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John Mayer, Almost
2008-07-06 09:42
by Will Carroll

I'd intended to review last night's John Mayer show here. I can give you the condensed version - great show, good energy, nice mix of songs, and simply blazing guitar work from a guy who has a chance to be the defining voice of this generation - but instead, this is going to end up a big bleep you to Live Nation.

For $60 bucks per, plus surcharges, plus parking, plus waiting in line, we were able to get in to the show. My experience started with the parking. I purchased the "VIP Parking" with my tickets largely because the last time I went to Indy's shed, Verizon Wireless Music Center, for an Aerosmith show, it took almost three hours to get out of the parking lot. As I pulled into the venue at 6p for a 7.30p show, there was a sign for VIP Parking, but that area was barricaded. I asked the first traffic marshaller who told me to U-turn and go back out to try again. I did, ended up at the same place, only to find out that what I was looking for was "Premier Parking." On the upside we were able to get out easily, but the confusion at the outset docks points.

Finally we get in and watch the first couple shows. We were two rows back of the central walkway in the lower pavilion (Section H, Row D, if you'd like to see exactly. The pitch of the venue is very shallow, so if you get a taller person in front of you, it's an issue. Worse, the jerk in front of me insisted on moving constantly, talking to his kid next to him, so that I couldn't find a comfortable place to look between them. I was dodging back and forth .... and this is while he's seated.

Once Mayer took the stage, the guy decided he was going to stand. I have no problem with standing -- most of the place was standing -- but he had only the handicapped seating in front of him and no obstructed view. He didn't HAVE to stand and blocked a good three rows by standing. I asked him politely once, not so politely a second time, to sit down or move. When he refused, I gave him a good shove.

That's right, I shoved him. Most people in that situation will back down completely from even the slightest threat of physical confrontation. I expected him to scurry away. He did, talking to an usher who told him to move to the handicapped row. Did I mention there's a low pitch? So here's my view of most of the Mayer concert:

People behind us for at least four rows were forced to shift from their seats, all because this guy wanted to stand up and the ushers refused to do anything. At least three people asked for assistance that I saw, but the usher never budged. The actual handicapped people in that row had to go around them, especially after moving their chairs to the front of the row. They did sit down, occasionally, since apparently they didn't share my appreciation for the blues as Mayer did a blazing guitar break on "Mercy".

That's the last time Live Nation will get my money for Verizon Wireless. The parking, the lines, the overpriced concessions, and the lack of control over their venue -- and that's not even mentioning the shirtless fat guy walking around -- have driven me away. I love live music, but Live Nation, you've lost a customer. With John Mayer and others giving me options like going to the theater to see a concert movie or U2's Imax 3D tour de force, I won't miss the shed circuit.

2008-07-06 11:39:52
1.   Schteeve
Arena shows = the suck.
2008-07-06 21:22:32
2.   Hugh Jorgan
So, you resorted to physical confrontation because the arsehole in front of you wouldn't sit down at a rock concert?
Geez, you're a bigger sh*t then he is. Good god man, get over it and realise you're the better person. Instead you just sunk to his level of selfishness and boorishness.
2008-07-06 23:08:18
3.   Will Carroll
So I should just sit and hate the show, Hugh? No, not gonna happen for me. I tried nicely, but then I stop playing nice. This world would be a better place if every once in a while, punks got smacked. And yes, that would include me.
2008-07-06 23:21:40
4.   Eric Enders
Gotta agree with #2. The guy was within his rights and you got exactly what you deserved. It's a rock concert, for chrissakes. Tickets are bought and sold with the expectation that one might have to stand. If you're not prepared to stand, don't buy a ticket. Go to a violin concerto or something.

Points for honesty, though. If I acted like a jerk in public, I probably wouldn't have the stones to blog about it.

2008-07-07 05:58:12
5.   jgpyke
By definition, if everyone is sitting, it's not a rock concert.

During drumz/space, maybe...

2008-07-07 10:11:00
6.   Scott Long
I think I am on the side of a physical confrontation being a case of going too far, except when it is at concerts like John Mayer. I like the idea of concerts which mainly consist of yuppies having some macho action.

For example...

If you are at a Chicago concert, how about slamdancing during If you leave me now?

Or how about at a Amy Grant show, constantly turning around and giving the people behind you the devil sign, while shaking your head violently?

My biggest hope is that the altercation between Will and his nemesis was during My Body is a Wonderland. There is the you tube video for that song that should go on Mayer's next Live DVD release.

2008-07-07 12:13:38
7.   Will Carroll
I think many of you are the type I'd shove. Especially Scott. He's old and doesn't eat well.
2008-07-07 12:28:23
8.   jgpyke
Sitting at Concerts...ripe for a post at Stuff White People Like.
2008-07-07 13:02:51
9.   Chuck R
I'm not accustomed to feeling sorry for guys with 'VIP parking', but geez, Will, your story really made me feel bad for you.

Maybe you should've pushed the kid. He looks pretty doughy, and takes up almost as much of the view as his dad.

2008-07-07 14:35:10
10.   Scott Long
i can't deny that, will.
2008-07-07 14:43:19
11.   Will Carroll
Sitting at concerts not the problem ... SEEING at concerts is something I like to do. If he'd needed to stand, fine. The pic I show here is with me standing. He's on the front row - raised above. By standing in that row, he effectively blocked four rows and refused to even acknowledge the possibility of moving a bit. When the guy next to and behind me refer to the guy as a jerk during the show, I know I was in the right.

Kid was underaged, Chuck. More effective to show him his dad's a pussy.

2008-07-15 13:27:19
12.   Tangotiger
I'm with Eric, in that violence doesn't help, while it takes balls to admit to acting like that.

However, what if the guy was there with 3 other guys, all of whom were 6'4", 250 lbs? And they were menacing looking in some way, either in their garb or attitude. Would Will still have reacted the same way?

That's my problem with "tough guys" (aka, bullies): they size up their target, and if they think they can win, they'll make it physical. If not, they won't start something. I have a friend, he'll lay into anyone, verbally, as hard as he can. He won't throw the first punch, but he'll throw the last, regardless of who he's up against.

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