Lots of Energy (and Price Gouging) at David Byrne Concert in Blue Hills Bank Pavilion Boston

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What is it with concerts these days and price gouging?

A month ago, I wrote about my experience at the Xfinity Center. (Read it here: https://www.rirelevant.com/lifestyle/great-woods-dead-gone-review-steel-dan-show/)

TLDR: Basically, the show was OK, but the wait to get inside was a pain, the wait for the men’s bathroom was unconscionable, and the concession prices were ridiculous.

Well, this week I, along with my friend Chris, decided to try our luck at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, located right on the Boston Seaport.

David Byrne, the former lead singer of the Talking Heads, who rose to prominence in the eighties, was playing. I’d always been a fan of his voice and hit songs, so it figured to be a nice way to spend a midsummer night’s evening.

Well, Byrne didn’t disappoint. He brought an amazing level of energy to the show for a 66-year-old dude. I know 30 somethings that would have trouble keeping up with him. (Yes, me.)

There was one concert goer who had every bit as much energy as Byrne. I had to get a few videos. So I did. I enjoyed watching this person break it down.

High Energy Byrne

Byrne played all of his and the Talking Heads hits, including “Once In A Lifetime”, “Burning Down The House”, “This Must Be The Place”, among others that pop or rock music fans would be familiar with.

It was interesting to see a concert that featured more than 10 people on stage at all times, always in motion, and still playing a show that was completely authentic. I’d never seen a show without a stationary drummer. This was possible because there were about 5 people each playing a single drum.

The stage curtains, which were bright, made photography very difficult.

That’s pretty weird. It’s also pretty cool–just like David Byrne.

All The Bullshit

But if there’s one thing concert goers know it’s that going to a show isn’t just about going to a show. At least not any more.

In the old days, the question was simply “was it a good performance?” Now, the question is more “was it such a good performance that it negated all the other bullshit that you had to put up with to see it?”

That’s debatable.

Boston’s Seaport District is home to very little parking. There were about one or two lots where we could park. This is, in large part, due to the fact that there’s so much construction taking place around there.

That means we had to fork over $38 to park. That didn’t leave me feeling warm and fuzzy.

Entering the pavilion wasn’t much of an issue. There wasn’t a long line. But that’s mostly due to the fact that we arrived early. So that was cool. Imagine the fact that it wasn’t too much of a hassle to pass through a security line counts as a major positive in 2018?

And then there’s the concession prices. I thought the Xfinity Center was the biggest culprit of overcharging concert goers. But lo and behold, the Blue Hills Pavilion gives them a run for their money, (and makes a run for yours).

Concert goers need to bring lots and lots of money if they want to enjoy a libation during the show. It’s borderline sickening.

Venues Are Always Ripping Off Customers

Imagine the nerve they have to charge $16 for a large “Ultra Premium Draft?” Is that kind of like “double secret probation?”

Take heart, however, since a “Premium Draft” costs just $14.50.

Maybe you’d like some chicken fingers? That’s going to set you back $12. The great deal is a hot dog, which rings in at $6. But if you want chili on that dog, the price goes up to $9.50.

Who doesn’t mind paying $12 for chicken fingers. Anyone with their sanity intact, basically.

What a rip off.

Unlike the concert at the Xfinity Center, I was forced to go to the wallet. That’s because I was dehydrated. I bought a water. It cost me $3.50. How is this not illegal?

How good would a pizza need to be to be worth paying $36 for?

All things considered, it was a beautiful night to be outside. And David Byrne was/is awesome.

So it was a pleasant evening. Too bad these venues feel the need to rip off their customers with ridiculous concession prices. It really disincentivizes people from going.

Russell Moore
Russell J. Moore is the publisher and founder of rirelevant.com. He’s been writing about Rhode Island since 2005. You should definitely follow him on twitter @russmoore713. If you want to send him email, you can send it to russmoore713@gmail.com
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