I have been to many concerts and was planning on going to many more concerts. During those concerts I’ve always been able to enjoy the band from up close, mostly thanks to the privileges that come with being a member of the official fan club and some thanks to luck. For many of those concerts I had a front row spot, four concerts I was lucky enough to enjoy part of the show from a spot on the stage, but at least I’ve always been in the pit (area right in front of the stage).
Getting there usually took some effort, like spending the night in front of a concert venue in line with many other fans and a reasonable amount of money. I mean the concert tickets weren’t cheap but they were acceptably priced, and of course the membership fee of the fan club which was totally worth when going to many concerts.
Bon Jovi released a new album this week, ‘The Circle’, and they’re embarking on a 2-year world tour. I was very excited and already saving money for a bunch of concert tickets. But the money I saved isn’t even enough for one concert ticket in a spot I usually view the show from. If you want to be front row you’ll need to buy yourself a extraordinarily expensive VIP package at $3500! But hey, for that price you do get 2 front row seats, 2 autographed tour programs, 2 limited-edition numbered tour prints, 2 fan club VIP laminates, 2 fan club VIP t-shirts, $300 worth of Bon Jovi store gift certificates, a pre-show backstage tour, dinner and making-of-the-tour video viewing, and best of all you get to take the folding chairs you sat on (who needs a chair during a concert anyway?!) home. Yeah, it’s nice if you’re rich but I don’t need nor want all that stuff, I just want to see the band perform from a great spot.
So far only one concert with general admission (no seats, only standing) has been announced and it’s in Paris. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go there because I’m working in Japan that day. But at least people can get themselves to front row with some old-fashioned effort instead of rolls of cash. But tickets to enter the area in front of the stage (“in the circle”) are still $220 per person and they apply a 25% convenience fee (whatever that may be, it’s not convenient for the fans), and we’re still paying at least $50 to be a member of the fan club. So ticket prices have about tripled for general admission concerts and become inexplicably expensive for concerts with seats.
I wish nobody would buy the tickets so that the band would see how ridiculous and aggravating this all is, but of course there are always people with enough money who do buy the tickets. And next tour the prices will have increased even further.
Bon Jovi prides itself on being the band of the working man, they even have a song about it on their new album ‘The Circle’, called ‘Work for the Working Man’. They’re asking who’s going to work for the working man and they imply to want to do something about it. The song is good, but has a hypocritical aftertaste for me. They seem to have lost touch with reality… For rock stars like them these prices may be peanuts, but for us working people it’s a fortune many of us can’t afford to spend on concerts.
Like I said I was planning on going to many more concerts, but there’s a good chance that I’ve already seen my last Bon Jovi concert. So I would just like to remind myself of all the times I’ve seen my favorite band live, while I’m hoping to win the lottery to be able to afford a few more shows.
September 19, 2005: Nokia Theatre Times Square in New York City, USA
June 28, 2003: Hyde Park in London, UK
June 17, 2003: Ostseehalle in Kiel, Germany
June 8, 2003: Wellington Hippodroom in Oostende, Belgium
June 6, 2003: Weserstadium in Bremen, Germany
June 3, 2003: Amsterdam ArenA in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
May 30, 2003: Arena auf Schalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany
September 18, 2002: Shepherd’s Bush (Pepsi Stage, Amsterdam) in London, UK
June 20, 2001: Müngersdorfer Stadion in Cologne, Germany
June 16, 2001: Milton Keynes Bowl in Milton Keynes, UK
June 6, 2001: Amsterdam ArenA in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
June 5, 2001: Amsterdam ArenA in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
June 3,2001: Werchter Festival Site in Werchter, Belgium
September 1, 2000: Gelredome in Arnhem, The Netherlands
August 27, 2000: Wellington Hippodroom in Oostende, Belgium
August 20, 2000: Wembley Stadium in London, UK
August 19, 2000: Wembley Stadium in London, UK
April 28, 1998: Stadthalle Bremen in Bremen, Germany
June 10, 1997: Elysée Montmartre in Paris, France
June 9, 1996: ‘t Rutbeek in Enschede, The Netherlands
June 8, 1996: Megaland in Landgraaf, The Netherlands