Thursday, 21 March 2013

Hiding on the Backseats...

After the dust settled on another fantastic concert in Sydney I've been left weighing up the question of whether Springsteen's shows are worth it when you don't have standing tickets.

As the General Admission tickets for all the dates are limited and require something of a military operation and/or a bit of luck to secure, most people going to see their musical heroes in Australia for the first time in a decade will be seated.

The second Sydney show was the first where I was unable to grab general admission, so after three great shows up against the barrier, or no more than three rows of people away from Springsteen, I was in the middle of the floor seats - B Reserve, section D.
First of all, the way the arena was laid out, the view was near perfect.

OK, so for the first time I couldn't reach out in a bid to strum Springsteen's guitar during Born To Run, but I could see everything - the whole band, stage, and light effects - brilliantly.
The arena seats raised as they are, it's hard to miss anything, unless you're unfortunately one of those short people that always gets stuck behind a 6ft 2" guy like me.

(Check out what the view was like from the panoramic view from Wednesday night.)

The sound too, is fantastic - Sydney's Allphones Arena has so far done the job it's there to do superbly.
However, the first noticeable downside to the seated area is essentially, all the people you're sat next to.
Everyone there is obviously a fan and wants to get the best possible experience, but sometimes you can end up in a crowd that just doesn't feel like it's getting into the party spirit.
At times during Sydney 2, I was looking around at my close neighbours wondering why they were so firmly rooted in their seats, while up in the stands people were up on their feet, punching the air and raising their hands just like they were in the pit.

But on the floor seats, any attempt by someone like me to do just that was met with shouts to sit down - and at least twice, a thrown drink in the direction of me and my girlfriend from some fuckshit whose aim is as bad as his attitude.
As I could see fine sitting down, all it would have taken was a polite request from someone behind to sit so they could see. (That's the spirit of E Street brother and sisterhood that people can experience in the pit, if they're polite enough and don't try and ruin the view from someone who was there before them.)

But it took Springsteen himself to get everyone off their ass midway through the show before the floor seats guests started to really enjoy the action.
By this time, myself and a few others had moved to the side rail where we were allowed to stand up without any hassle.

And I should at this point make it clear - especially for all those people who think it's fine to throw shit and people standing up - that it clearly says on the website when you buy your ticket that customers who purchase seated tickets, will be able to stand during the performance.
The main rule overall for anyone who has a seated ticket to the remaining shows on the tour is essentially stating the obvious.
Once you've been in the pit for a Springsteen show, being restricted to a seated position probably won't cut it for you.

But if you're heading to your first show, or you've never been in the pit and don't like the idea of being covered in sweat and occasionally pushed around during a Springsteen crowd surf, then rest assured, the seats offer both a great view, great sound and - once everyone gets in the spirit of the night - a great experience.
For me however, after three shows so close to the action, I was reluctantly looking forward to the first two Melbourne shows where I was in the upper reaches of the crowd and planning to write about the experience from there.
At least, I was until a shopping trip in Sydney with Miss #WreckingBallBlog saw me stood next to a Ticketek booth while she looked at shoes, and I quickly checked the vendors mobile app to see if any last minute GA were available.

Somehow extra standing tickets had been released this morning and I'm now planning to stand in the throng of the crowd for the remaining dates of the tour.
An amazing result which means I will no longer be heading to the upper tier seats at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena to see how the show looks from there on Sunday and Tuesday.

(However, those single seats are now available, so if someone feels like sitting up there for me and letting me know how it goes, the tickets are available.)