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Sunday, December 9, 2007

How'd you do on Bruce tickets?

Yesterday morning saw many of us sitting at our computer terminals buying tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert to be held at the Rose Garden more than 3½ months from now. For some reason Ticketmaster didn't have the show -- indeed, it looks like Portland was the only show on the tour that it didn't have. No, here in Stumptown the ducats were being sold on something called comcasttix.com. I am assuming that this is in keeping with the new Paul Allen-Comcast satanic alliance, which includes a separate cable TV channel for the Blazers.

But I digress. The comcasttix experience was every bit as ugly as Ticketmaster -- or Ticketb*stards, as they're sometimes known. On comcasttix, you had to try about a zillion times to get it to show you tickets -- the servers were too busy, no doubt -- and every time you tried, you had to play one of those "captcha" games (or whatever that word-identification puzzle thingie is) before you'd be shown anything, even the "too busy" message. Lovely.

Even worse, on my clunky little computer, when I used Firefox, I couldn't see the captcha images at all, and so I had to resort to the awful Internet Explorer to play along. I thought I'd take a shot at an actual seat on the lower level, rather than general admission standing on the arena floor, but that was a joke. After about 10 minutes of trying, I was offered two seats in the 16th row in the back on the side. I've learned over the years that the key to concert enjoyment is distance from the stage as the crow flies, and not necessarily altitude, and so I let those babies pass.

In the end, I got what I knew I'd get -- two on the floor, literally -- and we'll see how much energy we can muster on that spring break Friday to camp out for a spot near the front of the gym. I'm not even going to look at what the scalpers have for seats this time around. They'll gouge you, and for a Springsteen show, they never seem to have that much, anyway. The less I think about the ticket-selling machinery, the better it is for my soul.

I must confess that I have fallen down in my Springsteen fan duties and have not even listened to his new album. A friend has supplied a couple of bootleg CDs with recordings from the current tour, which sound pretty good, but I haven't gotten around to the studio record. Yet. By the concert, I'm sure I'll be singing some of the new songs at the top of my lungs. Last time around, I actually got into what was then the new stuff more than I did the old stuff. After you've seen Bruce do "Thunder Road" for about the 10th time, it's o.k. to take your potty break during that one. But "The Rising" at the start of the show -- it made every hair on your body stand on end.

Of course, if they start playing "Backstreets," all bets are off. Shut up and give me some room!

Comments (15)

My friend and I met at my house at 5:30 am yesterday and walked 1/2 mile to Rose Garden. We were nos. 2 and 3 in line. The 'Harley Hat' guy from Gresham was there at 5:15. We each scored 4 tix: Sec 111 row K for me, he got Sec 103, row K. The urge to buy 4 GA tix to scalp almost got me..but I passed.

Even thinking about the process of buying tickets to see the Boss in Portland makes my skin crawl. These days, with the scalpers' automated bots sucking up all the tickets, it seems no fun. But this time, maybe something different happened, Jack, because you were able to get tickets and so was Jimbo in the first comment. Maybe people aren't as interested in seeing Bruce than they are in scoring tickets to Hannah Montana.

By the time I remembered tickets went on sale yesterday, it was too late. I've done the secondary market thing a few times now with Springsteen and have yet to pay above face value. It's all a matter of patience. There's always someone out there who can't make the show or breaks up with their girlfriend. Or whatever. No doubt I'll be down in front when the lights go down. Hopefully in front of Steve.

"Magic" is an exceptional album. The concert can't be anything but brilliant.

I haven't been to a concert in years so when the computer offerd me FLOOR GAFLR 12 37-38 I took it. Wherever that is. So what do I do now Jack accept what I've got or try to trade for something farther back.

Greg C

I'd love to attend, but only a moron would pay $250 + for two relatively bad seats to see anyone perform, much less an aging rock band. Don't get me wrong, I dig Springsteen and enjoy his latest album, but cannot justify the expense or hassle to see him live. $30 a head, maybe.

Jack...email if you want some tips on making the most of your GA tickets! Glad you got tix. My husband went to an Comcasttix outlet at Safeway and worked the computer and phone at home. The web site is cumbersome at best...anti-intuitive at every opportunity. But my husband's experience at Safeway was priceless. First the manager gets ready to crank out the tix, then the armored cars show up to exchange cash...so she's screwed. Then her computer froze up right after the first pair was pulled. My husband was next...he was buying GA's, but when they handed him the tickets, they were nosebleeds! I had just let a pair go when he said he had them. I scrambled and was able to get them back. Crazy...tickets could be simple, but noooooooo...

Glad you're going to prep with the new album. This tour is all about "Long Walk Home" and "Last to Die."

If anyone REALLY wants a ticket and is tempted to pay a scalper, ask Jack to put us in touch. Please don't feed the scalpers. There are ALWAYS other way to get in.

i ran into the same problem when my wife and i wanted to order Van Halen tickets for the December 1 concert...she manned the computer, i worked the phone. once i found the right "comcast tix" number to call, i was able to connect right through and get great seats, while she was still refreshing and having problems connecting.

If You have floor tickets, be prepared to try to see what's going on over the top of someone's head when everyone stands up. We attended the recent Billy Joel concert and I'm glad we were seated on the side of the first level about half way up. Much better seats than on the floor and you can actually see the stage clearly.

Thanks Dave. Now you more experisneced guys. If I have floor tickets what do I do now? Sell them and hope to buy better seats?

Greg C

For folks with general admission (floor) seats, you don't get chairs. According to the ticket disclaimer on the Rose Quarter website, GA tickets are on the floor...literally. No chairs, everybody stands, until Bruce segues from "Darkness on the Edge of Town" into "She's the One", at which point I'm pretty sure the entire place will levitate.

I'm the one that commented above regarding the "no chairs for GA". I didn't choose my "name" very carefully. There is someone else that comments here as "Steve", and I'm not him. Sorry for any confusion.

There are no seats on the floor/general admission (even if your ticket has a row and seat number).

The floor is divided into 2 sections...a front section "the pit" and the rest of the floor.

There is a lottery for the order in which GA ticket holders enter the pit. First ones in obviously go stand in front of Bruce's mic. I won't go into the rest of the details unless someone is really interested.

You do have to be committed to make it through the lottery, but you will be in the front 1-10 rows...so a lot of people consider it well worth the effort. You have to seek info to get the procedure mapped out and it takes most of the afternoon and lots of patience. But you meet plenty of (mostly) cool people.

See http://www.backstreets.com/tour.html for more info. Don't always believe what people at the venue tell you. The lottery is run by Bruce's people and the locals may not have the right info.

Yeah I will spend $250 for a guy with a phony accent!

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