I noted earlier this month that Bob Seger’s ticket sales have been soft, prompting broadcast spots in markets that should sell out quickly. At the time, the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids was not selling. Now it’s the Palace of Auburn Hills, a huge venue in a Detroit suburb that should be a full house by now for tickets that went on sale Feb. 16. Not only has he failed to sell out the April 11 show in Auburn Hills, but Seger has inexplicably added a second show, April 13, for which tickets go on sale Saturday.
“I guess ‘sold out’ has a different meaning these days,” someone from the Seger camp told me in response to the obvious ‘why such slow sales?’ question.
It’s true. In the big package rock concert these days, half full halls are ok because service charges, overpriced concessions, parking, merch, and other extras have marginalized the idea of a sellout.
But should Seger subject himself to this, or does anyone pay attention anymore to who can fill what hall? The suburban crowd can pay $260 a ticket, perhaps, but what about those empty spaces in the deep rows?
Seger may well be past playing the barns, and there has to be a point at which someone tells him this.
“He may be a senior citizen now, but he plans on delivering what his fans expect: full-throated singing and hard-driving music,” is the PR written by the Detroit News in an otherwise stellar package on the Seger legacy. I’d kind of doubt it. Surely a tour in which he plucked from the back pages of the catalog would be an artistic exercise rather than a tour that caters to the wealthy and the die-hards. But then, that wouldn’t sell out either, would it?
Steve Miller is an investigative reporter with over two decades of experience in daily newspaper, Web and magazine reporting and writing. Miller has done time as a court and cops beat reporter at the Dallas Morning News and as a national reporter for the Washington Times, and as a correspondent for national publications including People magazine, High Times, Boston Magazine, Miami New Times, Houston Press, The Daily Beast and U.S. News and World Report. In 2012, he was an Edgar award finalist for his book, Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender. He is a recipient of the digital investigative award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Miller was also the former vocalist in the Midwest punk rock outfit the Fix in 1980-81.
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