The number 56 did not pop into my head as I watched Passion Pit perform its single “Take A Walk” on “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend. 99 did, as in 99-cent tacos at Taco Bell. The band’s tepid performance of the song did nothing to make me forget the commercial that has made it oddly ubiquitous.
My friends who have seen Passion Pit live speak in hyperbole about their show. I do not doubt these people nor do I doubt the the band’s ability to whip up a dance frenzy.
Are they worth $56 though?
Ah, there’s that number.
Passion Pit’s Madison Square Garden show costs $56 when $13 worth of fees are factored in.
Yes, the venue is iconic and the band’s profile is among the highest of any “indie” band. (Note: Passion Pit is on a major label.)
That still doesn’t explain why their tickets cost as much as Giants or Jets tickets. This feels like a Madison Square Gouging to me. Even so I am confident the show will sell out in less than a day. This is New York.
Passion Pit will play 90 minutes. Opening act Matt & Kim will play an hour. I’d bet on both being great.
Maybe I am overvaluing $56. Maybe I am undervaluing two and a half hours of stellar, sweat-inducing live music.
The going rate for a mid-sized venue show is $30 and above in New York City. That’s about the same or slightly higher than venues I’ve been to in Portland, New Orleans, and Austin.
For a live music lover like myself it raises tough questions.
The Walkmen, an arresting live act free of bells and whistles, are playing Terminal 5 tonight. I’d love to see them but don’t want to spend $35 plus fees. That’s a value judgment.
I don’t believe these increased ticket prices are hurting bands. After all shows in NYC sell out quicker than anywhere I’ve lived. But I miss the days when seeing an up and coming band did not mean paying an established band’s ticket prices.