Monday, January 12, 2009

THE NEW BEACON THEATRE: "Welcome Rich People"

Back in September of 2008, the New York Times ran an article about the renovation and rebirth of New York's legendary Beacon Theatre. You can check it out for yourself right HERE. A few months earlier, I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post proclaiming my disappointment and disgust with James Dolan, CEO of Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the once beloved Beacon Theatre. You can check that out for yourself right HERE.

I bring this up now because tickets for the Allman Brothers' March Madness at the Beacon Theatre have just gone on sale. Last time the Allmans played the Beacon Theatre, was March 2007, B.R. (before renovation) Tickets were $94.

Here's an excerpt from the NYT article:

"Mr. Dolan wanted a state-of-the art restoration," said Jay Marciano, president of Madison Square Garden Entertainment, referring to James L. Dolan, Cablevision's chief executive. Since Mr. Dolan has been oft-criticized by New York Knicks fans during years of the team's decline, did Mr. Dolan think of it as some form of penance to spend $5 million more on the Beacon restoration (and an additional $1 million on new air conditioning) than was required by its contract? "I can't speak for how he thinks," Mr. Marciano said of Mr. Dolan. "But he has a lot of personal passion for this project. We view the Beacon as iconic, a beloved city landmark, and restoring the Beacon will be good for New Yorkers and a profitable business venture." The cost will be recouped during the lease, and ticket prices, which range from $25 to $125, will not increase after the reopening. "Not one dollar," Mr. Marciano said.

Not one dollar.

I was taking a look at some of the first few shows scheduled for the Beacon's re-opening.

We got B.B. King & Buddy Guy on 2/21. You can get your tickets HERE. Cost: $140. Last time I saw Buddy Guy at the Beacon was in 2006. Tickets were $60. AND Los Lobos was on the bill. I guess B.B. King is far more legendary than Los Lobos, even 83 years old. And we all know that Buddy Guy puts on an amazing know...when he shows up. So...$140 it is. Seems reasonable.

Also on tap is the Labelle reunion. Could be a great night of entertainment. I loved the reunion CD. I wrote all about it for the Huffington Post. You can check it out for yourself right HERE. That show is on tap for 2/26. Get your tickets HERE. Cost: $154. Last time I saw Labelle was in 1992 and tickets were only $50 and...and it was really only Sarah Dash...singing back-up for Keith Richards. I guess $154 is reasonable for a band that had the biggest selling record of 2008...except they didn't.

Tickets for this year's run of Allman Brothers' shows are $150, that's a $56 jump. Jay Marciano is right. Tickets did NOT go up one dollar. With all respect to the Allman Brothers, who still put on amazing show 40 years after the fact, this all seems so wrong. Rock and roll should not be for the rich, and with the current state of the economy and the painfully high unemployment rate, everyone involved with these shows, including the artists, should be ashamed of themselves.


Anonymous said...

Remember when we bitched and moaned that Bill Graham had raised prices at the Fillmore East 50 cents so that the top tickets rose to $5.50.

We never knew it when we had it so good.

Thank god the price for tickets for most of the acts I still check out in concert top out at about $50 - $60 and I think that's too high.


John Rosenfelder said...

well said sal. the cablevision did the renovation as a way to kick up prices, not to "restore a landmark," let's get real.

my guess is their endgame is to make it into a broadway-type theatre and these ticket prices and renovation are an effort to attract a "wicked" or something similar.

i paid $15 to see the Rolling Stones at MSG in 81. what does that equal in 2008? probably not $1500.

i wish i didn't love the rangers and that building so much. this guy does something every year to make me resent him. i don't even care about the knicks but look what they've done to that team.

charlie c. said...

I have been pissing and moaning about "The Dead" charging $100 a pop for their . . . let's see -- it's not quite a reunion, maybe comeback(?) nope, it's not one of those. Probably a "Our IRA's took Quite a Hit and Stanford Tuition is a LOT More Than We Realized . . ." but how the heck is THAT gonna fit on a $75 tie dye?!?

Fielding said...

Looks like I will be listening on the street at the back door - all that I can afford at this point - although I heard that they are considering making that "standing room" for $29.99. And word is out that if you walk by and happen to hear what is going on inside the venue, they will charge 99 cents per note...

soundsource said...

sal I'm glad you bring this type of crap to light but even with people selling apples on street corners does it really surprise any of us, this bullshit. Maybe he feels his band isn't making enough when they tack themselves onto the bottom of a real band's gig. Can somebody say Douchebag. well one more place where I won't see music anymore. Thank God the Tarrytown music hall or the paramount in Peekskill has an occasional good show.

Meanstreets said...

By going to see " Van the Man ", we are helping the Dolan's pay for Stephon Marbury & Eddie Curry's contracts & sexual harassment claims, a worthy cause, don't you think ???
NYC & S. Austin

Sal Nunziato said...

I'd consider seeing Van for $50. That seems reasonable for a guy who hasn't really shown up to a gig since the Dylan tour.

Meanstreets said...

Van's ticket prices are always extremely high, no matter where he plays.....but there is a question which Van will show up.... the legend that he is with an awesome band or the Van that keeps looking at his watch, wanting to be anywhere except on stage. It's just not worth taking that chance anymore. I'll play one of his cd's of 15 that I own.

Holly Cara Price said...

this is beyond hideous. i guess Dolan hasn't been clued in that we're in a recession. or more likely he just doesn't care; he's all about thinning out the crowds and getting rid of the peons. just grab the people moving into the $4K and up apartments on the UWS. and while you're at, JD, don't forget to gouge more for the drinks and snacks at the concession stand. nice one.

Jaggerfan1 said...

Wait a minute-- The Beacon Theatre is where The Rolling Stones did part of their 2006 A Bigger Bang tour, it's all on that movie Shine a Light. I love that tour. and that's one band i really want to see b4 i die!!!!