Surprisingly,

I’ve grown to like this blog a lot more than my regular blog which I’ve clung onto since grade nine. Perhaps it’s the amount of unfamiliar faces who stumble upon my blog and even know of it’s existence. My other blog consists of a following of people I could potentially run into in my small town along with that comes judging eyes that I would rather not face. I feel sad that I’ve gravitated towards this blog more than my old one only because I’ve had it for such an extensive amount of time, but I guess I have to learn to let go. A common lesson I’m learning nowadays. I now trust this blog with my most inner thoughts because I know almost no one will find it. I am desperately blogging from a mobile device and this was much more difficult than I expected it to be. I was going to make a long post about everything that has been going on lately, but I suppose it will have to wait for another time.

 

I just was looking for a quick feeling of relief from all the thoughts running around in my head at this hour. I can’t sleep, but I’m so tired.

Not So Silent Night Day 2

I feel very privileged to have gone to both dates for Not So Silent Night. In my opinion, both nights were a spectacle but I would have to say that without a doubt, the second night was the winner for me. This one ran later than the one the night before, but that’s okay obviously because THE KILLERS were the headliner. Excuse me while I cry. Just kidding.

The set was as followed:

Saturday December 8th, 2012

JINGLE PUNX 5:15PM
IMAGINE DRAGONS 6:00PM
GROUPLOVE 6:40PM
TEGAN AND SARA 7:30PM
PASSION PIT 8:20PM
M83 9:20PM
THE KILLERS 10:35PM

This one was a bit different for me than the night before because I wasn’t able to see it from start to finish. I had other engagements and I did not predict the traffic of people at BART. I should’ve known! This delayed me up until half of Imagine Dragons’ set. That’s okay because my main priority were all the bands that followed and I never really listened to them anyway. Jingle Punx was another local band that I’ve never heard of either.

For this night, my boyfriend and I ended up purchasing two pairs of tickets because the first time we got through on Ticketmaster, we were given seating instead of General Admission Floor tickets. We searched again and ended up with floor after we had already purchased the seating. We figured we could just sell them.

We decided mutually that seating was better because we had things to do that same day and we weren’t able to get to the arena early enough to get the front barricade anyway. We wanted to sell our floor tickets. Selling them ended up to be a bigger problem than expected. We were only planning to sell them for face value, but it was hard to do that without losing profit because the site we used (Stubhub) took a percentage out. We decided to just post a listing on craigslist. For some odd reason everyone on there was very unwilling to pay face value price for these tickets. This made it hard to sell, and the night before we ended up selling them for eighty each as opposed to the ninety we bought them for. At least we got rid of them. We could’ve ended up not selling them and losing one hundred and eighty in all.

My boyfriend and I basically run with a bunch of other concert attendees from BART to the arena. During this moment, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in the movie “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” because a similar scenario happens to them too involving a concert and running. Anyway, we get to our seats and we find that we were actually in the section right next to the stage and they were club seats. Club seats are something they have at the Oracle Arena that basically entails you to a closed of section with your own private bar and food stands away from the public. Each club section usually has their own and it’s located right outside the section so you don’t have to walk far into the outer ends of the arena for food or a bathroom. It was nice. Not only that, they also have TVs and lounge areas that show the concert too where you can just sit and watch while eating if you don’t want to go back to your seat. They usually charge more for club seating but I guess for this event they didn’t because they weren’t showing the concert on the TVs. But regardless, it was nice to have the bathroom and water right there whenever we needed without having to walk upstairs and all the way out. Not too shabby.

From what I saw of Imagine Dragons, I really liked it. They were really into their music and it’s always nice when an artist is because that really hypes up the crowd. I was even dancing along.

After Imagine Dragons was Grouplove. I’ve seen them before at the Warfield in San Francisco. It was a way smaller venue and a lot more intimate. Personally, I think I had a better time at their smaller show just because the crowd was a lot more into it than this one. Every sort of just stood there. Personally, I still enjoyed rocking out to them though, but I would prefer to see them in smaller venues. I’m sure a lot of people were coming for the bigger acts that’s why.

Tegan & Sara came up next. They’re a lot more mellow in comparison to the other acts but I still enjoyed singing along. I’ve seen them before at the HP Pavilion about three years ago. I liked their set better last time only because the production was bigger. I feel like if your music is super mellow and slow at some points, you need a good production to keep the crowd entertained, especially in large arenas like this one.

After was PASSION PIT!!! You can tell by my use of caps that I was really excited to see them. Passion Pit literally has my heart. They are beyond creative with their cosmic sounds and it’s literally out of this world and unlike any other. “You can’t help but get down to Passion Pit!” Great quote from my boyfriend. If you haven’t checked them out before, I really suggest the songs “Take A Walk” and “I’ll Be Alright.” Both songs can be searched on YouTube. I feel like those really showcase their unique sound. Their song “Little Secret” was featured in the video game “Little Big Planet,” and I believe they have another song in the second version of the game too. They’re album “Gossamer” was also on the top charts for a period of time. Performance wise, they were more than I could imagine! They were so into it and I was just going crazy, singing along and basically rocking my brains out. There’s really not much more to say other than the fact that I love them with my whole entire heart. I’ve literally been listening to Passion Pit non-stop since the show.

After them was M83. I’ve never listened to them really so I did not know what to expect. Musically, I thought they were just okay. Maybe it’s just not what I’m into. I feel like they definitely over-produced when it came to stage production nonetheless. The show became basically about the insane lights they had going in every which way possible instead of the music. The lights were really overwhelming. Other than that, they didn’t really intrigue me to look them up or check out their music, unfortunately.

Last up was THE KILLERS. I’ve been listening to them for what seems like forever, album after album. I have never gotten the chance to see them live until this night and it was unbelievable. Their songs cause me to recall certain moments in my past and they have so many personal meanings connected to them. These are the songs I always sang with my best friends with the top down and summer air blowing in our face back when we were sixteen. These are the stories I related so much to told in the form of stunning vocals and raw music notes. To sing these songs with The Killers themselves and hear them play live? It’s absolute pandemonium and extreme pulchritude all wrapped into a ball inside my weird mind. Performance wise, I thought they were absolutely amazing. Obviously this is very biased seeing as I adore them as a band, but it really seemed effortless for them. I guess you start to get it down after performing for crowds of such large scale every night.

I was sad because I did not stay for their encore since we had to catch the BART back home. It’s okay because I’ve made it a priority to see them again when they come back. To me, they are one of those iconic bands that I will get to tell my kids about when I am old.

All in all, two concerts in two days was a whole new experience I’ve never done. I’ve done three in three weeks, but that was about it. I really hope they do double days for Not So Silent Night again next year because even after two, I still couldn’t get enough. So I definitely can’t settle with just one.

Pictures from the night!

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Some fun photobooth thing they had set up! TIP: usually during concerts they almost always have fun, free things to do or give out before the show. We took this during a bathroom break and there was no line, so why not? Also, if you go during the show or breaks during the show, there’s usually no line since everyone is already in their seats!

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When Brandon Flowers of the Killers told everyone to light up the room with their cellphones. Had to get a picture because it was so stunning. Looks even more breath-taking in real life.

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Me and my boyfriend having a blast at the show!

Sadly I have no pictures of The Killers because I was too busy rocking out. I think my boyfriend does so I’ll insert them in later if anything. Thanks for reading! :)

EDIT:

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Here’s the only horrible, low quality iPhone picture he has. Better than nothing, right? Guess you just had to be there.

Happy concert-going!

x

Not So Silent Night Day 1

This past weekend, I attended Not So Silent Night, which is an annual concert held by the local radio station LIVE 105. They usually have it every year around Christmas, hence the title. This year’s Not So Silent Night was special in comparison to the past years because this is the first time that it was spread across two nights. This show is known to have a set of various, popular alternative/ rock bands play the stage.

This year, for the first night, the setlist was as followed:

Friday December 7th, 2012

OUR VINYL VOWS 5:45PM
TWO DOOR CINEMA 6:20PM
GASLIGHT ANTHEM 7:05PM
OF MONSTERS AND MEN 7:50PM
METRIC 8:40PM
THE SHINS 9:30PM
JACK WHITE 10:45PM

For this event, I went with my close friend Ashley. We took the BART to Oracle Arena in Oakland where it was held and went two hours prior to when the doors opened. Since we got FLOOR General Admission tickets, we wanted to be in the front barricade area. We knew from previous shows we attended that if we showed up early, it would almost guarantee a spot right in front of the stage…and it did. Since there was a line to get into the floor area of the venue, going early and being one of the first few really gives you a hand up against everyone. This helps especially if you’re claustrophobic and not very good at pushing other people out of the way like us. Not to mention, you end up with the best spot in the entire arena. The LIVE 105 Radio station even ended up interviewing me because we had a great view of the show.

First up was Our Vinyl Vows, which was a local band that won a competition against other locals bands to receive a spot in performing at Not So Silent Night. Personally, I didn’t think that they were bad, I just thought that they didn’t have their own sound. They sounded to me like the stereotypical pop-punk band. Since no one really knew who they were, the crowd wasn’t very into it.

Second was Two Door Cinema Club. This band was one of the few I really wanted to see amongst the rest. I’ve seen them before at the Warfield in San Francisco and they were phenomenal. I had so much fun at their show, so this time I was really excited to see them a second time. Recently, they released a new album called Beacon and I couldn’t stop listening to it. Last time I saw them, it was in a small venue and a lot more intimate. This time, they had new songs and the venue is much more massive in comparison to the last one. Regardless of these factors, their set was not a let down at all. I had so much fun watching and singing along. They did an excellent job  with the balance between the two albums. They performed their older hits along with their new singles. After their set, I managed to snag the set list that’s taped on the stage for them to see what songs they’d be doing in what order from a security on stage. Score!

After them was Gaslight Anthem. I have never heard of them prior to this show. I really didn’t enjoy this set at all. The sounds were completely off balance, making it a literal pain to watch. The bass drum was too loud and over-powering to the point where it was almost deafening. I think the sound techs picked up on this which is why they went on stage to try to fix it, but it didn’t really help. Needless to say, I was relieved when it was over.

Third up was the band Of Monsters and Men. I listen to them but I haven’t gotten the opportunity to see them perform live. Everyone I know who has has said nothing but good things about them. I thought their set was very entertaining and fun overall. They have many aspects to their band as opposed to the regular lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass and drums. They had a piano, accordion, trumpet and xylophone. It was cool to see all these come together and really give their music a sound unique to their own. I would definitely see them play again if I could.

After them was the band Metric. I am literally in love with them! I’ve been waiting a while to see them play because for whatever reason, the minimal times they came to the area, I could never go. Sadly, I was left with a large chunk of disappointment. The band’s gear was left where they had performed last, leaving them without any gear to use. They were unable to use another band’s because they use specific tunings on their instruments. In result of this, they went on stage and did a short acoustic set with only a piano and a guitar. It was good, but I was expecting an upbeat, fun set from them. It ended up being very slow and mellow. They ended up covering some song that wasn’t even theirs along with some other songs on their albums. They didn’t even play one of their popular hits that I was really excited to hear. I guess I will try to catch them again the next time they’re back here.

After this, my friend and I decided to head home because we weren’t really into The Shins or Jack White. Overall, I had a great time at the first night out of two for Not So Silent Night. Being so close to the bands was unreal. Sometimes, there would be a moment where they’d look right at me singing along with them and the connection is just something that can’t even be described. I live for these types of moments at shows I go to and to have so many of those was nothing short of amazing.

Photos from the night:

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Metric!

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Two Door Cinema Club!

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Two Door Cinema Club’s setlist

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Ashley and I in front and ready for the show!

Google Cache

I would like to formally dedicate this post to Google Cache. Thank you Google Cache for saving my posts when WordPress failed to do so. I spent over two hours trying to restore the posts and reading forums on how to do so. I almost thought they really vanished into thin air and they were completely diminished.

 

I ended up googling my own blog and the links including the short description of the posts showed up but the links linked me to the two recent posts. Even though I posted them up, WordPress seemed to overwrite them with the two other recent posts I had. Luckily, one of the sites suggested that I try all these things and one was Google Cache. I was unaware such a thing existed.

The cache ended up having my old posts with everything I posted. What a relief!!! Thank goodness Google Cache saved it!!!

GOOGLE CACHE YOU ARE A LIFESAVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

The End.

 

Presale vs. Regular Sales on Ticketmaster

Purchasing tickets for concerts are usually done on Ticketmaster. Which is a site that sells tickets for almost all concerts. Other ways you can buy tickets is directly from the venue or through re-sell sites like Stubhub. Sites like Stubhub are usually full of people who have bought tickets and for whatever reason can not attend the event anymore, so they sell them back. There are also people who buy tickets for the purpose of reselling them at a high price to make money. All these tickets that are sold through the venue or resold are Ticketmaster tickets usually since they are the only monopoly for tickets.

Since the majority of the buying begins through Ticketmaster, I want to discuss something I’ve dealt with personally as an avid concert attendee. I often come across the problem of buying tickets during presale or general/regular sales on Ticketmaster.

Presales are basically an early access to purchasing tickets. Sometimes Ticketmaster usually has presales for concerts if you have a specific credit card, if you are in the artist’s fan club, or if you get a special passcode through the radio promotion or venue.  They usually release a small percentage of the tickets during presales. Having a hand up with the presales can determine whether or not you get great seats or nosebleed seats. Presales can also be hurtful to seating choice. It all depends on lucky, really.

You may think that having a presale passcode may give you the best seats since you get access before the general public, but that isn’t true. I know this based on personal experience. During presales, Ticketmaster only releases up to thirty percent of the seating. This means that seventy percent or more is still available to the general sale. In that thirty percent that they are releasing, only a small amount of it contains the “good” seating, such as floor seats. This means that you may end up with decent seats through presage, but you may still get better seats during regular sales, since only thirty percent is released.

This puts people like me in a jiffy. Should I buy the seats I got with the presale code, or wait to maybe get better seats during the general sale?

General sales also have their cons too. Since a special code or specific credit card is not needed and it is virtually open to everyone, it makes it a lot more difficult to get through on the Ticketmaster server. During general sales for popular artists, what usually happens is hundreds of people clicking on the same page, which causes traffic within the server. This makes it a lot harder to get good seating, since there is such a high volume of people trying to do the same thing you are. Sometimes you aren’t even able to get through and all the tickets end up being sold, which means the show is sold out. Then you are only left to buy tickets through second hand resell sites such as the aforementioned Stubhub or Ticketsnow. In this case, I probably should’ve purchased tickets through presale, because there is a lower volume of people doing that. By then, my presage tickets were long gone, and I am left with a concert to attend but no tickets in hand. 

Another scenario that has happened to me is that I ended up purchasing tickets during a presale, then I tried for tickets during regular sales and got better seating. In that case, I ended up selling the tickets I got during the presale. This is a messy scenario because making a listing and selling tickets through the resell sites are very time consuming. Not to mention, you are basically forced to sell it at a higher price than face value to receive face value back because sites like Stubhub charge you a service fee for using their site to sell your tickets. This may cause potential buyers not want to purchase your tickets because they know you are selling for higher than face value.

You can also sell your tickets through sites like Craigslist, which is a site where you post what you want to sell and can meet up with the person to sell them the item. This is also risky because many people can ask to meet up with you and change their mind last minute. Not to mention, it’s not the safest option. Buying tickets through sites other than Stubhub are pretty risky as well because they may be fake or copied. Stubhub has a certified guarantee that your tickets are always authentic, but their tickets are almost always pricier than normal.

Sometimes you may get lucky and get excellent seats through presale, but otherwise, it is just a big gamble. I hope my input on both ends of the spectrum help you decide what to do when you are having trouble deciding whether to do a presale for a concert or just go with regular sales.

I hope this blog assists you in any future purchases you make with Ticketmaster. Most of all, I hope that whatever tickets you do end up getting that you enjoy the show! :)

 

General Admission vs. Actual Seating at Concerts

For all concerts, they are usually either seating, general admission, or a mix of the two. Personally, I’ve experienced concerts with all of those listed above. If you are not familiar with any of these and have never been to a concert, you’ve come to the right blog. I hope that this blog will aid you in deciding what concert you’d like to attend and what seating you’d like to get.

Let’s start with general admission. They’re all one price as opposed to a seated concert where the closer your seats are, the more cash you have to drop. Sometimes the whole arena or venue is all general admission, which means there is only one flat price for a ticket. This also means that for the floor area there is no seats at all and standing room only. The area labeled “FLOOR” is usually the area directly in front of the stage. The seating for a general admission seating concert works on a first come, first serve basis. Hence, the sooner you come, the closer you may be to the stage. It may also mean that you can pick anywhere to sit if you don’t want to be on the floor area. 

In other cases, sometimes a concert is a mix of general admission and actual seating. Usually how this works is that the FLOOR area is the area for general admission. The rest of the arena or venue’s seats are numbered and you pay for your seating based on how close you are to the stage. The paid seating is good because you actually have a seat to sit on during the show, as opposed to general admission floor, where you can only stand.

Lastly, some concerts are only seating, meaning that there are seats on the floor as well, and you pay for your seat based on how close you are to the stage. This means that there are usually higher prices depending on where your seats are, and like I said before, you actually have a seat to sit on and you are able to come and go as you please without losing your spot.

When it comes to general admission, I love and hate it, depending on my circumstances at concerts. First, let’s start with why I hate them. Depending on the concert, you can predict what the crowd might be like. This has come from lots of experience with concerts that I’ve gained over the years of going to them. Usually if it’s a bigger band, the crowds seem to be more harsh and rough, but if it’s a local band, then everyone is really content and doesn’t push. You can usually tell the more popular bands from the lesser-known ones by what venue they choose to perform at. Stadiums and arena tours usually consist of bands that are in greater demand, hence the larger space and more seating. Smaller bands usually opt for the small theaters.

For example, when I went to see Paramore, a pop punk band that played at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, the crowd was extremely aggressive. This show was held in a massive arena and was sold out. They headlined the Honda Civic Tour, which is an annual tour held by Honda Civic every summer, usually having a very popular band as a headliner. Not only was Paramore headlining, but they also had very popular supporting acts like the band New Found Glory and Tegan & Sara.

The crowd was very forceful when it came to being close to the front. It’s basically a giant crowd of people pushing. When you are in the middle and hundreds of people are pushing you against other people, it makes the experience not so fun. Not to mention, it is very humid due to all the bodies smashed together in a small space. This makes it difficult to breathe. Also, you can say goodbye to your personal space, because in crowds like these, people do not care at all. Lastly, it’s impossible to leave and use the restroom and come back to your old spot since it’s just a crowd of people and no numbered seating. 

General admission can also be beneficial if you play your cards right. For example, when I went to see the band Two Door Cinema Club at the Warfield in San Francisco, I got general admission floor and it ended up being one of my favorite shows I’ve been to. I pushed through a lot of people and got the front barricade area, which is the closest you can physically get to the stage. This meant that there was only a barricade in front of me and I was not being pushed against other people. I was able to breathe and I had an excellent view of the artist. General admission shows also allow you, if you get lucky, to get extremely close to the performer, which is a mind-blowing experience. The opportunity to be so close and see the artist clearly and sing along with them is indescribable. Not only that, but being packed in with all these strangers and singing along was great too. It makes me feel a strong connection with everyone around me, regardless of whether I know them or not. To me, that’s the beauty of music, the connection and bond you have with the artist and all the people who like that same artist.

A tip I have for you if you want to be in front for a general admission show is to come early. They usually allow you to line up early before the show, which basically guarantees you a close spot if you are part of the lucky few people who are first into the general admission section. This trick has worked for me for many of the shows that I’ve gone to. This way, you are already in front at the barricade and you don’t have to push through people to get there. Pushing through sometimes may be hard just because there are so many people who obviously don’t want to have people cut in front of them. Since you are already at barricade, people can push you but you are already in front, so there’s not much they can do.

Lastly, all seating concerts can be fun too. It is a lot more difficult to get great seating or a great view in comparison to general admission. Usually, for shows like this, closer seating costs a lot more. The benefits are that you are able to leave and come back whenever you want, get food, go to the bathroom, etc. Also, if you come to the concert late, you won’t end up far, like in general admission concerts. The seat you paid for is yours and you can come whenever you’d like. 

Justin Bieber’s concert was all seating when I saw him at the Oracle arena this year. Though it was a good show, I really wish I was able to get closer. I had lower level seats, but I wish I was still able to access the floor seating. Since this was all seating, I was pretty much stuck in my seat for the whole show. This could be great if you have the floor seating, but it could also suck if you get stuck with upper level seats.

Overall, all the different types of seating at concerts have pros and cons, depending on the situation. I hope my breakdown really helps you the next time you have a hard time picking seating.

Regardless of seating, if you have not had the opportunity to experience any sort of live concert, I strongly urge you to. Seeing music live is a whole new cosmic experience in comparison to just listening to music through headphones.

Thanks for deleting my other two posts

I made two extensive posts, one about presales vs. regular sales, and one about floor vs, general admission seating but they aren’t showing up on my blog or drafts.

THANKS A LOT WORDPRESS.

I spent a lot of my time writing and explaining the process, pressed published and even clicked the link to view the posts. Now it’s just gone. I am completely infuriated now. It’s not even in my drafts or anything. I hate you, wordpress.

Advice for Resell Sites and Secondhand Ticket Purchasing

Secondhand ticket purchasing can be better than Ticketmaster in many ways. For Ticketmaster, you’re given “best available” seating, which means you could end up with seats on the moon sometimes. Just kidding, but you get my point. You do not get to pick exactly where you sit, you just say yes or no to the choices given. In purchasing tickets secondhand, you can pick exactly what section, row, and seat number that you’re in based on the options available. 

The bad part about it is that the prices are usually higher than if one were to buy it directly from Ticketmaster or the first hand seller. Sometimes specific venues sell tickets through their site or box office. Prices on resell sites are usually raised higher than face value almost all of the time, but more frequent for shows of higher demand. It definitely happens for sold out shows, since you can’t buy anymore tickets from Ticketmaster, or whatever the first hand seller was. 

Sites like Stubhub charge a service fee. It says that they don’t charge for posting but they do. By personal experience selling through Stubhub myself, they charge for the Fan Protect Guarantee they have, which is another fancy way of hiding their service charges. This means they take a percentage of the amount you are selling your ticket for since you are using their platform to sell your unwanted tickets.

Due to the deduction of services fees, you have to post your tickets for higher than face value, unless you want to lose money. There are also just people out there who literally buy tickets to popular shows or shows that they know will be sold out to resell them at outrageous rates. These people are also referred to as “scalpers.” Locally, in the bay area, scalpers do sell tickets for a lot higher than face value, but for bigger cities such as Los Angeles or New York, the prices definitely skyrocket.

Concerts in the iconic cities such as New York or Los Angeles are usually bigger and better. These cities have a massive amount of people too, and usually more than one tour date in the same city to accommodate this. Artists who have made it to legendary venues such as The Staples Center in Los Angeles or even larger, Madison Square Garden in New York usually have an enormous production, since being able to perform at these specific venue often mark a milestone in their career. Not only that, but they sometimes bring special guests on stage with them, usually another popular artist. The general public is aware of these circumstances when it comes to New York or Los Angeles, so many fans will travel far to see these special dates.

I personally have travelled to Los Angeles to see a tour that I have already seen in my local area. These shows are just so much bigger in terms of production and performances. Not only that, but the fans are ten times as crazier than back home in the bay area. Add those up and you’re left with an unforgettable concert experience. Even though it is basically an amped of version of the performance, for me, the experience is completely different than seeing it back home. Also, I would only go to such great lengths for artists that I am truly passionate about.

Since there are many people traveling to Los Angeles or New York for concerts, this causes an even higher volume of people who are desperate for tickets. Hence, New York and Los Angeles being a popular destination for scalpers. I’ve personally seen listings for tickets in Los Angeles for certain artists go up to the thousands when face value the tickets were only around one hundred dollars. Scalpers don’t even have to be located in the specified cities to scalp the tickets. Due to the power of the internet, basically anyone can purchase tickets to an event anywhere and sell it back right for a ridiculous price right from the comfort of their own home.

If you are purchasing secondhand tickets for cities like New York or LA, you should be extra cautious for unauthentic tickets and also prepared to pay astronomical amounts more than face value.

Aside from online secondhand ticket buying and Craigslist meetings, there are also people who try and sell their tickets at the arena before the show. I would not trust this because they have a very high risk of being inauthentic tickets or duplicates of at-home printouts. You really shouldn’t risk it because it would be very disappointing to already be at the venue and find out your tickets are fake.

Here are some links to help with second hand ticket purchasing, if you were not able to get tickets directly through Ticketmaster. I’ve put them in the order of most reliable to least.

Http://Stubhub.com:

This site is probably the most popular and used one by the general public. This means more listings of tickets that need to be resold. More listings of tickets means more options to choose from based on your seat preference and price range.

This site has a Fan Protect Guarantee which means:

  • You’ll get the tickets you ordered in time for the event and they’ll be valid for entry
  • If any of the above does not occur, they’ll locate comparable replacement tickets or send you a refund
  • They handle all customer support issues, so sellers will never contact you directly
  • You’ll get a refund if your event is cancelled and not rescheduled

Stubhub is the only site that has a guarantee that the tickets are valid for entry. This is very reassuring to buyers because obviously no one wants to get scammed.

Another tip I have for Stubhub is if you are planning to purchase tickets to wait up until the day of the show. This trick sometimes allows you to get a fantastic price but also has a risk. A few hours before, prices usually drop drastically. Based on what I’ve seen, prices are highest right after the ticket sales end on Ticketmaster and the closer it gets to the actual show, the prices raise. A few hours before the show they drop a big amount because people are desperately trying to get rid of them.

If you decide to purchase tickets right before the show, only pick the ones with the “Instant Download” marking on them. This allows you to download them and print them right at home and go straight to the show. Stubhub leaves postings up until the event is actually over, including tickets that need to be delivered which require many days in advance notice. If you happen to purchase those, you wouldn’t get your tickets in time and you would have to go through the complicated process of receiving a refund. They have a search filter that allows you to see only the tickets that are available for instant download that you can use.

Buying tickets hours right before your event is beneficial because they are sometimes posted  for lower than face value, which is obviously a great deal. On the other hand, if you wait until last minute there might not be any seats that are in your favor to purchase. It could be because of the price range or just the location of the seats. It could also be that a minimal amount of seats are available for instant download.

Http://TicketsNow.com: I’ve used this site before, and I got great tickets that worked for valid entry at a reasonable price. The listing price is not the actual price because they do ad service fees in during checkout. If you want to know what you are going to pay, click “Buy,” then check out and it will show you the costs with service fees and shipping.

They don’t guarantee valid entry tickets like Stubhub, but they do ensure a full refund if they are not valid tickets. This means that there could be scammers on there, so I would be careful and try Stubhub first.

Http://craigslist.com: This is the most risky out of all three and the last resort for me. I’ve used it before and it ended up fine, plus I got the tickets for face value. Craigslist is good because there are no additional services fees like Stubhub or Ticketsnow. When you are purchasing a high priced ticket, the service fees really make the difference. There are many scammers on here, so beware. Make sure to meet in a public place because meeting someone from the internet can be dangerous, obviously. I like Starbucks because it’s small, but public. If anything were to happen, it’s not too crowded to where people wouldn’t notice. Do not meet at the arena before the concert. I’ve had a friend do that and her tickets were inauthentic, and obviously it was too late to purchase another pair if she even could.

Real tickets from Ticketmaster has ink that usually doesn’t wash off with water. It may smear a bit, but just barely. You can get a bit of water and wipe it on the ticket to see if the ink runs. If it runs completely off, they are not real tickets. This only works with the hard copy or actual stub of the tickets, not the print at home version. Scammers may try to scam you by making multiple copies of the print at home tickets as well as trying to print authentic looking physical stub hard copies of the tickets. It’s best to purchase from individuals with photos of the actual stub ticket on their listing. Craigslist gives you a search option for “photo only” so you can always utilize that tool.

One last tip I have for ticket buying is you can try to wait in line at the venue box office on the day of the concert. If it is a sold out show, right before, the venue usually releases more tickets. This only applies to sold out shows. For shows that aren’t sold out, they usually don’t release more. You can tell if a show is sold out or not by going on Ticketmaster and trying to search for seats. If it says, “We’re sorry no matches have been found.” This usually means it’s sold out. Try doing that about a week or so before the actual show. If you purchase tickets on Ticketmaster right when they go on sale, sometimes it gives you the same message because of the high traffic on the page.

The seating in the floor area is usually just fold out chairs, so sometimes they add more seats and sell more tickets if a show is sold out. They also sometimes have other sections of seating available to sell too. Purchasing direct from the venue means no Ticketmaster service fees like there are when you buy online through Ticketmaster. This also applies if you go to the venue the day tickets go on sale. Waiting in line at the venue the day of is a gamble because sometimes they only release a small amount and if you are not one of the few who are in front of the line to purchase tickets, then you are out of luck.

I hope that you have gained a better knowledge based on my advice and I hope that you enjoy the show for whatever tickets you end up purchasing! :)

Justin Bieber at Oracle Arena!

In October, I got the opportunity to see Justin Bieber on his Believe Tour when it came to Oakland at the Oracle Arena. Since I saw his movie, “Never Say Never,” I have to say that I gained a lot of respect for him and what he came from. Since then, I became a big fan of him and his music. Unfortunately, when he came to the area for his last tour, I wasn’t able to get tickets, so I was thrilled to hear he was coming back.

When Justin’s tour dates were announced, I already knew that it would be very difficult to get great seating for his concert. I knew this because the date at Oracle was his only Bay Area date and he is in very high demand. Luckily, I had access to the presales because I have an American Express card. If you are an avid concert attendee like me, you should look into getting an American Express and/ or Citi Card. For concerts, they almost always have presale for either one of the two. It’s really worth it for me because I go to such a high amount of concerts.

I ended up getting lower level seating for this concert and I had a great view of everything. I gave the other ticket to my cousin Mary for her birthday and she was ecstatic. Along with her, my other two friends, Ashley and Atorina got tickets too and we went as a group. Since we knew he sometimes comes out to take pictures with fans before the show, we decided to go extra early to try and catch a glimpse of Justin.

We ended up taking the BART, which is stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit. Bart runs on it’s own platform and underground so there are no cars and street lights to slow it down. This means no traffic. It’s similar to the subway in New York.  Not to mention, it saves a lot of money. We had a far distance to travel from San Jose to Oakland, which means we would have to pay a lot for gas. The ticket prices for BART basically are equivalent to paying for gas, but only if you don’t end up in traffic. Parking at the Oracle Arena costs forty dollars flat. At the HP Pavilion in downtown San Jose, you can basically park anywhere around the arena and walk. At Oracle, it’s surrounded by a freeway and the arena is gated off. This basically forces people to park at the arena only and pay forty bucks. You always have the option of parking at BART across the street from the Oracle Arena and walk in the tunnel that goes directly to the arena itself, but that still doesn’t save you from the massive amount of traffic full of thousands of concert attendees you likely encounter.

Personally, I’ve driven to the arena and the traffic was really bad not only because everyone else is going to the concert, but there are also people headed towards San Francisco, which is nearby. Not only does paying forty bucks suck, getting out of the arena after a show is extremely dreadful. There is only one exit and thousands of cars are going towards it. It took about an additional hour to get out of the arena itself. After rocking out and dancing all night long at a concert, the last thing you really want to do is sit in stop-go traffic for an hour.

If you go to a show at Oracle Arena, I suggest taking BART. There is a stop right at the arena and a tunnel that leads you to the arena.

When we arrived at the arena, we were puzzled because it seemed like no one was even there. We were starting to think we came on the wrong day. We circled the arena and eventually found a group of twenty or so girls who thought the same thing as we did. We waited behind the barricades in this open space near the buses for a while. Eventually, more people starting coming and a bigger crowd was building up. I had a hitch that he probably would not come out where we were because it was a wide open space. The area around the placed barricades were open, and they wouldn’t let him come out if they knew there would be a riot.

Because of this, we decided to leave the crowded and scour the premises. We found a gated off lot where there were about ten other girls. We also saw tour buses parked in there and a sign saying “VIP Entrance.” Bingo. We waited there for a bit until we saw someone who was in a huge jacket with a hood over their head. This person starts coming towards us and everyone starts screaming. The moment that person pulls off their hood, we realize it’s Justin Bieber!

He came towards us on his Segway and waved and blew kisses but didn’t stop for pictures. At one point he came super close to us, but that was about it. We got some pictures on our iPhones of him which I’ll add to the end of the post. For the duration of time before the show, Justin’s manager and dancers came out and talked to us about the show we were about to see. Everyone was really nice and friendly. We also took mini naps because all of us barely slept the night before due to excitement and we woke up really early because of the time consuming commute.

We all piled in the arena along with thousands of other girls once the doors opened. We waited patiently as the lights dimmed. Justin’s opening acts were Cody Simpson and Carly Rae Jepsen. I thought these performances were entertaining but I was really only there to see The Biebs.

Finally, after the opening act, a ten minute countdown starts on the screen. This got me really excited. When the lights dropped and the counter was at zero, images of a bird flashed on the huge screens, swiftly moving from screen to screen. As the bird moved up out of the screen, Justin emerges out of the thick smoke that engulfed the stage, flying high with two titanic silver wings. As Justin Bieber himself surfaces on his wings and sings his first note, ear piercing screams erupt throughout the arena as the audience goes wild. His opening song, “All Around The World,” had  cosmic lasers going in all directions and confetti that shot out to end the song.

I thought his intro was very mesmerizing and not to mention massive. For all the past concerts that I’ve been to, a performance that big is usually saved for the last song. Just seeing the first performance of the night, I already knew I was in store for a lot more surprises.

One of my favorite parts of the show was when Justin just had his guitar and sang acoustically. This really showcased his talent as not only a performer, but a vocalist. During this part of the show, he was on a crane-like device that reached out closer to the audience. This device rotated around the whole arena. I thought this was very neat and creative. This allowed for the fans with seating that was further away to get a better view of Bieber.

Another part of the show I really enjoyed was all the short clippings that were played on the massive screens during Justin’s wardrobe changes. Not only were they interesting to watch, but they were visually stunning and tied perfectly with the next song he was going to perform. One featured the Biebs swimming underwater with mermaids, and all the screens connected to create the illusion of the body of water. It was visually impressive that he swam from screen to screen and it all looked very detailed and striking.

Overall, the theatrics and production of the tour were astonishing. Every song took you into a whole new world, and every song was different from the previous one. Not to mention the magnetizing energy that fell over the arena. The crowd sang every note along with Justin and it looked like everyone was having the time of their life.

As a performer, Justin is extremely talented and gifted. Vocally, he sounded great. He hit every note perfectly. As a dancer, he hit all his queues and was very entertaining to watch. All in all, Justin Bieber is massively talented and definitely worth every cent to go see. This tour was one of the best ones in comparison to all the ones I’ve seen of all sorts of artists. After seeing this tour, I respect Justin a lot more as a performer and I feel like the industry along with the general public do not give him enough credit for how talented he is. Many people aren’t willing to give him a chance because they judge him based on his fan base. They think he is another artist who will be relevant for only a short period of time. Personally, after seeing him live, I feel like as a true artist, Justin has really made his mark and is here to stay. He really proved himself with this tour and his sophomore album “Believe.”

Here are some of the photos I have from that night:

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My friends and I before the concert

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Justin on a Segway!

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A photo I took during the show of Justin’s performance