Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Harleys rumble into town

Can you hear them coming? The Harley Davidson 105 reunion starts this weekend. The entertainment for this event is spread out all over the city. You can catch Kid Rock at Miller Park if you are a H.O.G. member and you can prove that. You can head to the lakefront with a Summerfest ticket or pass as it is known. That pass will get you into the grounds to see at least fifty bands on five stages. Z.Z. Top is one of the top name acts performing on Friday.

Water Street will host a biker rally with entertainment galore. Brady Street will feature some great Milwaukee Rock Bands as well. Don't forget the Harley Davidson parade on Saturday. After all, it's all about the bikes. Thousands and thousands of chrome horses will ride across Wisconsin.

Yes, Waukesha has some events too, but don't be fooled, the action is in Milwaukee. Bruce Springsteen will hopefully put to rest the issue dating back five years, when Elton John performed in the park. No distrespect to Elton, but that is not a Harley themed top name act.

For the younger audience, Foo Fighters will also perform in Milwaukee this weekend. This seems to be one of the biggest last hurrah's of the short summer here in Wisconsin. Take some time and soak up the sun. Before you know it, the cold and snow will be with us, and the Harley Festival weekend would make winter a tiny bit more tolerable. At least in your memories.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Eddie Vedder in Milwaukee

Much to my surprise, I didn't see people getting booted out of their seats last night. The most rabid anti ticket reselling musician performed at a venue famous for kicking rules-abiding fans out for the slightest hint of skulduggery. Don't even think about reselling your tickets, or the manager will come down hard on you. I think his life is devoted to peaking around corners, and searching Ebay for the infamous ticket scalper.

Two points: If a show is already sold out, what's the harm of reselling your tickets? The venue made all that they can make from the show. If I refuse to sit in the balcony for a show, then I am going to buy a ticket from a broker or I'm not going to go. The venue owner can cry and stamp his little feet, and throw a temper tantrum, but there are consumers out there who won't spend the money on a lousy seat.

With that, everyone was warned about the scalpers, Eddie Vedder played his show, nobody left before it started, and the venue made plenty of money since it sold out months ago.

History doesn't make something a lawful act, but ticket brokers or ticket services have been around for over two thousand years. The Romans would pay people to get to the coliseum early to sit in a prime seat. Once the rich person came to the venue, the first person would leave after being paid a small sum. Some men would use their slaves to do the sitting. I guess this venue manager is a slave to his theater. He should lighten up and let it go.

Enjoy the show, sit as close as you can, and don't worry about the crabby little man standing by the sound board.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Alpine Valley

How does Alpine Valley stay in business? Alpine Valley holds nearly 36,000 people. There are VIP decks, lawn seating, and more. What is interesting to me is that there are so few shows each year. Sometimes, Alpine Valley may have only eight events for the entire summer. Half of those events might not sell out.

Live Nation has a great interactive venue map on their site. You can view seating charts, upcoming shows, and overhead maps.

Rumor has it that there is an undercover cop sitting on top of buildings in downtown East Troy. These guys look into people's cars and try to see if people have beer cans tucked in their laps.

These same guys will have someone on the street corner with a can in hand. They see a car pulling up to a stop light and tip their can as a toast. They hope to get the people in the car to reveal their cans and tip back. Then, those people are busted.

Other interesting traps would include the parking situation. If you think about it, there are not enough spaces for all the cars, if everyone came just two to a party. So if you show up late, you end up paying $25 to park in a farm field. Funny thing, the sign at the entrance to the farm lot may say $10, but once you get all the way to the person taking the money, it's $25 to park, and there is no way to turn around if you don't like the strong arm tactics.

So you paid $25 to park, you are a quarter mile from the venue, and you have your cooler full of beer. Don't even think about bringing it into the real lot. The border between private land and Alpine land is not marked. Some cops will give you a very friendly warning and let you know that you have to ditch the brew. Others may wait until you cross the line, and then give you a ticket.

So you are now in the venue and you are having a great time. The show ends, and now you are stuck in a massive traffic jam. You are joined by thousands of people from Wisconsin and Illinois, all trying to get the heck out of the woods.

I went to an Alpine show that ended at 11pm. It took 2.5 hours to get out of the lot, and another 45 minutes to drive the rest of the way back to Milwaukee. When I was a kid, my crappy Chevy overheated while waiting in line to get out of the parking lot. I paid $10 for a gallon of water and poured it into my radiator after the engine cooled down. Finally, after the hellish trip back home, I got busted for bringing my girlfriend home so late.

What do you want to take away from this? Don't drink and drive. Be ready to pay $25 to park in a field far, far away from the venue. Be careful when walking around with a can of beer. The most important thing to do is to leave before the final song. Give yourself a break and get out of there before the encore at least. Missing one or two songs will save you hours of headaches.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Metal in its full glory in Green Bay Wisconsin

Coming to Wisconsin on August 9th is a metal lineup sure to please all the Green Bay head bangers. Liquid 8 will host the following bands: Anal Blast, Eternal Silence, Sentenced to Die, Dichotic, Scofflaw, Praise the Fear, A Sum of One, etc. The names are so important when it comes to metal. I know what its like to be in a band that has a crazy name. My band's name couldn't even be announced on the radio.

The promo photo (If they have one,) has to show how tough the band mates are. You know the drill.