The Broke Bachelor's Guide to Concerts

Tonight is theeeeee night my friends. Courtney Love is playing at the House of Blues at 6:30, which is the first time she's been on a proper tour since, oh, 1998. To say I'm stoked is an understatement. She's my childhood Rock Star. With that in mind, I thought I'd share some tips and tricks I've learned over the years about keeping it cheap at concerts. And remember, in terms of shouting: Slayer>Freebird. Always.


*If you really want to see a popular band that doesn't tour often, chances are they will sell out, so suck it up and buy the ticket full price. If you live close to the venue, go buy tickets directly from them to avoid those pesky service charges (no one asked you for your help Ticketmaster, I'd rather trek out a few extra miles than give you money for nothing).

*I don't like to get too drunk at concerts, I prefer to enjoy the music sober. That said, if you must drink, mix something and put it in a water bottle to drink on your way there like a normal Chicagoan. In terms of prices and convenience, concert halls are usually worse than a gay bar.

*No one I've ever known has won tickets to a concert through a radio promotion. Maybe I just have lazy friends.

*Buying T-shirts at the venue is for rookies. 9 times out of 10 there will be people selling slightly damaged merch for like, $10. My Garbage shirt was missing the "4" from 2004, who cares? You can say it was from an earlier year and make yourself look younger!

*Most "indie" bands will sell their CD with a poster or buttons for around the $15-$20 dollar range. Offer the merch person 5 more bucks for an additional item. Can't hurt, right?

*On that note, be nice to the merch people. They're usually friends with the band, and if you're nice enough, you may get invited to hang out after.

*Don't count out scalpers. Here's a true story that happened just last month:

My friend Lee and I decided to see the washed up, drugged out, barely coherent corpse of Marilyn Manson at the Rivera last month, and decided we'd rather pay full price for a back alley vasectomy/tubal ligation than full price for that concert (Marilyn Manson hasn't been worth the asking price of $35.00 since 2004, people).

We decided to hang around the theater and see if we could get a few bucks off the show if it wasn't sold out. Almost immediately after exiting the Wilson Red Line, about 3 scalpers jumped out and offered tickets. Naturally aggressive, Lee haggled one of them down to two tickets for $40, as opposed to his offer of two for $60.

I went in first, the ticket scanned, and the nice man got his money. Boom.

* For those of you that can't be in attendance tonight, I'll leave you with a performance from Hole at the Big Day Out Festival circa 1999, this is the band at their best. If you make it til the end, NSFW.


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  • If you have won tickets, please let me know! If you're able that is.

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    I've totally won tickets... twice... once to RUSH from 97.9 via facebook and once to John Oates from 102.3 via e-mail. That should count as winning tickets from the radio, right?

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    I won Gavin degraw tickets like 8 years ago off 102.3. The trick to getting thru is calling when you are at work. It was easy for me to jump from line to line without having to hangup, wait for the disconnection and redail. That's how I did it.

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