Folsom: Lucky Dip with the Rolling Stones | Opinion


I am doing something difficult for a journalist – to share information that has been personally beneficial to me for the sake of my readers.

Over the past two years, I have spent less than $ 200 in total buying tickets to two Rolling Stones concerts that would have cost the general public over $ 1,000.

It’s called the Lucky Dip, and from what I’ve seen it’s the best value for money when it comes to entertainment.

Lucky Dip tickets go on sale at the time of the main sale like other Stones tickets. But these only have a face value of around $ 29. (The exact number changes depending on the tour, but it’s usually less than $ 30 each.) Of course, Ticketmaster takes its cost, so it costs around $ 80 for two tickets.

The cheapest you’ll find for regular Rolling Stones tickets is around $ 70 each, and that’s for nosebleed seats in a stadium. With Lucky Dip tickets you might end up in nosebleeds (I’ve seen posts from people saying they ended up in seats where it’s hard to hear or even see the show), but you could also find yourself in the pit in front of the stage.

Another thing about Lucky Dip is that you don’t know where you will be seated until you collect the tickets from the call window on the day of the show.

But I was very happy the two times I bought Lucky Dip tickets, including the recent St. Louis show.

My first Lucky Dip experience was for my second Stones show. The August 2019 show at the San Francisco 49ers Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Was my second time seeing the Rolling Stones, 20 years after my first show in Memphis.

I heard about Lucky Dip tickets on a bulletin board and decided to give them a try. We got to the show around 5:30 p.m. two hours before the scheduled start time, went through security where you would think the President and Pope were talking, then went to the special window Lucky Dip will call.

Everyone in front of us seemed happy with the tickets they got, with some having seats right in front of the stage. These can cost over $ 1,000, although the price tends to drop closer to the show.

We didn’t have these but ended up liking the seats we got, about 25 rows in the bleachers at the side of the stage. Singer Mick Jagger repeatedly approached the side of the stage closest to us, giving us a close-up view.

While we could see Mick and guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood well, it was hard to see the other musicians, especially drummer Charlie Watts, half of whom we could see before, the rest being obstructed by the side of the stage. .

Six months later, we were planning to move to Missouri when the Stones announced a 2020 stadium tour to cities they had not visited in 2019 – including St. Louis. So on Valentine’s Day 2020, my last day of work in Oregon, I spent part of the morning getting two more Lucky Dip tickets online as soon as they went on sale, for a total cost of $ 87.50, including Ticketmaster fees.

Of course, COVID-19 made minced meat from the originally scheduled concert date of June 27, 2020. Like almost all major concerts, it has been postponed. No makeup date was announced, so I wasn’t sure when, if ever, I would see the Stones again.

We waited more than a year from the date originally planned. Eventually, more and more people were getting vaccinated and COVID cases started to decline. The big concerts have even started to resume.

But the odds of seeing the Stones before the summer of 2022 still looked grim. Although the St. Louis show was held at the America’s Center Dome, some of the other concerts were scheduled at outdoor stadiums in cities like Pittsburgh and Nashville, which might not be ideal in October and beyond. late.

But the amazing news arrived on July 22. The tour would continue in the fall of 2021, with the first show in Saint-Louis on Sunday, September 26. The number of COVIDs was on the rise again, but I was cautiously excited.

The show was supposed to take place the day before I got back to work from our vacation in Wisconsin, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Then came the news on August 4 that Watts would not be on at least part of the tour because he was recovering from what has been called a “successful medical procedure.” He would be replaced on the tour by Steve Jordan, who has worked closely with the Rolling Stones for decades.

Then the punch came on August 24 – Watts, who had been with the Stones since 1963, had died at the age of 80. The jazz-trained drummer and the band’s heartbeat were irreplaceable, but they announced days later that the tour would move cheekily.

We started the day of the concert in Davenport, Iowa, but made it home. I went to take some pictures at the fall festival of the Immaculate Conception, then I came home to get ready for the show.

Even parking was cheaper than many Stones shows. We parked for $ 15 about half a mile from the dome in a garage near Busch Stadium.

We went to Lucky Dip’s call window, where there was a little line. A man in front of us screamed in excitement when he opened his envelope and saw tickets at the booth.

We opened ours to see the seats were at level 100 which meant they were probably good. Although the pit would have been nice, we were already tired from our trip, so standing for four hours didn’t seem ideal.

Unlike the Stones show we went to in California, where people with Lucky Dip tickets had to enter the stadium immediately after getting their tickets, we were able to walk back to the street before entering. They warned people that they could be kicked out if they sold Lucky Dip tickets, but we wouldn’t do it anyway.

We walked inside (the usher liked to see rare cardboard tickets) and found our seats around the 50 meter line (back when it was a football stadium), 15 rows higher . We loved the seats, which had a great view of the stage, not too far away.

Naturally, I had to check Ticketmaster to see how much those seats would have cost on the open market – $ 346.50, plus fees, for each ticket. So we got a discount of over $ 600 in total.

The show started off with a drum beat and a video tribute to Watts over the years on the huge stage. It was sad to think that we would have had good seats to see Charlie this time, but we were deprived of that opportunity by the 15 month delay (another sad result of the pandemic).

More thoughts on the show

This was our first time watching a large indoor event from a non-social distance since the pandemic began, so my wife and I kept our masks on for the entire show. Although the rules state that participants were expected to wear masks, those who wore them in our section were a small minority.

Finally we heard the opening of “Street Fighting Man”, fireworks were fired from the top of the stage and the boys came out and tore things up for two hours.

It was amazing seeing the energy of Mick Jagger at 78 (and the fact that he could still wear a see-through shirt).

Of course we missed Charlie, not just because of his presence and low-key drums, but because of the impact it had on the setup of the show. My favorite part of the 2019 Stones concert was when they stepped out to play “Let it Bleed” and “Sweet Virginia,” lesser-known tracks from their classic 1968-72 album, on the mini stage near the center of the ground stadium.

With our posts close to the mini-stage, it would have been fantastic to see this again. Mick came to the fore several times, so it was always a good seat.

They mixed songs that I had never seen live, like “Under My Thumb”, “19th Nervous Breakdown” and “Wild Horses”, along with classics like “Gimme Shelter” and “(I Can’t Get No ) Satisfaction. “

The only lull came with the trailed versions of “Miss You” and “Midnight Rambler”, played back to back. But it gave me the opportunity to spend some time observing the play of Jordan, whose drums were a slightly funkier version of what Watts did, and of longtime keyboardist Chuck Leavell, whom I love because ‘he is Georgian in a British group (which also does a lot for the country’s forests).

Charlie’s death made us appreciate the guys who were still up there even more.

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