Do you remember when you could go to see an international band play and still come home with change from $50? No more.
The first gig I ever went to was the U2/BB King 'When loves comes to town' roadshow in the late eighties. From memory that set me back about $60. When Dire Straits came the next year, their price was about the same. But these bands were the exception to the rule back then. Usually to see a decent international act, it would cost $25 - $35. I remember paying $20 to see 'The Angels' tear apart my hometown in the early nineties and that was a normal price.
Why did I decide to write about ticket prices? My mother asked me to get her two tickets of the highest quality for the Andrea Bocelli and Hayley Westenra concert at Westpac in Christchurch. So I said to mum, "no worries, it'll only cost about $125 each ticket". Yeah right! For primo seats, get this, $375!!!!!!!!
I almost did myself an injury far too gruesome to talk about here! I could not believe it, and still can't. There are four types of tickets for the Bocelli gig. The best seats costing $375 (no, that is not a typo), then $275, $175 and out in the car park for $85. OK, so let's try and work this out for a moment. Someone of Bocelli's standing as the fourth tenor would command an 'appearance' fee of say one million I suspect. So $1,000,000 divided by 8,000 seats equals $125. Hmm. Someone is making a hell of a lot of money here. The words ridiculous and outlandish come to mind.
So if Bocelli is charging this much, then what about other acts touring in the near future? I decided to investigate. The worlds most talked about band at the moment, Franz Ferdinand, will set you back $45.00 which is pretty respectable considering I paid about $80 to see the White Stripes last year and $50 to see Ani diFranco a few months ago. Jurassic 5 will cost about $63 which is getting up there but still affordable. Dizzie Rascal $49.50. Dam good value there. Doesn't this just show how good value the BDO is? Thirty plus artists for about $100. If I had gone to Sonic Youth, Franz and Gomez, I'd have been almost $200 down! (And that's before even getting to the merch table. Which reminds me, how did Audioslave justify charging $55 for a tee shirt last year?)
What about the New Zealand acts? To see any decent NZ band at the Kings Arms you'd expect to pay $10-15 on the door. So it is good to see the Brown Sabbath tour (which features three up and coming NZ bands Deja Voodoo, the Have and the Bleeders) charging only $15 cover charge. So I wonder how Katchafire justify the $25 they are charging?
Of course I do realize that it is very expensive to get decent overseas acts to NZ, but we have had David Bowie ($175 for a prime seat), Meatloaf (who cares) and a few other big names of yesteryear down under this year. But does that justify charging a weeks rent to get in?
It's getting to be as disgraceful as the boyracer epidemic in Christchurch, but that's another story.
1) Who are your favourite New Zealand musicians/bands?
Subtract, NeWayHome, Indicator Dogs, Second Theory, Agent.
2) Who would you most like to support live?
Any of the above with the addition of Meshuggah, Tool, or Tomahawk.
3) What is the strangest thing that has happened to you while playing on tour?
Strangest thing was a club closing down without letting anybody know. Luckily for us one of the former business partners managed to get word to us the night before so we weren't completely taken unawares. Apart from that, just the usual gear breaking down for no apparent reason. Damned goblins getting into the systems...
4) Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
Married with kids, playing covers in some dive.
5) What advice would you give other budding musicians/bands?
Be prepared to work your lil' asses off. Good things come to those who help themselves.
The Managers Nationwide Tour
The Managers are a popular 11 piece ska/punk band, who have recently undergone some line up changes. They now have a brand new drummer, Simon, who is passionate and yes another brillant member of the steadily growing pool of drummers in The Managers. Rob, their lead guitarist has departed and wants to spend some more time on his projects, Hooli has taken up the keyboard and the guitar to compensate for Rob leaving and finally Blaine has gone to America where he is eagerly trying to get his immigration for New Zealand sorted out.
The Managers have been around now for over a decade, but national tours by the Ska Legends remain a big of a rarity. This winter they are hammering every corner of the country, so make sure you get out and see them play. There's no excuses now! Check out the full details on our gig guide!
Up Coming Tours:
|The Mint Chicks|
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|Night Of Flies||Gods Of Nothing|
|Cord Willis||Streetwise Scarlet|
|The Bottom Line||This Side Up|
|Grenade Kills Three||Rising Phoenix|
|The Hobnail Boots||The Shot Band|
|Mona Vale Falls|
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