Madonna & Shania: A tale of two ticket purchases

rht-fbYesterday was the day that I dread most every time Madonna decides to tour – the day of the presale. It’s not that I won’t get tickets – that’s pretty much a guarantee since for your $20 to ICON, you get to order so much earlier than everyone else. Mostly, it’s a matter of how much money you want to spend, are you going to get the seats that you want and just how much are you going to have to sell your body in order to pay for the experience.

As I’m so fond of saying, being in Madonna’s Golden Snatch Triangle for the MDNA Tour was a once in a lifetime experience, but it has really ruined me on arena shows forever. Now, wherever I sit, it’s too far away. Jeff (my long-suffering Madonna partner-in-crime) and I had decided that we were going to try for floor seats this time because it’d be like being in the pit, but with chairs, not that we’d be sitting. His girlfriend Caryle was even going to take one for the team and agreed to floor seats even though she is shorter than Jeff and me so it might be harder for her to see.  As she put it, she “deferred to the true Madonna fans.” My friend Steve was trying to subtly steer me away from floor seats as it is a madhouse down there with crazy fans in costumes and pushing and shoving. I was not so easily dissuaded.

The added wrinkle this year was I was working the night shift on March 9th into the 10th, so I would have to stay awake until the tickets went on sale at 10AM on the 10th. This didn’t seem like it would be that hard but I seriously underestimated the tired. It got to be 9:30AM and I really didn’t think I was going to make it. But once 10AM rolled around, I put in my presale code and we were off to the races. The first weird thing I noticed is that everything was a VIP package. It wasn’t like that the last time, but whatever. The VIP fan package was the lowest level I could get, and sadly, it didn’t have the option for floor seats, only lower bowl and above. I tried the second level up – the VIP Tour Package – and sure enough, it had floor seats, but holy wow, they were prohibitively expensive, like $503 each expensive. We’d discussed floor seats but we never agreed to that price, so after toying with it briefly, I decided no, we’ll just stick to the lower bowl. I got almost all the way through the purchase process and then bailed, trying to get better seats.  For a heart-stopping moment, when I went back in to try again, my presale code didn’t work and I thought I was going to be stuck getting $503 tickets as the VIP fan package was locked to me. Eventually, it unlocked itself and all was fine. I bought the tickets – which at $278 were cheaper than our non-Golden Triangle MDNA tickets by about $100 each and the seats were about as good. It was no Drowned World tour “nothing above us but ceiling” that’s for damn sure.

Later that day, I went back in just to see how things were going and, lo and behold, there was the Icon Live Pass sale, which DID include floor seats. They were still prohibitively expensive at $393, but that was something we’d been prepared to pay. As it turns out, the VIP packages come with a bunch of complimentary stuff, commemorative tickets, a free piece of merchandise exclusive to VIP members, a Madonna gift bag, the whole nine yards. So our tickets are a little more expensive but we’re getting the VIP treatment – or at least the lowest level of it. No, we do not get to meet Madonna. Jeff and I are a little afraid to meet Madonna because we’re afraid she’ll be bitchy to us. Yet, a part of us secretly hopes she would be. It was definitely the most nerve-wracking, anxiety-inducing purchase of Madonna concert tickets that I have ever had. Being addled by lack of sleep did not help in the slightest.

But wait…there’s more!

11026185_10152856752552655_8095660770752374568_nAbout a week back, I posted on Facebook that if I were not going to Madonna’s show, I would totally love to go see Shania Twain when her Rock This  Country Tour makes a stop in Des Moines on August 6th. I am not a massive Shania Twain fan by any stretch of the imagination, but my friend Jared tipped me off to her live CD recording of her Las Vegas show and I have to say, I was pretty impressed. Those who know me well know that I have a soft spot for 90s country – probably because it was about as close to pop as country has ever come – and Shania is practically the definition of late 90s country-pop. At the time, I admit to being kind of Twain-weary, but when I was listening to the songs of hers that I have in my iTunes library, I was surprised at how well they have aged – especially “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” from 2002’s Up! which is currently in heavy rotation on my iPod. Heidi was encouraging me to go anyway, but I kind of poo-poo’d it, saying I’d rather go to Belinda Carlisle at Des Moines Pride in June (YES STOP THE PRESSES BELINDA WILL BE IN DES MOINES.)

I slept fitfully after buying those Madonna tickets, mostly because I was nervous that I had screwed up and we could have gotten floor seats if I had just been more patient, but seriously, the option for the ICON Live Pass presale did not show up, even at 10:30AM so I thought the VIP packages were my only options. Heidi woke me up at about 4:30PM with the words “I just did something really stupid” delivered into her hands which were covering her face. Uh-oh. This is gonna be good, I thought.

As it turns out, she was bound and determined to send me to Shania Twain come hell or high water. When she said that, I said “yeah, tickets go on sale Friday.” She did not know this. I need to preface the rest of this with the information that Heidi is not a live music type of person and doesn’t have nearly the experience ordering concert tickets that I do. So when she went online looking for them, she ended up at a secondary market seller. She got two tickets, but sadly, ended up paying about twice the face value, all before tickets officially go on sale tomorrow. They were fan pre-sale tickets, so they are legit, but she ended up spending a lot more than she really needed to.  They are not horrible seats but they aren’t rock star either. But remember, this is Shania Twain and not Madonna. I sat in the nosebleeds for Fleetwood Mac and had a perfectly wonderful time. Anna and I will be in the nosebleeds for Taylor Swift and guarantee we will have a good time. Fortunately, it’s not like she spent multiple hundreds of dollars, so as expensive errors go, this one is not going to tip us into financial insolvency.  Her heart was in the right place, she just needs to learn the difference between the primary and secondary markets for concert tickets.

But wait…there’s even more.

After she told me this, I picked up my phone and there was a text from my Mom saying that she saw my post on Facebook about wanting to go to Shania Twain and that they were in for up to 5 tickets. I told Heidi this and it just made her feel worse (not my intention.)  So now we had an offer on the table from my mom and dad to pay for us to go to the Shania Twain, plus we had two tickets that were purchased for over their face value. What were we to do?

I called my folks tonight and we decided that I would keep the tickets Heidi got and that Anna and I would go. Like I said, Heidi’s not really an arena show type of girl, although she did make an exception for Cher because she’s MF-ing CHER. Anna doesn’t know any Shania Twain songs but I figure if I start with “Any Man of Mine” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” she’ll be hooked. Plus we like going to concerts together. My mom and dad will buy tickets of their own, take us out to dinner before the show and we’ll just not sit together at the show. No big whoop.

I will admit that a part of me is nervous that I’ll get to the show and it’ll be like our friend Abby when she got tickets to Glee! Live in New York off of Craigslist and when they got to Radio City Music Hall, she was informed that the tickets were fake. I think the chances of that happening are remote at best, but you know me and worst case scenarios.

So there you have it. Two concert ticket purchases in a single day. I’m up to 5 live shows this year -Fleetwood Mac, Belinda Carlisle, Shania, Madonna, and Taylor Swift. Would you like to go for 6? We’ll just keep Heidi away from purchasing the tickets. (Love you honey!!)

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