Concerts Then & Now

I’ve attended a lot of rock concerts.  My first concert was on June 11, 1977 at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, with 100,000 of my closest friends.  I’ve been to several hundred rock concerts.

Concerts have changed a lot over the years.

Back in the day, concerts were announced on WMMR (93.3) or WYSP (94.1).  I’d listen to John DeBella and Pierre Robert.   Both are still broadcasting, by the way.  Concert tickets were usually $5.50, $4.50 and $3.50, depending on the seat location.

In 1977, I purchased concert tickets at Ticketron.  I did this by standing in line, in advance of the on-sale time, and I waited.  I usually did this in a Wanamakers, or a Gimbels, or a Lit Brothers store.  That’s where Ticketron’s were located.  The Ticketron operator (hopefully) was savvy enough to pull a lot of tickets all at once, so that we (the people in line) received the best tickets.

If a concert sold out, I was usually out of luck.  I didn’t want to go to a concert and deal with scalpers, so I missed a few that I really wanted to attend.

On the day of the concert,   I’d drive up to the venue, and pay a couple of dollars for parking.   I’d attend the concert, leave, and that was it.  I’d tell my friends the next day about it, and I’d wear my concert tour T-shirt.


Now I learn about concerts on the internet, months in advance.  Tickets go onsale in waves, first to exclusive groups (fan club members, certain exclusive credit card holders, and VIPs).  Tickets then go onsale to the general public.

Tickets are at least $100, and may cost as much as $1000 for some “concert experiences”, where you can meet the band, get some souvenirs, and sit in a great location.  Tickets then become available on other websites, like StubHub.  While concerts still sell out, if I want to go to a concert, it is always possible to go, if I’m willing to pay the price.

I can pre-pay for parking at some venues (although Philadelphia doesn’t have this yet).

I usually know what the band will play, because I can follow the tour set lists on  Try it sometime, I like the website a lot.  If there is a band that you like, their setlists are probably posted there.

For some bands, I can purchase a copy of the concert (audio and/or video) in advance of the show, and take it home with me as a souvenir.

And if I’m interested, I can watch video of other shows the band has performed on YouTube, and (this is cool)there is a new app called Periscope.  If the band is performing right now, someone may be broadcasting it live on their smartphone.  Try Periscope- it’s a cool concept that is just catching on.


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