Sunday, May 11, 2008

Smells from Verizon

If the wind blew just right on Friday night at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, chances were you were getting a secondhand high off of all the marijuana smoke wafting through the air.


The first fumes hit me in the parking lot and I was officially introduced to my first Radiohead concert.

Overheard on the lawn: "This is a different crowd than the James Taylor concert, huh?"

Not a huge fan of the band, but I can appreciate what they do and they put on a great show for their diehard followers. I just wish they had the big screens on for the audience on the lawn. I think they missed a big portion of the show by watching what looked like ants all night. Read a full review of the concert here.

For all the horror stories about Verizon (e.g. traffic is atrocious, parking even worse, etc.), I have to say my first experience at the outdoor venue was pretty painless.

Traffic was as you would expect it driving up 85 at rush hour. Once off the highway, it didn't take too long to be directed to a parking lot (E, which was surprisingly close). But I guess timing is everything. My friends and I left uptown Charlotte at 6:15 for the 7:30 concert and got settled right before the opening band Liars (they sounded like Blue Man Group, but without the makeup) came on.

My complaints didn't have anything to do with the traffic, but with the concessions. I didn't think anyone charged more than Time Warner Cable Arena for a beer, but I was wrong. One draft beer = $9 at Verizon, or $8 for a bottle. Compare that to the (slightly bigger) beer at TWC Arena at $7.25.

Note to Verizon: Most of us are already burning extra gas to get there, so why gouge us even more?

I'm also that person who never has cash on me, so I was annoyed to hear the concessions stands don't accept credit/debit cards. Um, it's 2008. Haven't you seen enough Visa Check Card commercials by now? Get with it.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Going to a concert these days is ridiculous. To get tickets you have to pay for the ticket, then the processing fee, the facility fee and the convenince fee, then parking, the the $9 draft beer, etc. I saw Kid Rock last week and they didn't have the video screens on either. I emailed them complaining and they said it was up to the band. BS I'm paying all those fee's I should be able to see the band via video. The pot smoke was the one good thing cause for a few moments I was able to forget how much money Verizon had robbed me of. It will be a long time before I ever go see a show there again.

pothead said...

oh right, nobody smokes pot at a James Taylor concert.

Anonymous said...

There's better music in a more intimate setting being put on at the Visulite Theatre and Neighborhood Theatre almost every day. There, you likely won't pay more than $7-$25 to get in, and they'll sell you a beer for $2-$4. (And take a card.) Why pack into those massive outdoor ampitheatres for the equivalent of listening to the CD when you can see and hear amazing shows up close at those two venues?

Anonymous said...

Nobody likes a NARC!
Stop Snitchin!

Anonymous said...

I still don't comprehend how Verizon and other arenas can charge "parking" fees when not everyone who purchases a ticket needs parking. I wish someone would file a class-action lawsuit against Verizon regarding these outrageous fees.

Anonymous said...

oh i agree about visualite and neighborhood theater. the next two entertainers i plan to see are both at neighborhood. i dont plan on going to verizon anymore. our fee's are making someone very rich and i'm tired of going broke to make others rich.

Anonymous said...

JT was a hardcore heroin addict for over a decade.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on the parking fees being built in. I was laughing on the way home when one local DJ was telling people to carpool. Heck no! If they are gonna charge you a parking fee take your freakin' car! Once they get so over run with cars maybe they will change their tune. Hubby and I live within walking distance, but have said the next time we go to a concert there we are gonna each take a car since we already paid for parking. Heck, we can just walk home and leave our cars there overnight.

Anonymous said...

stop bitching and start staying at home - no sense in giving them your money THEN complaining for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Wowza. Well not liking Radiohead is about what I expected having read your other posts. As for the beer prices, ever been to Time Warner Arena, or any other stadium or concert venue in the entire country that has a corporate sponser? Obviously not because that's unfortunately how much beer costs everywhere. And not to be mean but, I hope one of my massive green exhales tagged ya on the lawn. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Radiohead = phenom.

As for the beer prices, I think that Verizon is shooting themselves in the foot. At $9 a pop you're basically begging people to smuggle booze (and other contraband) into the ampitheater.

Mike said...

Verizon is a total rip off!! With discretionary spending getting eaten up with higher food/energy cost, going to a concert and paying these exorbitant prices will end for many, including me.

Anonymous said...

I paid an $18 PER ticket service charge for Dave Matthews Band. $7 of that is for parking...for each person. I agree with the person who said everyone should drive. There shouldn't be too many drunks on the road since with the gas prices, high ticket prices & the outrageous beer prices who can afford to drink!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Sarah I went to see James Taylor and got lucky and got first chair row; I coulf see James Taylors deep blues from where I was. I was shocked and floored at the price of water ; A bottle of water would have been cheaper in HELL thasn Verizon. Now I am going to my fifth Tim Mcgraw consert friday. I am afraid that the traffic getting there will be backed up. Im thinking about getting a motel near by early in the day. I was in Laffeyette when someone stole his ring and some other women grabbed him in the baby maker. Funny thing was when we came home the national news covered it. Faith Hill was cussing that lady out on stage. I want to hang up a sign and ask if he got his ring back.

Anonymous said...

I wish acapluco gold would come back I heard the Feds have the seeds stored in a secret bunker refrigerated and waiting for the planting

Anonymous said...

If they are going to charge for parking they should pave the parking lot.