On Friday evening, July 19th, Pearl Jam went on "rain delay" during a scheduled concert appearance at Wrigley Field... and their fans deserved better...
I've wrestled with issues regarding Friday night's Pearl Jam show at Wrigley Field for a while now... but the "rain delay" was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
I realize that Pearl Jam fans are passionate and a lot of this is going to be unpopular... but try and hear me out.
I'll start from the beginning...
So let me get this straight... Eddie Vedder, the guy who once sued Ticketmaster over four dollar service fees, is performing a concert that is being promoted by Live Nation/Ticketmaster.
That concert features about twenty dollars in fees on a seventy dollar, face value ticket.
That concert is also currently on "rain delay" after seven songs.
So... it could be fairly easily argued that that concert shouldn't have started at all given the obviously impending weather (Afterall, the Cubs wouldn't have started a baseball game under those same conditions at that same park).
It could also be argued that Pearl Jam never bothered to schedule a second show or a third show at Wrigley (despite obvious demand following the fastest concert sell-out in Wrigley Field history... Quicker than The Police, quicker than Eddie's hero Bruce, quicker than Buffett, quicker even than Beatle Paul!) because if they had, demand would have gone down and scalpers wouldn't have been able to command upwards of $500 for one upper deck seat like they did Friday afternoon.
Ticketmaster/Live Nation owns a scalping service (pardon me, "secondary seller" - it's legal and it's called TicketsNow) which basically means that Pearl Jam gets a cut not only of the fees on tickets they sold originally through
their one time enemy Ticketmaster Tickets.com but AGAIN on tickets sold at exorbitant prices through Ticketmaster's legal secondary seller TicketsNow...
Sources tell me the band will end up playing until 2AM Saturday morning at Wrigley Field following the "rain delay."
That's terrific... and everyone will call it another "epic" live Pearl Jam show... one for the ages!
They'll say the band went above and beyond and bent over backwards for their fans...
But I'm calling B.S.
A band playing until 2AM after a rain delay instead of rescheduling is great if...
- You didn't flee the venue when storms hit...
- You didn't already leave to catch a train back to the suburbs...
- You don't mind sleeping on the floor at Union Station after you miss the last train out...
- You live in the neighborhood around the stadium and don't mind staying up until 2AM after a long work day...
- You didn't hand a scalper FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS and miss half of the show...
And on and on and on.
It's worth noting that Pearl Jam is a band I'm quite fond of. I was once a member of the Ten Club. I've paid to see the band live more than once. I saw Eddie Vedder perform last year at Wrigley Field with Bruce Springsteen.
So I consider myself a fan (hell, I love the new single!).
But there was a time when it was hard to argue that Pearl Jam, regardless of what you thought of their music, wasn't a band that stood for something. They cared!
And, in my opinion, that time has passed.
Earlier tonight, Phish cancelled their show at Northerly Island due to the weather.
I was at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park which was concluded early (around 9:35PM central) due to the weather.
In either case, fans were given plenty of time to evacuate and seek shelter in a calm, orderly fashion.
And yet somehow, Pearl Jam (the only act actually playing a residential area) was given the green light to play until 2AM?
I don't know if Rahm is at the show (I've seen him at four concerts in about the last year though)...
But I do know that Mayor Emanuel's brother Ari sits on the board of directors at Ticketmaster/Live Nation.
I understand that the logistics of rescheduling a show like this are tough... But Pearl Jam doesn't have another concert date until October 11th. The Cubs last home game this season at Wrigley Field is September 25th (and Pearl Jam is no stranger to performing outdoors in this area in October).
Whatever the case, something doesn't add up and, in my opinion, Pearl Jam's fans deserve better.
- Jim Ryan
*** Please feel free to join the conversation via Facebook in the comments section below and sign up for email alerts via the form below. Thanks! ***
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.