to highlight today than this kick-ass gem that will make me shout forever…
“Shout, Shout, Let it all out / These are the things I can do without / Come on, I’m talking to you, Come on…”