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 I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.

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Kilgore Trout
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PostSubject: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:19 pm

So the announcement of signing to a major label, as well as a pretty insulting ticket price for the Stone Pony show in December, has left me at a bit of a crossroads with my [internal] relationship with a band I've loved for several years.

I understand the need to make a living, and the right to become wealthy (however you measure that) in exchange for years, even a decade, of hard work. I really do. So before you berate me with cries of "OMG GOD FORBID ANYONE SHOULD WANT TO MAKE MONEY BEING IN A BAND!!!!!!", try actually hearing me out.

This is a band that came up in the basements of New Jersey. It's the same place where I spent the better part of my adolescence. To me, The Gaslight Anthem has always represented a long period in my short life where it was just me and my friends and our middle class families, trying to figure out where we belonged and what we would do in life. Every show that I attended [or played, for that matter] was a triumph: I had a niche with people I could trust and who would understand me. I had a place where I was comfortable and accepted, and where my confused outlook on life made sense to someone else. I want to stress that at 21, I'm a couple of years too young to have been part of the original scene in which Brian Fallon came of age. But the continued success on indie labels of a band with the same roots as me was a huge inspiration.

I started a band, and ultimately pursued a career in professional writing, because I wanted to leave the same impression on some kid that bands like Gaslight left on me: a will and a way to be heard, to belong, to embrace my individuality within a community of people who felt the same way.

A corporate sponsorship from Levi's didn't bother me. They deserve to make money, and it didn't hurt my "fanhood." But effectively doubling ticket prices does. I simply can't afford to attend this show, and even if I could, I would have some trepidation about it. It's hard not to take issue with somebody who has been so good to fans--meeting with them, talking to anybody, never being anything but polite and kind--to suddenly charge the same fee as nosebleed seats to Lady Gaga.

So who wants to cast the first stone?
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simo
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:29 pm

Well to be fair a portion of the ticket sales are going to charity.
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Debonair
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:40 pm

Brian I think has been quoted many times saying along the lines that, even though he loves music, wants to do it his way, inspire people, ect. He wouldn't do it if he couldn't make money. Gaslight I believe didn't quit their day jobs till a few years after they started. And even then they were still living paycheck to paycheck I believe they said. So when it comes down to it all,I believe its safe to say gaslight was never a band to stick it to corperations and money. They want as much money as they can get. The only difference is gaslight wants to do music their way. And still get as much money as they can get.

I know I'm prob not 100% right but I think to sum it up, gaslight is a band about money, they always have been, but they also love making great music. They are just honest Harding work guys

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Kilgore Trout
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:05 pm

You both make good points, but this is still something of a difficult transition for me (especially the charity bit, I wasn't aware of that). I've never minded a growing fan base for guys that deserved it, or a bunch of dudes making better paychecks. But ah. I'm a little sad to see them take this approach. Call it illogical, but I'm not used to it and it doesn't feel very good.
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Matilda Noir
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:41 pm

I've never been to any of their shows. If I ever get a chance to go I guess I will have to pay the "Gaga nosebleed" fees, LOL. I look at it like this: any TGA shows you saw on the cheap & with a tiny crowd, were a luxury. I say that because the very first time I heard them, I said 'there's no way a band this good, is going to stay a "Jersey thing." But I do get where your coming from it's a bit sad isn't it? I'm not going to hate on them for trying to earn as much money as they can by doing what they do best. I would do the same thing in their shoes. I don't feel betrayal, so to speak, but more apprehension. Only b/c I watched a band I loved dearly go from virtual nobodies to these commercially pompous radio drones. Even though I still love their music, it's clear the worldwide success has gone straight to their heads and that's sad & ridiculous. I don't see this happening to TGA but then again I didn't see it coming with my other favorite either....
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joshyboytyler
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:52 pm

I hope they make as much money as they fucking can. No band deserves it more. I once read Springsteen say (sorry!) ''the money's good and no-one's giving it back, ok!'' - doesnt take any artistic or idealogical credability away from TGA one bit - unless they release a cover of sex on fire.
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CluckyB
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:26 pm

If Gaslight were to release tickets at $10 each, they would sell out fast and windup on stubhub for $30+ anyways. So Gaslight themselves would get a third of their potential earnings while scalpers profit the rest. Its an unfortunate side effect of the music industry.

Also they are still cheap enough that if you *really* want to go, have ramen a few nights and you should honestly be able to save up and afford it.
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B701
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:31 pm

A couple things to keep in mind with the ticket prices,
  • Part of the cost is determined by the venue, promoter, etc
  • There are two opening bands, they need to be compensated as well
  • Ticketmaster fees - these are the biggest injustice to me
  • The Charity aspect of this show

The face value for these tickets is $33, which I think is reasonable. It is the $14 in ticketmaster fees (I believe it was only $7 with the pre-sale) that drives the price up and causes the ire. Two years ago at the Wellmont, I believe the face of the tickets was $25, so not much of a change. I may be wrong, but I don't think the band has control over the excess fees that are added to the face value of the ticket.
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xorcist
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:54 pm

B701 wrote:
  • Ticketmaster fees - these are the biggest injustice to me

I hate paying these fees. They basically double the price of a ticket anymore. It's hard to get around them too.

As for the band, signing to a major label probably put them (at least initially) a little bit more in debit. Most deals work out that the band is fronted X amount of dollars to record, buy gear, etc. etc. etc. The band then has to pay that back. I believe they do so through record sales and touring. (I could be talking out of my ass here, but I'm pretty sure that's the breaks of the game).

Ticket prices have kept me from going to many shows. Including a Gaslight show or two. Sometimes I don't feel like dropping $50+ for me and my girl to see a show so I know the irritation with prices. I just don't think it's always a bands fault and I don't entirely blame the band even if it is. It's all about supply and demand. They supply the awesome as long as we provide the demand. I think we should expect a slightly higher ticket price from them going forward, but it wouldn't surprise me if they keep selling out shows.

Just my random 2 cents.
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NeverTrustAJunkie
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:33 pm

My giant two cents-
(A shorter version from a UK friend: "Tell them to try living in England where gigs are more expensive and less often.")

This is a one off so I don't think it's time to panic necessarily.

There's no way you would reject the idea of someone paying you more to do whatever job it is you're doing now and on top of it offer more opportunities to be a bigger success. Would you? Shocked

There's so much more to keep in mind about pricing of shows besides "They want to make more money." Lady Gaga charges high prices because 1) She can cus people will pay it and 2) There's costumes, dancers, choreographers, stage sets, musicians, crew, etc. to pay for. And if the price is really the same as a Gaga nosebleed seat, think of it this way- she's making you sit on the other side of the Earth for her show whereas at this Gaslight show you can get right under the band's noses.

For them to continuously charge (we'll say) $20 a ticket for the rest of their lives as a band is just not possible because I doubt they could live off that in the long run, which would then take away their motivation to keep doing this and then we all suffer worse because they'll be done with.

Quote :
Also they are still cheap enough that if you *really* want to go, have ramen a few nights and you should honestly be able to save up and afford it.
Word. Everything is expensive now. I mean, it costs a family of 3 around $33 to buy tickets for a movie that probably isn't going to be that great anyway. For $33 (well, $47), you're donating to a great charity and getting the night of your life.

In the end, I'm sure if they could, Gaslight would love to charge $5 for their shows, but that's not the way things work in the real world.

Having said all that, I get why you're frustrated with the ticket price. Once a band you love crosses the $30 mark, it's like "Woah woah... where is this heading for me and my wallet?!" It doesn't always end in tragedy. Doesn't get much bigger than the Foo Fighters, and their prices (given their level of Legend) are pretty reasonable. Plus they play for a few hours and are just amazing. But I digress.


Last edited by NeverTrustAJunkie on Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
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StopAndSlideToTheRight
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:03 pm

I paid the equivalent of $50 for the Revival Tour, and that was face value too.
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built2last25
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:33 pm

I think people are being a little over dramatic about ticket price here. If I recall ticket prices for radio city were worse and that was before they signed to a major. Now i understand radio city is a bit different then convention hall but it is still a large venue. I dont think they signed with a major and went sweet we can start charging hella lots of money for tickets now. Not to mention you are getting to see two headlining bands. 35 bucks doesnt seem all that bad to me.
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JimmyB
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:33 pm

Eh, be thankfull they are not charging Gaga or Perry prices....47 seems reasonable...besides that is not too much.
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NeverTrustAJunkie
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:50 pm

Radio City sucks for rock shows too. Convention Hall + Asbury Park + The Gaslight Anthem + Christmastime = worth the money.

I'm sure there are other Jersey basement bands that would love your support. You can always just stick to the local scene if this bothers you that much Wink

EDIT:
http://rockandrollguru.blogspot.com/2011/03/price-of-concert-breaking-down-where.html give you an idea of a band's expenses.

So it's not like your $47 goes right into Brian's Lamborghini fund or something outrageous.
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kupe
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:56 pm

Give me a break people...bands can go from worldwide success to nobodys in a very short time...somehow everyone manages to forget that these guys are gonna have to support families and put their kids through college at some point...but no they should continue to play basements because they are "ours"....it's just selfish...if you met any of them you'd realize how wrong you'd be to assume that the success has "gone to their heads"....they've done it the right way and deserve everything they get
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NeverTrustAJunkie
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:32 am

It's not everyone. Just the original poster. We're all just trying to talk him off the ledge farao
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:54 am

Look at the revival tickets at 17 each, for that amount of musicians , transport , putting a show on etc venue costs , they must have made nothing. 17 wouldnt cover a programme at a Bruce or a U2 gig.
Ive been a Bruce fan for years infact as long as I can remember traveling the world to go to his shows, ive also been a Gaslight fan since that 1st basement show at Rock City in early 2008. Times are different now, money is tight, if both tour next year I will do 1 Bruce show and as many TGA as I can get to.
If things are different in that you dont get to chat with them anymore or that the prices have doubled so be it, at the moment they are the best small band in the world, they deserve to get that lift up to the next level and get the money rewards for doing it. there are so many crappy boy bands etc racking it in , why shouldnt a great young rock n roll band get the same....at least they can play.
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steady now steady now
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:48 am

When you go to a gig, how much, in addition to the ticket price, are you spending on transport, maybe accommodation, maybe merch?

Take that into account, and the increase is not that great in the overall scheme of what people spend on a gig.

It's the fees that really suck.
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:57 am

NeverTrustAJunkie wrote:


Having said all that, I get why you're frustrated with the ticket price. Once a band you love crosses the $30 mark, it's like "Woah woah... where is this heading for me and my wallet?!" It doesn't always end in tragedy. Doesn't get much bigger than the Foo Fighters, and their prices (given their level of Legend) are pretty reasonable. Plus they play for a few hours and are just amazing. But I digress.

That's what people are affraid of. But they're just over reacting imo because TGA will never be as big as the Foo Fighters.

And i don't mind paying big bucks for a band i love. It's a way for me to show my support.

Last time Social D was in Montreal, i endend up spending around 120$ for tickets and merch. But i'm not a student or part time worker. I can understand some of you with money issues. And i remember i had to skip their show back in 2005 because i was in the process of buying a house and money was short.
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NeverTrustAJunkie
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:47 pm

I'll tell you where it does become problematic - when your favorite band joins up with a bigger tour and the price is ridiculous. You do kinda get angry when you're used to seeing them play for $30 in a club and then they open for someone charging $120 for the good seats. But then they usually go back to playing clubs for $30 after the expensive tour is over anyway.

I went back to my Gaslight order history and honestly their prices are all over the place but stay in the $25-$29 range, with one exception: I saw them twice in one week- once in RI, and then the Stone Pony show a few days later. For whatever reason the Stone Pony show was $10 more. Plus as you said, the Radio City show was a bit pricier, whereas a show I saw a few days before that was $26. So I wouldn't even take this like "This is how things are gonna be from now on." And if they are... well then that's where personal money management comes in.

I kinda feel like we've all made the same point. Does the original poster feel any better?
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Kilgore Trout
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:10 pm

kupe wrote:
Give me a break people...bands can go from worldwide success to nobodys in a very short time...somehow everyone manages to forget that these guys are gonna have to support families and put their kids through college at some point...but no they should continue to play basements because they are "ours"....it's just selfish...if you met any of them you'd realize how wrong you'd be to assume that the success has "gone to their heads"....they've done it the right way and deserve everything they get


Aaaaaand there it is. I was waiting for proof that somebody had misread/failed to read the entire original post.
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NeverTrustAJunkie
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:20 pm

Well to be fair you seem to understand the point that this is their living. However, the rest of your post kind of seems like you don't care and that you feel their ticket price is a negative reflection of their moral values which is why so many people responded the way they did. If there's something you want to clarify, then maybe you should because I think Kupe wrote that cus that's sorta what you sounded like you were saying.
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:59 pm

Exactly, the issue here isn't the face value of the tickets... The issue is the $14 that ticketmaster is stealing from us...

I'll gladly pay $33 to see TGA any day of the year, it's just the coinciding of the huge fee increase and the signing I think is what's making people upset....

Now having said that, correlation does not mean causation (thank you Statistics 200), so I doubt the two are related, I think it's just shady timing that makes it appear as if the major label switch caused the higher prices....

I don't think that's actually the case, but wonder if we could sue ticketmaster for ridiculous fees?
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:41 pm

[quote=" but wonder if we could sue ticketmaster for ridiculous fees?[/quote]

Unfortunately, no. That is my free legal advice of the evening.
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PostSubject: Re: I feel a little betrayed, and I can't help it.   Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:46 pm

Shrewsbury_Stars wrote:
[quote=" but wonder if we could sue ticketmaster for ridiculous fees?

Unfortunately, no. That is my free legal advice of the evening.[/quote]

what Stars said and also Pearl Jam tried that.
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