[Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford - Unfortunately, since this was a spur of the moment thing, I didn't bring my camera. Tons of pictures by Kyle are over at Brooklyn Vegan]
I wish I could tag this post ADVENTURE! Last night, without purchasing a ticket beforehand, I managed to get in to the sold out Dead Weather
show, even though I showed up to Music Hall Of Williamsburg
just a few minutes before the doors opened. I only spent ten dollars more than face value. This is my story.
It all started with my roommate, an avid Jack White
enthusiast, who REALLY wanted to get into this show. He decided to show up to MHOW alone and stand outside while searching Craigslist
on his phone. Apparently it was the third act of Miracle On North 6th Street
, because he found a very nice extra ticket holder. And he paid her $100 for her extra ticket.
Now, anyone who was watching the internet knows that tickets to this INCREDIBLY hyped show were very difficult to obtain. To avoid scalpers, tickets were available two per concert-goer by will-call only, meaning the buyer must present a valid ID and the credit card used to make the purchase at the door. After last night, I'd argue this policy only inflates the secondhand market. The show sold out very quickly, because "business" minded folks snatched up extra tickets, planning to sell off their seconds for twice what they paid. Some of these coveted extra tickets were being "sold" online for hundreds of dollars, with the stipulation that the purchasee would meet the ticket holder at the venue, exchange funds, and go in together. One Brooklynvegan commenter offered his extra for a $1000. The venue itself was littered with people looking for tickets, walking up and down the entrance line, soliciting the shadier looking people, trying to make a deal. My roommate (wisely, in hindsight) suggested I stop being lazy and get down to the ground zero of rock to try and get lucky. After he accused me of being a "feline cat" several times, I obliged.
When I showed up, it was like segregation... on one side, on the two lines sprawling into the venue, stood the ticket holders. The other was a loose collection of sad looking individuals occasionally asking people if they had an extra. One crazy guy in a hat was talking ears off about how he sold his extra ticket to his "friend" who was supposed to be coming, but was very late. He had a few people following him around trying to nab that spot, should it open up. I was a little shy about it, and I missed a huge opportunity. A man with a brown paper bag walked up and looked at the crowd, shaking his head. I almost asked him. He then tapped a young, downtrodden couple on the shoulder and handed them two tickets, saying he was in the industry and didn't really want to go. I doubted the validity at first, but they got in. #felinecatmoves
At 8:15 I started to get desperate. A guy who tried to sell both his tickets was foiled by the system, and the two guys he sold to couldn't both get in. I jumped on the opportunity to take one ticket off his hands, but he politely refused my offer of face value. "No way man, these are going for hundreds." I hope you drop dead, sir. I waited for him to realize no one was walking around with "hundreds" looking for him, but I realized I was probably wasting my time.
Finally, I got a call from my roommate, who was already inside. He had made a deal for me, and I was to meet a stranger at the door who would give me a ticket. Somehow it worked out to only cost $40? I felt bad leaving my band of outcasts looking for tickets, but that didn't last. My guilt fizzled once I got inside and felt the energy of the place. I bought a round for my buddy and the girl who sold him a ticket, and we got ready to enjoy.
Although Violent Soho
had funny accents and a distinct 1994 Seattle charm, they weren't anything stellar. In fact, in retrospect, I'd say they did not adequately prepare ANYONE for the face melting that was about to occur. When the lights went out and DW took the stage, it was pandemonium. Allison Mosshart spent half the show standing on the edge of the monitors staring down the front row crowd, drifting back and forth around the stage in a mixture of anger and angst. She touched a guys head in the crowd at one point, and I bet he died happy several seconds later.
But seriously, Jack White is a ridiculous person. His drumming is great, he has the look, his voice is recognizable and awesome. And nothing compared to when he manned an axe in the middle of the show. People went nuts. In a discussion regarding John Mayer (who had played Music Hall the previous eve and whose name was ominously displayed on the inside half of the rotating marquee) vs. Jack White with the bartender (who had worked the previous eve), it became obvious that Jack White is America's truest, grittiest, chain smoking, bad-ass contemporary rock star. The bartender was really just griping about how no one was drinking at the John Mayer show, but I think tons of drunken fans only helps the case here. The show was incredible (I was mostly sober anyway). It was totally worth delving into the dark depths of begging for tickets. It was worth it all, even elbowing an obnoxious tall dude in the fur hat a thousand times to put down his picture-capable blackberry, a device he almost shoved up Dean Fertita's nose. Eventually he was tossed into the mosh by a disgruntled neighbor; and was consumed/destroyed by the crowd during "Cut Like A Buffalo." Rock and roll, you guys!
Go see Dead Weather before its too late... something tells me anything Jack White related will not be playing small shows like this for long.-joe puglisi
Album Review: Horehound
Dead Weather on Myspace