November 17th, 2010 — Misc
One of the things about the Sprint Center in Kansas City is that it shows me how out of touch I am about how popular acts are that go there. I saw today that Linkin Park is going to play there in January and I had no idea they were popular enough to play a 18,000+ capacity arena. This is nothing against them, I just never hear anything new from them on the radio so I figured they would play something like the Uptown Theatre (just checked, 1,700 capacity which is smaller than I thought). I had the same feeling when Muse played there – I know they’re popular but I didn’t think they were a headlining act. Kid Rock is playing there also, but I would chalk that up to a Kansas City thing like Jackyl’s popularity here.
No real point, it just seems like a good third of the rock acts that play the Sprint Center make me scratch my head in disbelief. For all I know they’re only selling a third of the place or they barricade certain sections off like when smaller acts play Starlight but it seems like whoever books them would have a good idea of how much they would sell.
November 3rd, 2010 — Complaining
A few years ago I read an article about Disneyland that broke down a guest’s entrance into the park, and the jist of it was that even before you enter the park you are in four different lines. I wish I had a link to that article because I kept thinking about it on Saturday. The Roger Waters concert marked the fourth time I’ve been at the Sprint Center – three times for concerts, once for a business scam I went to for work. The common thread is that Sprint Center management has made the experience of going into their facility pretty unpleasent. In order to make it to my seat I had to:
- Stand in line at will call. I normally try to avoid this because the will call window is a lot like the post office – there’s always some asshole ahead of you who’s got problems that can’t be resolved in a couple of minutes. I won’t fault the Sprint Center for this. Things ran smoothly. I showed up at the Sprint Center at 7:20 and this took about ten minutes. Fine.
- The line for the security check is the one that drives me up the wall. I don’t know why they’re the only place in Kansas City that has this, but they’ve got metal detectors and you have to empty your pockets into a plastic bowl before you go in. Everything I’ve been to, including the business scam, had this set up so it’s not like they just set it up for rock shows. This line took 20 minutes so now we’re looking at 7:50 for an 8:00 show.
- The line to give the person your ticket is another one like the post office, it seems like there’s always someone who printed out their ticket who is having problems. This one only took five minutes but that’s way too long considering that the line was only three deep.
- Once I got up the stairs and found my section I ran into a new one for me – the backup where the ushers had to examine everyone’s tickets even if you were just sitting in the cheap seats.
By the time I sat in my seat it was 8:00 on the dot which is unacceptable when I arrived at 7:20 and didn’t stop for beer or to use the bathroom. The worst part is that nothing’s changed over the past year and a half, and why should it? It’s not like events aren’t going to be booked in Kansas City’s shiny new arena any more. I just feel that when you’re going somewhere to enjoy yourself you shouldn’t have to go through a lot of unpleasentness before you have fun.
December 24th, 2009 — Concerts, Reviews
The last time I saw Kiss live was on their 1996 reunion tour and I was hugely disappointed. Despite being fairly early in the tour the performance was completely lifeless (with the exception of Ace Frehley’s two songs) and it seemed like a by-the-numbers performance. After that I wasn’t really interested in seeing them again.
However, with the release of the excellent Sonic Boom I thought I would give them another chance. I was hoping that the addition of Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer would revitalize the band. Based on their performance at the Sprint Center, that’s exactly the case. Their performance reminded me of their better shows I’ve seen, with an energy I haven’t seen since they put their makeup back on.
The night started off well between finding two dollar parking across the street from the Midland Theater and then buying tickets with a $75 face value for $40 from a scalper. This is the first time I’ve gotten cheap tickets from a scalper right before a concert. I’m thinking I might try it again for AC/DC in April.
The set list was about what they’ve been sticking to for the past few years (standards like “Strutter” and “Deuce”) but with a couple of surprises thrown in (most notably “Parasite”, one of my favorite Kiss songs). Unfortunately a couple of my favorites, “God of Thunder” and “Firehouse”, were given the boot but they didn’t play any song that I absolutely despise.
The stage set up was impressive. In addition to the large video screens there were several smaller video screens across the stage with a different set of images for each song. The other usual things you expect at a Kiss concert were there too – a lot of pyro and Gene Simmons’ standards like spitting blood and blowing fire.
I’ve read a lot of complaints about Paul Stanley’s voice and while it’s true that his voice isn’t as strong due to his age, I don’t think it impacted the show too much. The overall quality was good and more than made up for any vocal shortcomings. That being said, I purchased a CD of the show and listening to it the weak vocals are more evident on repeat listenings.
Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
Hotter Than Hell
Calling Dr. Love
Modern Day Delilah
I Love It Loud
Rock and Roll All Nite
Shout It Out Loud
Lick It Up
Detroit Rock City.
As I texted my wife, the crowd was mainly my fellow middle age burnouts, a lot of whom brought their kids. Normally I cringe when I see kids at concerts (like Ratt…really, you have to bring your kids to Ratt?) but for some reason this seemed like a good one for them. Paul Stanley’s stage rap hasn’t changed much since I was young, but it’s definitely toned down from their non-makeup days.
I absolutely love the idea of being able to buy a recording of a show. They were available for the Metallica concert last year and the set from Kiss is pretty nice. It was pretty reasonable at $20 because I figured that this is one of those things they would try to gouge you on.
Lawrence’s own The Dead Girls opened up the show. Despite being an odd match for the Kiss crowd they put on a great performance. I’m completely ignorant on the local music scene but definitely plan on checking them out in the future.
March 26th, 2009 — Complaining, Misc
A few weeks ago the Def Leppard/Poison/Cheap Trick tour was announced with a date scheduled at Kansas City’s Sprint Center. I’m debating whether or not to go – I would like to see Def Leppard and Cheap Trick but I saw Poison about ten years ago on their first reunion tour and that was plenty for me. I’ve never seen Def Leppard or Cheap Trick live before (although I did have really good seats to see DL on the “Hysteria” tour until they canceled due to the El Paso Incident). The thing is that you know that Cheap Trick will only have around 30 minutes to play so I have to keep that in mind.
Really though, the Sprint Center? I’m constantly surprised at the acts that fill up that place (Bon Jovi, Tina Turner) but based on the tickets currently available they may have overestimated the demand for this bill.
Anyway, I came across the three ticket packages available for Poison. Essentially here’s the breakdown:
- If you spend $270 you get a seat in the first 15 rows, about $50 worth of Poison merchandise, and a $25 voucher for more Poison stuff.
- If you spend $470 you get a seat in the first 10 rows, a “preshow Poison backstage tour”, about $75 worth of Poison merchandise, and the $25 voucher.
- If you spend $620 you get special seating at the side on the stage during Poison’s set, the seat in the first 10 rows, the backstage tour, the $75 worth of Poison merchandise, and the $25 voucher.
On top of that the last two packages also include early access to the Poison merchandise booth, although it’s been years since I’ve seen any kind of crowd at a merchandise booth – probably Paul McCartney in 2002.
I also like the wording of the backstage tour – you’re not guaranteed to meet anyone from the band so if no one shows up you can’t complain.
The first package seems like the biggest scam. Poison’s essentially being a scalper for the first 15 rows and then they throw in some other crap to call it a package.
I know that things like this have been going on for a while. Kiss had some crazy package where you paid a load of cash to get a good seat and one picture of the band – with their camera. I’m too lazy to look it up but I think that was after Ace and Peter left the band so you weren’t even getting the original members. I had a friend spend $250 to meet Tesla a few months ago, but that didn’t seem like a scam because you got to watch the sound check, they promised you would meet the band, and from what I heard they hung out for a while and spoke with everyone. They gave everyone some CDs and a DVD too so it seemed like a good experience.
First off all three of these packages seem excessive for a band like Poison. The descriptions are worded so that you might end up getting screwed over. Like I said, it seems like the band is essentially just scalping their own tickets. I just checked eBay and you can get second row on the floor for $250 apiece. Not first 15 or 10 rows, you know you’re getting second row for sure.
Obviously they can do what they want, but it just seems like they’re trying to squeeze every dollar out of their biggest fans.
October 30th, 2008 — Concerts, Reviews
This past Saturday was the Metallica show at the Sprint Center downtown. The last time I saw them live was on the Guns & Roses/Metallica debacle back in 1992. Since then I had kind of lost interest in them but with the new album out I figured I would see them again.
The show started at 7:00 and I decided that I wasn’t going to be late because I had heard good things about opening act The Sword and wanted to catch their whole set. That being said, I kept my late streak alive by getting to my seat around 7:15, only seeing about half their set. I had left the house on time, but between the returning Kansas State fans clogging up the I-70 toll plaza and the 20 minute wait outside the Sprint Center for security, it just wasn’t meant to be.
This thing with security at shows has gotten out of hand. There were metal detectors set up and you had to empty out your pockets like you were at the airport. I passed on seeing any shows at Sandstone this past summer because their security process is such a hassle (30 minutes last time I was there). It looks like the Sprint Center has the same problem. I don’t know if it’s due to the perceived unruliness of Metallica fans or what. The thing is that this is one of the more well-behaved crowds I’ve seen in a while.
No cameras were allowed at all. Most shows allow smaller digital cameras but not here. I’ve never understood what the deal is with taking pictures anyway. I understand no recording, that’s fine because they may want to see you something down the road, but what harm is it to take pictures?
Also I think the show set a new record for how far away the bootleg t-shirt guys were from the arena – easily half a mile away right as you got off the freeway.
Anyway, after The Sword finished their set I swear it was only ten or fifteen minutes before Down hit the stage. I wasn’t sure what to expect from them, but they got the crowd worked up and were a good opener. During their set the singer asked the crowd who would be coming to see them next time they came through town. After the crowd cheered he said he would believe it when he saw the ticket sales. I think depending on where they play in town I would probably go to see them. They were good enough that I’ll pick up one of their albums.
I think they finished their set around 8:20 – 8:30 and after the generic speech by a local radio guy Metallica started right at 9:00 – it seemed very precise.
Here’s the setlist from livemetallica.com:
That Was Just Your Life
The End Of The Line
Harvester Of Sorrow
Ride The Lightning
Broken, Beat And Scarred
Sad But True
Until It Sleeps
Wherever I May Roam
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Fight Fire With Fire
Nothing Else Matters
- – - – - – - -
Seek and Destroy
The setlist is okay. Not enough surprises and too predictable but the crowd really got into it. Being at the show reminded me that I don’t like “Ride the Lightning” and if I never hear “One” again it will be too soon.
I wasn’t that crazy about the round stage setup. Each band seemed almost like a random gathering of people on it, just running around. The other thing is that I am really glad I didn’t pay extra for access to the floor. Besides all the jack offs you have to deal with it seemed like you are only getting part of the show regardless of where you are.
On the plus side, the band sounded great. This was my first time at the Sprint Center and the sound quality for all three bands was good. “Harvester of Sorrow” was a nice choice, and I never get tired of hearing “Last Caress” or “Sad But True”.
It may be due to my age, but I felt like there was definitely something missing from the show, some excitement or surprise. I had a good time but at this point I probably wouldn’t go see them again. Maybe I’m just tired of the big arena shows, I just feel like I have a better time at smaller, more relaxed venues. But what the hell do I know, it seemed everyone else there was having a great time.