08 May 2010

And So It Ends

No, not the blog!! I'm talking about my quest.

The last few weeks have seen me become totally preoccupied with Peter Gabriel's concert at the Hollywood Bowl. "Preoccupied" probably doesn't do my mental state justice. I was obsessed with this concert for more reasons than I can list (including, but not limited to, the fact that I haven't been to a concert of my choosing in about 20 years, the fact that I rarely go out at night for entertainment, the fact that my kid loves PG and had never been to a real concert before and the fact that I just plain wanted to hear this man's voice live).

How many hoops did I jump through to make this happen? I lost count after only a few days of debating whether or not I would go and wondering how on Earth I was going to make this happen with no disposable income. I finally made the decision to let something (else!!!) not be paid on time. What do I get for paying the cell bill (whether in a timely fashion or late)? Nothing really except the ability to use the phones enough to generate another bill the following month. What do I get if I go see Peter Gabriel in concert? Joy. Memories. A night out. A wonderful introduction to live music for my child. A night out. Fresh air. Beautiful music. A night out. And, of course, a night out.

The next problem was the tickets. Not having been to anything in decades, I was unclear as to how all of this worked. E-tickets? What the hell is that? What do you mean they email you some tickets? And they really allow you to get in with tickets on pieces of paper? I didn't know what to make of all of this.

The prices were obscene. But, as I told people, this was a situation where it helped to be low on cash. I couldn't just buy some tickets. This was money that was supposed to go to something else, so I was going to get my money's worth in these concert tickets. I swear I know every section in the Hollywood Bowl—that's how much time I spent studying the seating chart as I searched for tickets. At some point, I decided we would be in a box. Period. I grew up going to the Bowl several times a year. I'd never realized until now that I've only ever sat in boxes at the Bowl. As a result, I wasn't feeling seats on the benches. I wanted a box. And I was going to find one for a good price . . . especially if that meant we would be facing a past due reminder for some household bill that should have been paid with the money for said box.

Well, I spent hours on both eBay and Craigslist. All I can say is that the scalpers ought to be ashamed of themselves. One guy won a box on which I was bidding and then immediately put it on Craigslist for several hundred more dollars than he paid. During my search for tickets, I actually got the impression that people snapped up the tickets in order to sell them for a profit. The only rub is that we buyers weren't playing that game. At no point was the market for Peter Gabriel tickets a seller's market. That worked to my benefit. Everyone was selling and as the day of the concert approached, the prices were dropping fast. I just kept waiting and watching. I knew how much I was willing to spend.

Finally, on Wednesday night, I spotted a Craigslist ad listing a box for half price. Bam!! Even though I was at work and unable to access my email account, I sent that seller a text. I was the first person to contact him. And I made it clear I wanted that box. He had others who were interested, but we quickly established a relationship (through texts, no less!!) and he said he would hold the tickets for me until 12:30 the following day. And I got 'em!

I won't even go into the further drama about the park and ride shuttle that never arrived, our mad rush to the Bowl by car, the nice little trip on the 101, the rush back to the Bowl, the $30 parking (which was cheaper than four of us taking that shuttle) and the stupid ass people who were sitting in our box when we arrived. With regard to the last thing, my friend said the look on my face was one she'd never seen before. My mom has seen that look my whole life (although it was never directed at her) and says it can stop a car dead in its tracks. I can only imagine how those two stupid people must have felt when we arrived and they were then met with "the (insert my first name here) look". Let's just say those folks beat a hasty retreat.

My opinion of the Bowl's alcohol policies? "Surely you jest." They say you can bring in no alcohol, no bottles and no cans. But they are more than happy to charge $9 for a beer once you get inside. I wasn't even going to play that game. I was taught by a master. I'll just say this: a certain South of the Border beverage looks an awful lot like an electrolyte replacement drink, especially when poured into said replacement drink's container. And, you know, it gets really hot during one of those nighttime concerts. It's best to ensure you stay well-hydrated, right?

My opinion of the concert? Peter Gabriel's voice is truly incredible. I've said all day that his voice was the best instrument on that stage. The orchestra behind him sounded so . . . perfect. And his voice put them to shame!! I think many people expected him to sing his well-known hits. Perhaps they expected a dance party. I knew better. If an artist is appearing with an orchestra and has stated there would be neither drums nor guitar, you should not expect a rock concert. This was better!!! This was a musical genius at his best. When you're in the presence of genius, don't hamstring it. Give it the freedom to express itself. This is a 60 year old Peter Gabriel with an orchestra. He's in a different space now. And that's fine. This isn't MTV. I wasn't waiting for a video I saw in my youth. I didn't care that no monkeys were shocked or that no one was digging in the dirt. The flood never came either. None of that matters. I stayed in the present. And when he sang "My Body is a Cage," it seemed like the heavens were opening up. And I'm not even religious. But he was just that good.

I won't wait so long to attend my next concert. Erykah Badu? Where you at? Front and center, please.

P.S. I thought this the best song of the evening.


At 5/8/10, 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started listening to Peter when he sang for Genesis back in 75-76, then bought his first solo albumn & all those after. The day I bought his first solo album, my friend Saul & I rolled up 6 or 7 doobs, smoked hash under a glass & listened to both sides twice. When he did 'Down the Dolce Vita' & 'Here comes the flood' I was totally floored. Genius. You know, I saw him in Philadelphia in 1980. So rad! Ozzie

At 5/9/10, 8:25 PM, Blogger SlowPolk said...

Very nice post. EB is coming to San Diego and Kay needs someone to go with. I will in Mexico.

At 5/9/10, 8:39 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Just tell me when and I will see if I can get down there for the concert.


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