I fully admit to not having a very pleasant start to the week. I won't go into details other than to disclose that I slept very little on Monday night and should have never left the house yesterday.
But I did.
I had a ticket for Neil Young & Crazy Horse with opener Patti Smith that I had been excited about up until the day of the show. As I said, I blame the circumstances, but what took place at Madison Square Garden last night may have been just as horrible on 8 hours sleep.
With the ongoing discussion about bad concert experiences taking place over at Burning Love?, this seems fitting.
Have any of you been to the refurbished MSG? It's as odious as its CEO James Dolan. It's like being at some giant mall, where everything is for sale for two and three times more than it should be. Seats that sit along the hallways between the Lobster Roll Stand and the men's room, that would probably be considered barstools in most major and minor cities, have little numbers on their backs. Yes, that's right. They are being sold as seats to the event which is taking place "inside" the arena about 200 yards away. At every turn, there is a food item, beer stand (one Heineken- $11), merch table, VIP area and security guard.
When I got to my $98 seat, which on the MSG map looks damn good, I was surprised to find a computer screen in front of every seat in the first row of my section. In the third row of my section, which is where I was seated, nothing...except for two giant monitors and a giant video screen obstructing my view. So for my $98, I got to see the legs of the entertainment. I use the term "entertainment" loosely, as the opener for the opener, was that horrible fucking smug band from the Corona Beer Commercial.
That's right. These douchebags.
They got 20 minutes and then Patti Smith's legs and her band's legs took the stage and launched into "Dancing Barefoot." By the third song, a blistering "Beneath The Southern Cross," dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, my section and the section to the left of me decided they couldn't care less about Patti, and trust me on this, began talking and texting and standing as if no one was on stage. Some pimply-faced teenager with a voice like Bobby Brady seated directly to my right, started pontificating to his hippy mother that Patti Smith was "punk before punk, and really has no talent. Like, this should not be considered music at all." Then, he knocked his big gulp over onto my boots.
With that, I scrambled through the iPhones and beerbellies, and with each step I took sticking to the floor thanks to the corn derived sweetener my shoes were soaking in, beelined it for the subway during "Gloria," not really giving a shit about seeing Neil Young's legs anymore, and mostly wishing I never left my house.
I have some friends who will read this and say, "This is why I don't go to big shows anymore." I understand. It's like sitting across from a guy picking his nose on the subway like he was digging for gold, or next to a drunk woman screaming expletives at her significant other into her bluetooth, as I did for my ride home. I could have just gotten up and moved to another car. But that is hardly the point.