I’m singing in the pain, just singing in the pain

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Yes Live at Columbia, SC (1974)

I know this post will give a clue as to my age, but here goes anyways.

I haven’t been to a concert in years; when ticket prices started to rise, and the concert atmosphere more refined (ensured by the venue and security), I hung up my concert dancing shoes. I did see some artists in small venues like clubs, but nothing on a grand scale. And. the question: “who and how much would I pay money to see” always whispers in my ear.

There are at least 100 venues for music within a 20 mile radius of our little house. The perks of living in a “tri-state” area (using that phrase always makes me think of an SCTV skit, but that’s getting off the point)is the variety and number of performers who pass through.

The sticker shock still hasn’t worn off since we priced out a concert early in our residency here. The cheapest ticket for a performer that I remember paying $5.00* to see, was almost $65.00. Ticket prices are frightening high; and the boomers with all their money and their younger years’ bands on tour again keep them that way.

This fall we ALMOST bought tickets to a night of Texas guitar and rocking blues featuring at least one musician I had paid that $5.00* to go see. Hubby checked out the prices and how easy or difficult it would be to get to the venue on public transit (saves having to drive). Just didn’t work out, but, I was very tempted to go.

We got a flyer in the mail this week from a business that sells tickets to various events such as sports, kid’s shows, and concerts. I was reading out to hubby some of the performers with the preface “I didn’t know they were still alive; I didn’t think they’d be in any condition to still tour, etc.” Then, kitchen melted around me, and I was back on the arena floor, the music thunderous, everybody moving, the swirl of the keyboardist’s gorgeous long blond hair, the petite lead singer, the crazy guitar riffs. I was at a Yes concert.

The memory was prompted by reading in the flyer that Yes was playing one night in the big city. Ticket prices outrageous (I actually looked that up); the area closest to the stage (what would have been the floor of the arena) were $125. I know that’s cheap compared to other bands/artists, but . . . The band officially broke up in 1980, but various formulations have been touring and recording since then. Besides the fact it is Yes, the other factors going for it were that this configuration had several of the original band members, and the concert was to consist of three albums from the days I swayed with the music just a few feet from the stage. And somehow, paying $40.00 for balcony seats just didn’t seem right.

Of course, now I can’t get many of their songs out of my head. And, I, of course, bought music in the media of the day – vinyl. We gave a friend who is a collector a lot of our vinyl – and I expect the grooves had worn thin from constant playing. And, you guessed it, I spent some time pricing out what’s available on CD (not quite ready to download music. My computer needs speakers and my ipod nano has gone rather strange. Why does technology always do that to me?) The band is on YouTube; Amazon (among other sites) allows you to sample part of some songs

I’ll close with a line of one of the songs that’s stuck between my ears (still having trouble embedding video): “I’ve seen all good people go their way so satisfied, I’m on my way.”

*Okay, I’ll be honest – maybe tickets for arena shows were more than $5.00, but certainly well under $20.00

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7 thoughts on “I’m singing in the pain, just singing in the pain

  1. I’m not sure who I’d like to see most or rather, who I would pay most to see these days. I’d like to take my son to an outdoor concert because he’s never been to one, but then, I don’t think he’s ever been to a big concert either. He has been to the Ballet and Opera, but nothing like a good concert! Although, I agree, that b/c of security, the events will never measure up to the concerts we enjoyed in the ’70′s or 80′s. The last concert I went to was Willie Nelson. I took my mother to see him for her birthday. Before that it was Elton John in the late 80′s.

    I don’t like crowds anymore, but I’d go to the outdoor arena we have nearby. We live in a “tri-city” area, and there is always great music to be heard. We have two nationally famous music halls with The Cave and The Cat’s Cradle. Still a crowd and still expensive though, but if I had the money and wanted to see a band, I would splurge.

    One thing Phy. You need some speakers. At least you could listen to Last fm :) So, if you don’t want to pay the outrageous amounts of cash, you can dance in your living room.

    Ha! I was wrong. I just remembered that the last concert I went to and it was in NJ! How ’bout that! Near the shore at a beach club. I can’t recall the town! Bruce Springstein was there (so he played unannounced, which was awesome). I was in love with a man from Redbank and we saw Ringo Starr!

    Maybe my son and I will go to a concert this year.

    • I’m not sure I could handle the crowds now, either. There is a lovely piece of irony/synchronicity at work. I tend to be reading the newspaper at least a week behind, so after I had posted about Yes, I was looking through the Friday entertainment section from the week before. And, one of the last performers I saw in a concert setting (a theatre, not an arena) had a gig with ticket prices between $20. and $40. Much more in line with what concert tickets used to cost. It would have been an overnight trip for us, so it would add up. But I thought the whole timing — his performing and my late reading — was rather interesting.
      You’re lucky that there are venues where you live that do have good musicians going through. Hope you and your son get to see someone great real soon.

  2. sometimes, like a one in a lifetime thing, it’s worth to give up dinner and lunch and save, save, save for something so important that will bring u joy for a lifetime. we did that for a barbra streisand concert and I get as much joy thinking about it then when I was there!

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