Six thousand Tickets in Five Minutes? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight

Over the course of the last few days, there’s been one question that I’ve been asked over and over. It’s a question that really shows how people just don’t know anything about me or my cultural tastes.
The question is whether I plan on going to the Elton John concert. Uh, no. The only way I would go see him is if he played nothing later than 1976. No stupid Disney tunes, no godawful Princess Diana tributes. In fact, there are a good number of pre-76 tunes that I’d rather not hear ever again let alone see him play. (One way that would get me to go to the show would be to have the cast of Almost Famous recreate their Tiny Dancer singalong, but I doubt that will ever happen.)
Not that I have anything against Sir Elton. A good percentage of that pre-76 catalog is pretty damned good. Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across the Water, Honky Chateau, and even Goodbye Yellow Brick Road are all great albums, and his collaborations with songwriter Bernie Taupin rank right up there with Lennon/McCartney and Jagger/Richards. Since the pair broke up in 1976, though, Elton has become more of a celebrity that makes records than a true artist.
I’m sure, though, that if you can stomach Lion King songs this will be a great show. But let’s keep things in perspective here. Despite the rhetoric in the paper and television, this isn’t the Beatles at Shea Stadium, or the Stones’ legendary 1972 tour. It’s not even Guns ‘n’ Roses at the peak of their career. It’s a veteran entertainer finally making his run of C-level markets.
I did have family members that wanted tickets to this show, and I showed one of my sisters how to get into Ticketmaster the moment tickets went on sale. Within a minute of the tickets being available, she feverishly called me to say they were already finished selling them. Not believing this to be true, I also logged in. At 9:33, sales had already been cut off.
The next day’s paper claimed that the show sold out in 18 minutes, which makes no sense when the online sales were over within a couple of minutes. I call Bravo Sierra on the whole process. There’s no way 6,000 Elton John tickets were sold so quickly, especially considering the track record of prior concerts by artists of a similar stature.
In fact, I think there’s something fishy about this whole concert. The minute this show was signed the drumbeats for a new arena were once again raised. The lack of concerts in this town is not because of our city’s poor history in attendance; it’s because we need to build something three times the size of the Arena. Say what?
I’m not going to once again debate the issue of whether we need a new Arena. Everybody knows my view, and at this point all I’ll say is that if it’s going to happen just PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have the sense to NOT put it downtown.
I do believe, however, that this concert’s quick sellout isn’t because of actual demand but due to some behind-the-scenes shenanigans. That’s right, shenanigans! I’ve thought about many scenarios but what makes the most sense to me is that some major player in this town who has some stake in a new Arena was given the opportunity to make a major buy prior to the tickets hitting the street. (In fact, I have heard more than one person claim they somehow obtained tickets before they went on sale.) Somebody check billionaire Sanford’s safe!
I actually have few problems if that’s the case, but if this show is going to be used as the test case for whether we need a new facility it should be based on the public’s actual response instead of phony stunts. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since our local press is to busy cheering to actually do any real investigating.


SouthDaCola said…
I was talking to the IT guys at work about this, especially the internets part. They all got tickets because they used work computers. We have a incredibly fast internet connection. They said there was probably so many people logged on to get tickets, it drug the system down, so the faster your connection, the better chance you have. I do agree there probably was a 'LOT' of tickets purchased, but really, how many do you think that could be? The Arena only holds 6000 people.
Unknown said…
if you notice in the Argus Leader there are several tickets for sell. Someone has 10 tickets for sell.
Anonymous said…
I was online at 9:30 am on Sat. and could'nt even get 2 tickets. I was skunked in three freakin minutes and I have a cable modem. KELOLAND TV said the fastest way to get tickets was to purchase them online. I think there should be a two ticket limit for everybody. I'm sick of all the scammers and people buying there limit and then scalping them for them for five hundred dollars or more. COME ON PEOPLE! Give every body a chance.
September 23, Minneapolis. PAUL. ;-)
Anonymous said…

I can’t believe you have not jumped on this one. The fastest selling concert in Sioux Falls history is for a show staged by a Homosexual. Where are all of the right wingers? The purple building hatters? The protest? The mayhem? The politicians? Could it be they are attending the concert? Or are they keeping quiet because they are somehow gaining financially on the event?
Anonymous said…
I agree 100%..."shenanigans" with a capital SH**.

(pointless fact: Elton quit writing with Bernie for a while, but has written with him quite a bit recently.)
Anonymous said…
Jerry's Crap-0-let is giving away 2 pairs per day until October!! Just show up for the hard sell. I wonder how many E.J. tix were set aside for these most irritating promos?

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