Daryl Hall and John Oates. (Photograph by Gary Harris, Creative Commons.)
I enjoy music as much as the next guy, but I cannot justify the cost of a ticket to see most of the artists out on the concert circuit every year. Just this past weekend, Hall and Oates appeared on the CBS show Sunday Morning. When I was younger, and they were in their heyday, their songs were very popular. At the time, I never really knew one music group from another, I just listened to the music on the radio. And it sounded awesome.
Now that there seems to be a resurrection of many singers and bands from the 70s and 80s, they’re all headed out on concert tours, bringing back the memories associated with the music of that time. Great times at college, terrific relationships that the songs remind us of, and then there are the memories of relationships you thought would last a lifetime, but in fact drove us into a funk. Some of us look back and can’t believe how we let the end of a romance send us into such a tailspin. But for the most part, our favorite music reflected great times.
So, back to Hall and Oates. They’ve set out on tour this year with Tears for Fears. Tears for Fears, I thought, I vaguely remember hearing that name. With that, I headed to YouTube to catch a listen. As usual, I reacted as I do to so many music groups, “Oh them.” Yes, those were great songs they kept writing during the time. So with that, I texted my wife and asked her if they’re two groups we should pony up some cash to see live.
She liked both groups, so we checked out the venue, in this case TD Garden in Boston. As it turned out nosebleed seats were $75, while tickets down on the floor in front of the stage were $225. And of course, there were additional fees on top of that price. My wife and I enjoy music, but there’s a lot we could do with a sum of money like that.
In the days of vinyl records, we had to buy an entire album of music, even if we were only interested in half the songs. Or worse still, the groups would have three new songs you really wanted to hear, while the rest of the album had songs you already had on their last album. But today, we can browse through iTunes, seeing each song’s popularity, listen to a snippet and buy only what you wanted to put in your library. The price of 99 cents to $1.50 for each song can’t be beat.
On top of the cost of attending a concert, there’s the admission throughout the music industry that a fair amount of lip-syncing goes on up on the stage during the concerts. And of course, the artists’ voices don’t carry a note when they’re 70 years old as they did in their 20s, so inevitably backup singers hit the notes the main attraction has but a memory of reaching.
I’ve never been a big fan of listening to an entire album of one artist at a time, and there are a lot of songs from different albums that bring the memories of great times from the past. Summer is almost here, the shuffle button on my iPod is up and running, and my credit card sits unused in my wallet. Let the memories begin!