Friday, March 13, 2009

Second Thoughts...

While Syracuse and UCONN rocked the sports world with their epic six overtime clash, right around the corner from my apartment, a much smaller number of attendees were rocked in a much different way.

Yesterday, Fat Jon informed me via text message of an internet rumor that Trey Anastasio and Paige McConnell from Phish might be joining the Allmans on stage at the Beacon Theater that night (part of their 40th Anniversary Run). I took this pretty seriously because Trey lives on the Upper West Side and I've had the chance to chat with him before at a street fair (extremely cool). Phish had just wrapped up Hampton and it seemed to make sense.

If you have been reading this site carefully, you could have probably guessed that this was right up my alley.

I left work and walked right over to the Theater and check out the ticket scene. It was about 7:00 and the show didn't start 'til 8, but there were far fewer scalpers out front than usual. Since Fairway is right across the street, on my way to get groceries, I'll get caught in the crossfire if there is a show that night. As a result, I've got a pretty good feel for the atmosphere despite not going to all that many shows there.

The mix of scalpers outside of the Beacon is always a treat. There are the stereotypical skeevy-looking, quasi-homeless fat old white dudes with tattered jackets on. You could pick these creepers out of a scalper line up in a heartbeat. They tend to cluster towards the corner of 75th and Broadway, while the black dudes stay closer to 74th. They are the characters. They also look about one bender from being a full blown vagrant, but unlike the standoffish white guys, they are more friendly and engaging.

Within 12 seconds of walking up alongside Beacon Wine & Spirits, one of the guys was grumbled, "Do you need any BUD maaaaaaan?". Yes. This is how I would like to acquire some drugs. Right on a crowded street corner in Manhattan. Don't worry, there aren't six cops within 50 feet of us. All set in that department, champ. Do you have any tickets?

He directed to a bearded gentleman in a camouflage coat with the hood up who informed me that he had one ticket in the Orchestra, Row 9, for $175. I didn't even bother to bargain with him since it was so far out of my price range. I scoured around for a little while longer to no avail, and went back to my apartment to regroup.

I re-emerged at 7:30, hit the ATM and decided I would be willing to push my budget to about $100 or so to adjust to the sellers market I detected. When I got back, it was even worse. The buyer to seller ratio was roughly 50:0. No joke. I walked around until 8:15 and did not see one ticket change hands, at any price.

I was pretty disappointed, but just headed over to Fairway and picked up two crab cakes and a sirloin that was sliced off the ol' block 10 seconds before my boy Ralph the butcher bagged it for me. It was a decent consolation prize.

I checked the setlist after the 'Cuse game and indeed, Trey and Paige showed up (along with Buddy Guy).

Set 1
Little Martha
Trouble No More
Leave My Blues at Home
Who’s Been Talking (old Howling Wolf Song)
Black Hearted Woman
You Can’t Lose What You Never Had
The Sky Is Crying (with Buddy Guy)
You Don’t Love Me (with Buddy Guy)
Southbound (Buddy Guy/Page/Trey)

Set 2
I Know You Rider (w/Trey & Page)
In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (w/Trey & Page)
Dreams
Jessica

Encore
Statesboro Blues (extended version)
Here is an awesome review of the show (where I pulled the pics from).

$175 for 9th row seats doesn't seem like that bad of an investment anymore. This post would have been roughly 2000 times better. There is an unoffical guest list floating around that details who is going to be playing with them at the Beacon, and so far it has been pretty close. Boz Scaggs is up tonight (Loan Me A Dime?) and Clapton is playing on the 19th & 20th (Mean Old World?).

Well, since I probably won't be able to get tickets to any of those without falling into a never ending spiral of credit card debt, I think I'm going to have to settle for Moogis. For $125, you can watch every one of the shows live or on demand. It's not just confined to the Beacon run, you can watch performances from 2007 at Piedmont Park. They claim to be adding more shows as well.

Who wants to have a simulcast party???

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