Going to a concert may induce a certain thrill in a person as it does me. The music, the people, the lights...they all add up to guarantee a great time. But what I've noticed from going to show after show is a certain pattern that us concert-goers did not plan on paying $30+ for.
It starts out with waiting on a very long line for the doors to open. An excited buzz is traveling through the air in anticipation that we are about to see these celebrities, face-to-face, doing what they love. But as we get let in, the anger begins. Much to our dismay we find that the security is unkind and unsympathetic, the hall where the show is being held smells of sweat and stale beer, and everyone is taking out their anger on each other. There is always that group of "tweens" that travel in large numbers and seem to be jumping off the walls because they're excited that they're being let out of the house after 9, the couples that cling to each other and refuse to let anyone pass between them, and that big, sweaty man with long hair that seems to only hang out with other big, sweaty men with long hair. What is the pattern to all of these things, you ask? Crowds. Unforgiving crowds that annoy everyone that is just trying to get to the bathroom before the opening band comes on stage. At the last concert I went to, I've never seen a crowd this bad.
After the main band, The Kooks, walked offstage after their encore, every person in that room immediately speed walked to the door in hopes of getting out of there first. Naturally, I got stuck at the door, wondering why no one was moving. 10-15 minutes later I finally made my way out but i found out the cause for all of this commotion. The opening band, The Morning Benders, were stationed to sell t-shirts. 'What a clever idea,' I thought, to have 4 boys that were obviously very appealing to all the teenage girls in the audience sell them t-shirts and collect their money.
So, I decided to push my way through the people and hear what they were saying to the band. What I heard was the bassist saying to a girl, "Yea, they make us do this because they know that even people who don't want to buy t-shirts will come here to talk to me and then I can convince them to buy a shirt. These are machine washable, by the way." This is when I started to do my calculations.
The concert hall has to pay for: drinks, electricity, central air, the rent, accessories, people to sell the drinks, etc. In order to be reimbursed for this money, they sell expensive tickets and beverages to willing customers who are not allowed to bring any food or drinks into the building. In order to make a profit, they sell t-shirts. How can they save money and sell an excess of clothing? Ask the opening band to stand behind the booth, for no extra money. I guess you can say this strategy worked seeing that I bought a shirt...and a poster.
The Kooks at Terminal 5 concert hall was definitely not a disappointing experience. To all of you concert addicts out there, let's help support more than the band. Let's help support the buildings that let them play there.