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Concert Frustrations
updated: Oct 27, 2012, 4:30 PM

Dear Edda,

A group of us went to a concert last week. We had front row seats that we paid a lot for, because we really love the artist. We were in a special section that even required an armband to get in, and the security folks were very adamant about checking.

After the warm-up band played, there was a short break in which dozens of people crowded to the front of the stage in anticipation of the main attraction. They were standing four deep, and there was nothing to see from our position except their backsides. We tried yelling down in front to no avail. Someone even called security over. Security was ignored. We could not see the stage for the entire concert. I find myself very disillusioned with people after that ridiculous and self-absorbed display.

How do I get my faith in people back?




Dear Disheartened,

Well, you caught me on a bad week for good will, what with Election Day looming and all. But maybe next week will be better?


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Edda Hatte is a loving and sympathetic advice columnist who helps Edhat subscribers navigate through their complicated and stressful lives. Send your questions to askedda@edhat.com.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 336248 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-27 04:43 PM

This sounds like the Dylan concert. We too paid over $300 for tickets on the floor near the stage and could not see a thing! The ushers were adamant that I could not stand on my chair or stand in the aisle, yet neither they nor security did a thing about all the people in front of the stage. There were several empty seats in the handicapped section right behind us ( that had a great view of the stage) but the usher wouldn't let us move there either. Very frustrating. We have attended many concerts at the Bowl and never experienced this problem....


 COMMENT 336267 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-27 05:32 PM

This has been going on since my first Bowl concert in 1987. The seats on the ground, (it used to be a lawn) are not that good. Try for the first section up.


 COMMENT 336273 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-27 05:52 PM

Agree, if they're going to charge that much for tickets, they need to enforce the rules. I always opt for one or two levels up since the flats aren't that great.


 COMMENT 336276P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-27 06:03 PM

next time, bring a squirt bottle and let 'em have it..... they'll move


 COMMENT 336281P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-27 06:14 PM

That sucks and I'd be mad. Nice response, bowl management. After all, they are responsible for bowl security, who follow orders. But faith in humanity? Everyone wants what they want and that's been true for eons, no blaming it on this day and age.

I also agree with previous replies; I waited in line all day to get a real lawn seat on the grass decades ago, like Dan. I went for the first time in '72.

I'd follow up and raise hell with Bowl management. If it's important to you, make sure the correct people hear about it. Just like a bad experience at a restaurant, inform the management; don't just write a bad online review. if I was there? I'd muscle my way up too, if it was really important to me.
$300 would about pay my bills for a month, so I don't go to concerts but maybe once a year these days. I realize that what you paid may give you a right to a better experience. Again, take it up with Bowl management. Wonder what their small print is regarding the standing issue?

My best "muscling in" story was Allman Brothers at the Arlington in '90 I think; Shades of Two Worlds tour. I chatted with a man while waiting on line (real-world, physically on line, in a queue) to buy tickets. He was tall. I literally ran into him at the encore standing by the stage and stood in front of him; I almost had my elbows on stage. Thanks, big guy!
I know, poor behavior. Great show though. Everyone was standing for the encore.
Faith in humans? I got nothing. Concerts? They're very expensive. If the artist is important to you, pay the bucks and play the game. (The only time I ever got pit tickets was for CSN. It was fantastic Spent the night in line at the Arlington in the 80's to get tix to Sting at the Bowl. That was stunning too -- full moon for the concert. Hey, concerts are hard work! lol)
I think Preferred seating (sections J,K, L, M, N and O) is better. Also great are last rows of T, U and V and first and last row of G, H and I.
Better luck next time, and hope you enjoyed the show somewhat anyways.


 COMMENT 336282 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-27 06:15 PM

Take a number and get in line.

Or be warned next time and buy cheaper seats where you'll be able to see the show.


 COMMENT 336288 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-27 07:15 PM

"up close" seating is not always best. As Dan said, get the next level up.


 COMMENT 336290 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-27 07:24 PM

However much you paid, they probably paid more to be even closer.


 COMMENT 336291 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-27 07:27 PM

seating? Nobody sits during a concert! When you buy a seat at the bowl you might just forget about your seat because when the main attraction starts everyone crowds the rows and aisles and stands. Did you think you would be able to see sitting on your wallet?


 COMMENT 336294P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-27 07:45 PM

For a band I really want to see and hear up close, I prefer the GA venues. Queue up as early as it takes and be fleet of foot to the stage. I waited on the sidewalk for seven hours in Seattle this summer and was at the stage. Success may depend on what you put into it, sometimes it's not money.


 COMMENT 336342P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-28 04:42 AM

Don't you know, we are in the 'take FULL responsibility for yourself' era now, It is your own fault that you let these people step all over you and your rights (snark). In other words 'if you can't beat'm, join'm'.

Sarcasm mode - off.


 COMMENT 336388 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-28 09:01 AM

I reached for Suzy, and Suzie had disappeared. That's how it goes, it's Rock & Roll!


 STRAY agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-28 12:24 PM

Speaking of concert audience misbehavior, don't you love Nora Jones or Diana Krall concerts at the County Bowl? (sarcasm key on)

A musician, maybe just playing a piano, singing a ballad, and the stranger next to you is talking, talking, talking the whole time to the stranger next to her.

Why go to listen to music at the Bowl if you have to talk to your neighbor or be on your cell phone? Unless you're a doctor being paged to come in and operate in the E.R. room, shutupppppppppp!

I'd prefer to see those kinds of musicians in a club venue, but I guess those days are gone for good.....


 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-28 03:34 PM

We are so lucky to have the Lobero, the Arlington, the Granada, all great places to see a show or artist or band alone or with friends, and much more quietly and respectfully than at the Bowl, and UCSB too, of course (I still get lost out there). And Ensemble and SBCC Theater Group. Usually less expensive and sometimes nicer for a single, even though I've been going to the Bowl a long time. Maybe it's the non-hiker in me. But the Bowl has its feel, its vibe and mythology. It's much more of a party place and conducive to "hey, I haven't seen you in a year!" type of socializing. So, you had your experience and now you know, and you can see Dylan next time at a different venue.


 SBROCKS agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-28 05:32 PM

You have every right to go to managment and ask for your money back. At Rod Stewart we had front row. One woman insisted on standing in front of me at the stage. I went up to security and said "If you do not do something about the woman, I was going to ask for my money back, and tell them that you did nothing". It was taken care of. Some of the artist want the fans to do whatever they want. Security is given orders that reflect the desires of the artist, so sometimes your out of luck. We have seats behind the sound board. We never sit up closer.


 COMMENT 336733 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-29 12:32 PM

Restore your faith in humankind by getting out of your seat and sidling your way up to the front to get a bird's eye view of the performer. Nothing is more discouraging to a performer to see a bunch of people sitting on their seats while the musician is performing their heart out.


 COMMENT 409453 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-05-16 05:02 PM

I haven't been to the SB County Bowl in years, though it used to be one of my favorite venues anywhere. It is stories like this one that are the reason that I don't go any more, even though there are groups that I would love to see.

The MAIN reason I don't go anymore is mentioned in this comment, but it is not the rude, self-absorbed fools who run to the stage and ruin it for the people who shelled out $300 to see Dylan (or whomever) up close and personal. For most of us "normal folks", this would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so the $300 would be a really, really big deal!

Which brings me to the reason why I don't go any more. Even the "cheap seats" are more that I can afford for one evening's entertainment, especially if I don't go alone. I was fortunate to have lived in SB long enough to have attended every venue available when it was affordable to do so, but, like mostly everything else in SB, I have been priced out of the market.


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