13 Artists We'd Pay More Than $50 to See

Ulysses S. GrantIt pains us here at GLONO to see how rock and roll has become a product of the aristocracy. Skyrocketing tickets prices have driven most young people and low-wage earners right out of the market, leaving stadiums filled with the only people who can afford to pay hundreds of dollars for 90 minutes of fun. The result is more luxury boxes and Golden Circles populated by designer jean wearing sales reps and retirees with disposable income and a bad Just for Men habit.

So, many of us at HQ have a $50 rule. We’d love to tell you that it’s a protest of the above, but it’s also a product of simply not being able to justify the expense. There is an elite group of artists for whom we would break the $50 rule.

See the the list after the jump…


GLONO’s 13 Artists We’d Pay More Than $50 to See

1. The Smiths

2. Uncle Tupelo

3. Stone Roses

4. Neutral Milk Hotel

5. The Modern Lovers (with all 4 original members)

6. Tom Waits

7. Weezer (with Matt Sharp)

8. Wilco (with Jay Bennett, Ken Coomer, and Bob Egan)

9. Rolling Stones (at the Double Door)

10. Leonard Cohen

11. A Full Leppotone Family Reunion (Sleestacks, King Tammy, Twister, The Sinatras, et al.)

*Includes travel and accommodation costs—these guys reunite for $6 shows like every three years.

12. The The (with Johnny Marr)

13. ABBA

Do you have an upper limit on ticket prices? Who would you break it to see? What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a ticket? Was it worth it?

13 thoughts on “13 Artists We'd Pay More Than $50 to See”

  1. i have a short list as i have already paid well over $600 to see an act play. here’s the list:

    1. r.e.m. (with bill berry)

    2. radiohead*

    3. the sundays*

    4. the innocence mission (with original drummer. preferably 89-92 era)*

    5. u2*

    6. billy bragg*

    7. the cure*

    8. blake babies*

    9. juliana hatfield*

    10. the pixies*

    11. liz phair*

    *these are acts i have never seen, but would love to see before i pass.

  2. For me, the venue is a key factor – e.g., I’d pay big bucks to see Leonard Cohen in a theatre, but not in a hockey arena.

  3. I’m only 5’6″ so if I can’t get right up to the stage, anything over $15 is pretty much worthless to me. Tom Waits is possibly the only one on the list that I’d shell out $50 to see.

  4. Agree w/ Dreamin’s caveat: For Leonard Cohen, I would pay more than $50 for good seats in a theater, but not in some pavillion where he’s either a dot or a picture on the jumbotron. The problem is not just price for some of the bigger acts I would love to see, but that even after shelling out $100 for tickets I’m stuck on the lawn with a bunch of stinky hippies and the stage is a mile away.

    I would pay more than $50 to see Morrissey. Definitely for a full Smiths’ reunion. Other than that, I don’t know: My Bloody Valentine maybe?

  5. without any hesitation, the replacements. it would be best to have paul, tommy and chris together. though, i’ll take any drummer if they can’t get chris to come back. i really just want to see paul and tommy together on stage again.

    other than that, i would go with a g-n-r reunion with key members izzy, slash, duff, and axl. a smiths reunion. fIREHOSE kicking it out econo. and a full show by ALL fronted by scot reynolds (went to riotfest in 2008 and their set was cut short).

  6. Well, I agree with Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, and maybe The Modern Lovers (although I love Jonathon Richman solo and might consider spending over 50 bucks to see him in the right venue).

    The Replacements I would pay *any* price to see, but only if they brought Bob back to life. The Mats without him are like the Beatles w/out Lennon.

    Zombie Bob Stinson would be cooler than a werewolf drag racer.

    Along the same line, I’d pony up to see either a Husker Du (or Sugar) reunion.

  7. Shecky,

    Get ready to kick yourself. Jake and I (with lovely ladies in tow) saw Jonathan at the OLD Intersection in Eastown with maybe 40 other people. At the end of the night we all realized our faces hurt because we’d been smiling the entire time.

  8. 1. Radiohead

    2. Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds

    3. Broken Social Scene

    4. Weezer (w/ Matt Sharp)

    5. Sublime (w/ Bradley Nowell, though impossible)

    6. Nujabes (because he never comes to America :-( sigh)

    7. Public Enemy

    8. Sigur Ros

    9. TV On The Radio

    10. Black Star

  9. Hmmm, I had no idea how cheap I was until I read this thread. There aren’t many artists I’d pay $50 to see, but:

    1. Television

    2. Hüsker Dü

    3. Richard AND Linda Thompson

    4. X(w/Billy Zoom)/Blasters double-bill

  10. 1. U2

    2. Heart

    3. Kingdom Come

    4. Liz Phair

    5. The Overtones

    6. The Choir

    7. The Hard Lessons

    8. The Cult

    9. Metal Church

  11. I agree. I passed on Neil in a nice (but big) theater last year because of the price. And I think I’ve only seen him in concert once.

    Over the last year I’ve paid €60 to see a John Zorn-curated tribute to Serge Gainsbourg with Cyro Baptista and his Banquet of the Spirits, Elysian Fields, Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog with Eszter Balint, and Sean Lennon (who might as well have stayed home). Zorn came on to direct the last song. I felt I got my money’s worth.

    €70 for Tom Waits in a good theater but in the rafters. Still worth it.

    €50 for Nick Cave. Was on the floor in a nice theater (they took the seats out). One of the best of my year.

    I’ll have to pay a lot of money if and when Al Green comes back to Paris, but I will go, and be happy I did.

    I’ve paid around that mark for Dylan several times, and have been only disappointed once when the venue was too large. My quip was that it looked like a good concert; too bad I wasn’t there.

    Best value money recently: Soul Rebels (NOLA brass band) for €14 (plus Galactic). Of course, you can see them for free in their hometown, but that’s another issue.

    On my Paris concert column, I try to avoid listing big-ticket shows, but last time there were a few that I thought would be worth the money. I ended up not going myself, but it wasn’t cuz of the money – I have other things to do besides go to concerts!

  12. “with maybe 40 other people”

    I remember there being a max of, like, 12 other people (including bar staff). My memory tends to exaggerate though…

    Another great, under-attended show at the old Intersection: Maureen Tucker (with Sterling Morrison in her band) some time in the early 90s around the release of her I Spent a Week There the Other Night album. I remember thinking, Dude, this is HALF of the Velvet Underground and less than 100 people show up???

    Good old G-Rap.

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