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Enjoying the Show

Kyle McIntosh, 1:29 am ET

TWO TICKETS TO the Kia Forum: $250. Event parking: $60. One beer and one water: $28. A night with my wife at a Pearl Jam concert: priceless.

A few weeks ago, we attended a concert for the first time in more than two years. It was my 13th Pearl Jam show since becoming a fan 30 years ago. My status as a Pearl Jam follower has not wavered from the first time I heard them in the early 1990s. Now that I am in my mid-40s, I see no better way to spend money than attending the band’s concerts.

What is it about these concerts that makes it worth more than $300 each time? First, there’s the excitement that builds in the months leading up to the show. The anticipation period for this concert was 25 months, thanks to the pandemic, but usually it’s about four months between ticket purchase and the event.

While waiting for the show, I take myself down memory lane by spending time listening to songs from the band’s immense catalog. More important, I connect with old friends to see who will attend upcoming concerts. We trade memories about past shows and exchange texts about the songs we’d like to hear. I get months of enjoyment for the price of admission.

Another aspect of concerts that I appreciate: We live “in the moment” every second we’re there. Aside from fielding texts about what our teenage son should eat for his second dinner, we disconnected from the rest of the world. In this age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, concerts present one of the few times you can avoid distraction for several hours. And since we didn’t have our reading glasses, we couldn’t do much with our phones beyond directing a 14-year-old to a frozen pizza.

The final thrill of a Pearl Jam concert is that it’s a fun place to talk to strangers. Nearly everyone is obsessed with the band and all are happy to be there. In the hours before the show, fans chat about their favorite albums and the number of concerts they’ve attended, and they speculate about the upcoming set list. It’s refreshing to talk openly with others—no matter their age, race or gender—knowing you have a shared passion.

While we won’t be seeing any more shows during the 2022 tour, we look forward to seeing Pearl Jam the next time they’re in Los Angeles. Let’s just hope we don’t have another pandemic-related delay.

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MikeinLACA
MikeinLACA
1 month ago

Diana Ross will be playing the Hollywood Bowl this summer. My wife has been begging for tickets for months. At first, the promoters bundled the tickets with a series of other performers that we weren’t interested in – a dastardly form of gouging.

But the Diana Ross shows ultimately went on sale individually. I immediately bought 8 inexpensive seats. We told our adult kids that they could each come with a plus-one. They were (surprisingly) thrilled to go to a retro event like this with their parents.

When we started looking at the show, I was quite unhappy at the thought of buying an extravagant and wasteful package of tickets. Now, I’m looking forward to getting the Bowl early, picnicking with my wife and kids, and watching the show as the summer sun sets. Ain’t no mountain high enough. . .

Andrew Forsythe
Andrew Forsythe
1 month ago

Kyle, sounds like you and your wife got your money’s worth out of it, and good for you for spending the bucks on something you find so enjoyable.

Personally, I’m with Dick—the crowds, the noise, and yes, the expense, mean attending a concert is not high on my list. But one more reason to love YouTube and a good pair of speakers or headphones: the concerts available for free viewing, and from the comfort of home, are terrific.

Now if you want to see some folks who were starved for a good live (and free) concert, and turned out for it approximately 500,000 strong, try the Stones and the Havana Moon concert: The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter (‘Havana Moon’ Live) – YouTube

Thomas Taylor
Thomas Taylor
1 month ago

I first saw Bruce Springsteen in 1978 and became a life-long fan from that point on. Over the years I have seen him quite a few times. He did a 10 show stint at Madison Square in the summer of 2000. My wife had been to NYC a few times and tried to get me to go with her on previous trips. I figured we could go and I could see him in concert. She’s not quite the fan I am but she did go. All 10 shows were almost instantly sold out and I was forced to buy tickets through a reseller or “scalper”. They were not cheap….So between the tickets, food, airfare, hotel and other tourist things we did for 5 days, it became an expensive trip, but worth every penny. To this day, it’s still the best concert I ever saw and the most memorable and fun trip my wife and I have taken.

Randy Wickham
Randy Wickham
1 month ago

I spend a lot of my time planning my music schedule for the year. We have a number of smaller venues and festivals nearby which don’t break the bank. I would rather spend $100 on a concert than on going out to dinner.

Jonathan Clements
Admin
Jonathan Clements
1 month ago
Reply to  Randy Wickham

In Philadelphia, we have a City Winery — part of a chain. Over the past year, we’ve seen four concerts there. The venue’s capacity is maybe 150. It’s easy to get seats close to the stage, plus the food is pretty good. It’s a great way to see live music — and afterwards we can walk home.

parkslope
parkslope
1 month ago

Your article highlights the pleasure that we get from experiences. While travel gets the most emphasis, other types of experiences can be just as enjoyable and memorable. One of my sons has seen Bob Dylan more than 50 times and has all of his albums. He is extremely frugal except when it comes to Dylan concerts.

R Quinn
R Quinn
1 month ago

I wish i could relate to your enthusiasm. I know millions of people do. My teenage granddaughter is obsessed with a singer named Harry something and has gone to a couple of concerts in NY. She sent me videos.

Those crowds and noise are too much for me. It’s almost as stressful as the thought of going to Home Depot. 😁

Then for an old cheapskate like me there is cost, yikes‼️Isn’t there a feeling of being ripped off? I wonder if the folks who willingly pay $15 for a beer are the same ones in line at a gas station to save $0.20 a gallon.

But I jest, there is intangible value as you note. Who am I to talk, I spend $60 for the pleasure of trying to hit a one inch ball into a four inch hole a football field away. .

Last edited 1 month ago by R Quinn
Kyle Mcintosh
Kyle Mcintosh
1 month ago
Reply to  R Quinn

You can come to the next tour with me and see what it’s all about. The beer is on me!!

R Quinn
R Quinn
1 month ago
Reply to  Kyle Mcintosh

Thanks for the offer. Can I get the beer without the concert?

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