Thursday, April 30, 2009

Amateur Night

Before last night's concert at Arizona Stadium, the home of the Wildcat football team hadn't hosted a rock show since Fleetwood Mac in 1977. Now we know why.

My contention is that Tucson just isn't an stadium-rock town. Phoenix, yeah. But Tucson?

The Associate Students of the University of Arizona, try as they might, tried to gin up excitement for this show featuring Jay-Z, Kelly Clarkson, The Veronicas, and Third Eye Blind. Early Birds got the pleasure of seeing a local act: Ryanhood. But ticket sales sagged so much that those in the cheap seats pulled the baseball-game trick of sliding up closer to the stage, which security permitted until Jay-Z took the stage. Photos from KOLD News 13's Paul Durrant show an excited yet thin crowd.

They got a show and ASUA got a learning experience, with a few solid rules to put in the notebook:
  • You can't charge hundreds of dollars for seats in a lousy economy, especially when the U of A is whopping your potential customers for more money in tuition, fees, and whatever surcharge they can get.

  • Smorgasboards work better for salad bars than concerts. A number of commenters on StarNet point out rap and rock audiences are not one in the same. Mashing up Kelly Clarkson, Jay-Z, and the Veronicas was like serving guacamole with baloney.

  • Where was the marketing outside the University? When a show comes to Desert Diamond Casino or AVA at Casino Del Sol, it's all over billboards and TV. Granted, the ASUA likely has a meager publicity budget, but even Charo's concert got more ads than this show.
At least a couple of people say Fleetwood Mac could've packed the stadium... again.

UPDATE: That concert lost more than $900,000, according to the Arizona Daily Star, and now the UA Bookstores will have to bail out ASUA. Looks like the organizers could work for the banking industry (rim shot).

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