In the past year, I have made it part of my daily routine to check Detroit venue websites for updated concert information. Live Nation and Ticketmaster, usually, only list concerts at “their” venues, and TourFilter only lists concerts a month in advance. So I have been relegated to checking each venue seperately, but it is a good way to waste time.
This week, I stumbled upon a listing for a Shawty Lo concert at The Fillmore on May 30th. I then proceeded to vomit in my mouth and tried to hang myself with “Laffy Taffy” when I saw ticket prices were $35 for General Admission, what!?!!?! That is, of course, if you don’t feel inclined to buying $55 Mezzanine seats…GOOD GOD. Oh, and don’t forget the convenience and building fees Ticketmaster slaps you with. Your grand total is now $46 or $67. Not very “convenient” is it?
It just made me think, who does Mr. L-O really think he is? I guess he could get away with that kind of highway robbery in Bankhead, but Detroit? I don’t think so. Its just another example of how backwards the music industry is, specifically, the rap genre. Album sales are horrific (unless your last name is Mathers, Jackson, Carter or West) due to people sick of buying cd’s for only 1 single, and this is the type of thing that will ruin the concert business too.
I mean, that is a lot of money see some “one hit wonder”, scream into a microphone with 50 dudes on stage. Mind you, I wouldn’t pay to see Shawty Lo for $5, but I’ve been to enough rap concerts, some good (DMX and Eminem) and some bad (a riot with No Limit Soliders), to know mainstream rap acts worth seeing in person. Jay-Z, Kanye & The Roots would be more expensive than Shawty Lo, but much more worth it. A)They don’t use “hype men”, B)have good openers (Mary J. Blige, N.E.R.D., Lupe Fiasco), and C)incorporate back-up bands.
It just shows the difference between rap/hip-hop genre and indie/rock music. This is exactly why you hear about small acts selling out venues and rap acts canceling dates. Considering tickets for Cut Copy and the Black Kids at The Magic Stick last week were around $15, for $46 Shawty Lo better play the guitar, do magic tricks and buy out the bar to make it worth it.