Back when I was in high school, many, many years ago before Wi-Fi and my beloved Netflix, I watched regular television. With, like, commercials and stuff. I had to wait a whole week to see what happened on the cliff hanger of Dark Angel (yes, this was my most favorite show, Jessica Alba kicked ass and Y2K was a legitimate fear, I don’t care who you were).
I also tuned in for every award show. I remember, specifically, one certain Latin award show they aired for the first time. I waited weeks to watch it, made sure my homework was all done (yeah, right, like I did my homework), and turned on my tiny little box television/VCR combo I got for my sixteenth birthday along with a stack of VHS’s.
A Latin performer I had not heard of came on stage in her pleather pants, ripped up t shirt, and bare feet. She had a chime-y little gypsy belt tied around her hips that didn’t lie, her belly dancing mesmerized me, and the song was even cooler. That was the day I fell in love with Shakira.
That’s right, Shakira. I love her, don’t judge. After that I had to have all her CDs, even the ones before her American break through. I watched her Tour of the Mongoose video repeatedly until I knew her every move and I even had her Barbie doll (a glorious gift). She somehow “lerolelelole’d” her way right into the music strings of my heart and to this day I am her loyal fan.
Needless to say, I was a bit excited when my husband mentioned she was coming to The Detroit.
Unfortunately, I was a bit reluctant. Why would I be hesitant to get tickets to go see my great white buffalo? This is my bucket list, like, the whole thing. Why would I not want to go? because, I have been spoiled.
First off, I saw the prices: over a hundred dollars apiece for nose bleeds, are you kidding me, Shak? I love you and all, but do we need to spend two hundred-plus dollars to watch a big screen of you and maybe get a glimpse of your tiny ant body from the balcony seats? I can do that for free at home. I can watch at least five awesome bands in one-night front and center, actually get to see them, meet them, interact with them, for maybe ten bucks.
Also, let’s talk about beer prices. The Husband has played at some bigger venues and when I walk up to the bar and ask for their cheapest beer and get a Dixie cup of warm, light, beer for eight dollars, I am less than impressed. To be honest, I am aghast. Don’t do me like that! When I usually go to the tiny, dirty dive bars and ask, I at the least get a large solo cup, filled to the brim of room temp Pabst for a buck or two.
Then there is the merch. Granted, a local rock show won’t give a big variety, but I like the selection of black band tees for ten buck a pop and CD’s for the same or less. I like knowing that these guys have worked their tails off, around the clock. They bleed this music, so every time you walk up to their merch table you are supporting so much more. That money is going right back into their fund. Not a big production company’s pockets.
The crowds are the biggest turn off for me, hordes of people set my anxiety through the roof. I am usually always a pleasant and chill person, but if you want to see me cranky, irritable, and all around at my worst, put me in a building with thousands of people and tell me I have to find my seat. I am going to panic and start fights faster than you have time to point me in the right direction.
I may be biased but I prefer local shows, they are so much more personable and intimate. I am constantly discovering new and impressive, respectable talent. I know first hand how hard they all work and appreciate every person who walks through the door and up to their merch booth, stands in the front row to listen, and stays all night to get to know the people behind the magic.
I understand that the prices are not always the artists fault, and I am sure Shakie wouldn’t do me like this intentionally, I will always stay loyal to her. I am cheap, though, and if free tickets were to magically fall into my lap I would probably suck it up and go, but until that day I will give her all the moral support, skip the big crowds and prices, and get my live music fix right here in my own back yard. Always support local music!