Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Hit the Road

Tom PettyThere are very few things in this day and age that shock The Blot, but the email I received today from Live Nation announcing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ upcoming tour with Steve Winwood did just that. What shocked The Blot about Tom Petty’s 2008 tour is the ticket price…they’re charging $99.50! And this is before you add in the $40 charge for joining Petty’s fan club for the pre-pre-sale and all of the ridiculous service charges they tack on top of that.

Runnin' Down A Dream movie posterLet me preface this by saying I like Tom Petty and would love to go see him, but I’m sorry, did I miss something? Is Tom Petty a much bigger act than I realized? He hasn’t even released a new album, just a DVD/CD documentary. Maybe the fact that he’s performing at halftime of the Super Bowl went to his and Live Nation’s heads, but come on. I’ve already read numerous articles questioning whether Tom Petty is a big enough act to headline the Super Bowl. I’m assuming if people are questioning whether he can headline a Super Bowl, he probably isn’t in a place to be commanding $100 a ticket for his shows. I go to a ton of concerts and I can’t think of many artists, if any, that I’d be willing to shell out a hundred bucks to go see. I know for a fact I’ve only come close to that price once, maybe twice, and I’d have to think long and hard about how bad I wanted to see an artist before shelling out that kind of cash.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers logoIn fact, I can still remember when Petty and the Heartbreakers came to Austin while I was in college. A group of my friends wanted to see him and they ended up getting pretty good tickets for the show. Any idea how much those tickets were back in the latter half of 2000? If I had to guess, because my memory of that time period is a little fuzzy, I’d say they were $20-30 a ticket plus tax and a service charge which made them out to be $30-40 a ticket, max. Now here we are, less than 8 years later and they’re charging $100 for the same show?

Tom PettyI’d love to see Petty, but I have to imagine they’re pricing themselves out of a huge number of people who like Petty but would never spend that kind of money on a concert. I don’t care if they’re marketing the tour to baby boomers or not, if The Police and Genesis reunions, not to mention the never ending farewell tour of The Rolling Stones, can’t sell out with $100 ticket prices Petty doesn’t stand a chance. He’s not even on their level. It’s too bad they’ve set such a high price too, because all this does is keep Petty from reaching the real ticket consuming audience of today, 16-25 year olds who will have just watched him perform live at the Super Bowl.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell PavilionIf by some chance you live in Houston and are willing to pay $100 for covered or uncovered seats (law seats are a more reasonable $37.50) to see Tom Petty at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Friday, August 29th, tickets go on pre-sale tomorrow, Friday, February 1st at 10:00 am. You’ll need the special password to access the pre-sale, but don’t worry, The Blot’s got your back. The Tom Petty pre-sale password is song. If you live in the DFW area and want to get pre-sale tickets for the Dallas tour stop the pre-sale password is SUPERBOWL.
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