Ticket Stub Tuesday- Arcade Fire

Photo courtesy of K.C. Douglas

Arcade Fire
Ukrainian Culture Center
February 11, 2011

To say that Arcade Fire had a good week would be a bit of an understatement. As unforgettable as the last several days have been for them, it has been equally memorable for me. I started crafting this post in my head on Friday morning, when I found out for sure that my name was 1 of about 500 on a list to see a secret show at the unlikeliest of venues. In a word, the feeling that comes to mind most when recalling Friday night and the days that followed is lucky. I feel lucky to have incredible friends, one of whom camped out over night on the streets of Downtown Long Beach for a shot at tickets. I’m lucky to have seen a show that was amazing on so many levels its hard to express. I’m lucky to have shared such an intimate moment in time with a group of artists on the precipice of wildly unexpected worldwide acclaim.

Since Friday though, I’ve rewritten this in my head over and again. Not only because the show has already become legendary in my mind’s eye, but Arcade Fire then went out and won themselves a Grammy- for album of the year no less. I felt compelled to write about the significance of The Suburbs and what it means for the musical landscape to have such a haughty honor bestowed upon a band on an independent label. It’s all really pretty amazing and as far as I can remember, unprecedented. While most people ask how a band they’ve never heard of won the biggest Grammy, I’ll contend that no one deserves it more. In my sphere of influence, Arcade Fire are the heavyweights, as opposed to the underdog no one saw coming.


Building the Perfect Promotional Schedule

For every baseball fan, there are four words that can automatically ease the pain of a long, dark winter. Pitchers and catchers report. It’s a tangible end to the offseason, but more importantly it’s the beginning of a new year filled with optimism and excitement. After months of planning, tweaking, and move making, it’s about time for the rubber to hit the road. It’s time to see how the newly shaped rosters of our favorite teams will actually perform. It’s also time when the business side of baseball puts their own roster to the test. That roster is the promotional schedule- the sports marketing equivalent to a team’s starting lineup.

The promotional schedule not only serves as the creative backbone for your sales force, but it also says a tremendous amount about your team. Taking pride in perfecting your promotional calendar tells your fans and community that the organization is invested in continual improvement of their product. Especially over the past couple of years, reductions in budget and soft sponsorship sales have been tough on promotional personnel. So now more than ever, it is essential to step up creatively to provide new and compelling reasons for fans to get excited about your season.

Building a perfect promotional schedule can start with something as simple as a change in mindset. Back when I was a young and impressionable baseball executive, I clearly remember one of my mentors describing his job to a client. “We throw 72 parties a year,” he said. That one line changed the way I developed a promotional schedule. Every home game is a party and you’re inviting the entire neighborhood. If you look at the plans for one of those parties- say a Tuesday night in June- and you aren’t excited about it, good luck at the gates. You must have goals for every single promotion in order to convince fans that attending a party multiple times at the same place is a worthwhile expenditure of their time and money.

What then are the most significant things an individual promotion needs to do? Here are five:  

1) Sell tickets
2) Enhance the game experience
3) Elevate the team brand
4) Create partnership opportunities
5) Generate publicity and attention. 


Arcade Fire Secret Show Setlist

Oh. My. Gawd. There are not enough words to describe how incredible tonight's Arcade Fire show was. A million thanks to the man who made it all possible, Mr. K.C. Douglas. The full scope of this show will be transcribed in detail soon, very soon.

For now, the pertinent details. Show was top secret. Tickets went on sale at 3 locations in LA today at noon. Most camped out over night to scope out the 3 spots based on clues tweeted by AF last night. Show location wasn't divulged to anyone but those who got on the list.

Show was here, at the Ukrainian Culture Center on Melrose:

Inside of said venue looked like this, before the show:

Here's my spot for the show:

And finally for tonight, the flawless setlist:

Month of May
Rebellion (Lies)
Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
No Cars Go
City with No Children
Suburban War
Wake Up
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
We Used to Wait
Ready To Start
Keep the Car Running
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

...more on this next week!


Ticket Stub Tuesday- Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney
November 29, 2005
Los Angeles, CA

Most of my friends will tell you I’m about as big a Beatles fan as they know, and most of my friends are pretty big Beatles fans. From a very early age, The Beatles taught me basically everything I love about music. They’re even probably to blame for turning me into a bit of a music elitist. That’s because once I realized how incredible they were, I just held musicians and artists to a higher standard. For awhile in high school, I only listened to The Beatles…for almost 2 whole years…just The Beatles, nothing else. I spent hours making mixtapes- recording my favorite songs from CD’s to cassettes- since CD burners barely existed and iPods weren’t even fathomable. I made mixes of every possible kind: compiling my favorites written by each member, grouping songs based on instrumentation and how they made me feel, creating new track listings of their albums that included the singles written during the same recording session (imagine “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” on Revolver). My favorite part of going to church on Sunday mornings was getting the chance to listen to Breakfast with The Beatles on KLSX in the car. There also happened to be a Beatles only radio station in LA for a short while and I thought being a DJ for them might be the coolest job ever. When asked-for my first web bio- the four people dead or alive I would most want to have dinner with, I responded without hesitation. John. Paul. George. Ringo.

While my Beatles phase grew out of obsession into a more regular appreciation, it always saddened me that my favorite band was one that I never would be able to see live. Seeing that most of my favorite artists hold a special place in my heart mainly because of their live shows, the connection I’ve always held with The Beatles has been because of their timeless music and message. They have always been perfect to me, every song, and every album. Nowadays, when I put on a Beatles record, they seem as fresh as the first time I heard them- like it could have been written and recorded a month ago. Their sound and influence is present in everything I listen to, and their cultural relevance is everywhere. Still though, the feeling of seeing and hearing those songs performed in front of you isn’t really ever going to be possible. You can only catch glimmers of what it would be like, but in the case of seeing Paul McCartney live, that glimpse is everything you would ever hope for as a Beatles fan.

I did see Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band in 1997. As cool as it was to be in the same building as a Beatle, that show was as much a celebration of Ringo’s cohorts (Cream’s Jack Bruce and Peter Frampton to name a few) as it was of his own work. George Harrison, my favorite Beatle, hadn’t toured since the early ‘90s. I’ve seen countless Beatles tribute bands, some good, some not so good. McCartney was the Holy Grail then, but it always seemed like seeing him in concert was a pipedream- too expensive, too rare, too many other people with the same idea. I don’t remember exactly how we got them, an early Christmas present I suppose, but my parents came through with 3 tickets to see Paul at Staples Center in 2005. My Mom, ever gracious, let my Dad be the one to take my sister and I to the show. I remember thinking then that it was fitting I would see Paul for the first time with my family, since The Beatles were such a big part of growing up in my house.