Last night I went with the family to see the American Idol stage show featuring the top ten contestants from the TV competition. You might wonder why anyone would go watch something he has already seen on TV. But this live performance was way different from TV. Let me count the ways:
  1. It was far more expensive.
  2. It was a five hour drive, round trip.
  3. The singers had that bewildered "What am I doing in Sacramento?" look.
  4. The sound system in the Arco Arena was like four winos farting in a steel drum.
  5. From our seats, the singers looked like colorful grains of rice.
  6. Wooden seats.

This did not deter us from our determination to enjoy being in the same zip code with manufactured minor celebrities who could not be heard above the screaming. At least we could see them on the grainy projection screens on each side of the stage. The large screens reminded me of sweet, sweet television, but without the clarity.

Two enthusiastic girls in front of us brought a huge sign that obscured my view of everything but my own clenched fists. I don't mean to be unkind, but even without the signage, these girls chewed up a lot of real estate. They were excited to be within mortar distance of actual celebrities. After letting them have their fun, I finally had to tap them on the shoulders and give the "WTF???" crotchety old coot look. This dampened their enthusiasm for a full half minute before they felt it was time to ignore me and blot out my view of the stage again. It is unlikely they are Dilbert readers, but I still think it is funny that they went to the show hoping to see unimportant celebrities while one was tapping them on the shoulder and wishing they were dead.

Still, I have to say it was worth it just to see (sort of) David Archuleta belt out a few tunes that blew the doors off the stadium and sent 8,000 young girls into premature ovulation. The winner of this year's American Idol, David Cook, ended the show with a demonstration of natural superstar charisma that was a joy to experience.

But television is good too.

Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +18
  • Print
  • Share


Sort By:
Jul 10, 2008
so... this brings to mind the few live performances I have been to recently- few, because (in addition to your six reasons) so often the people I am sharing the venue with are reminiscent of big dumb farm animals.

dirty, stinky, mooing, stepping on my feet, and generally making an audience with some fantastically talented musician a lot more like being present at a riot instigated by warbling, clapping, tone-deaf zombies.

Are you a mooing zombie? Here's a quick test to see-

You are in a smaller, intimate venue, and Chris Cornell is covering a Beatles tune, all by himself, playing an acoustic guitar. You should:

1. sing along with him, loudly in a monotone
2. Shout out what song you'd like him to play next, over and over
3. yell
4. whistle catcalls
5. talk with your friend about how you hate the beatles
6. all of the above
7. frown the stare of death at everyone around you

Jul 10, 2008
Wow. You're a nice dad. I liked watching the idol show, but whenever they all "performed" together it was/is unbearable to watch. But, I agree, I'd actually, maybe purchase a David Cook album.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 10, 2008
I haven't been to a big concert in years because scalpers' auto-purchase programs buy up the whole Ticketmaster allotment faster than Scott Adams can reach for a diet Coke when he gets out of bed.

I heard yesterday that the 60,000 "free" tickets for an upcoming Bon Jovi concert in Central Park were snagged to a large extent by automated scalper bots and now being resold for upwards of $1000 (probably exagerated, I mean it is Bon Jovi after all)

The funny thing is that Ticketmaseter keeps saying they don't want this to happen but can't do anything about it because its a free market and that's just the way the internet works.

I keep thinking, "If only there was someway to sell out a concert without opening it up to the internet." I'm doing my part though. Currently I'm working on a time machine and am hoping to travel all the way back to 1994 to discover how they used to sell tickets in the old days.

Jul 10, 2008
Maybe its just the pessimism I've developed from reading Dilbert over the years, but I only enjoy the early shows in the season where Simon shatters would-be contestants' dreams with a swift kick of reality.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 10, 2008
"...and sent 8,000 young girls into premature ovulation" LOL That was a good one
Jul 10, 2008
"It is unlikely they are Dilbert readers, but I still think it is funny that they went to the show hoping to see unimportant celebrities while one was tapping them on the shoulder and wishing they were dead."
I hate leaving the comfort of my house. I understand the "experience" is better (comics are much funnier if you're actually in the audience), but then they won't let me sit in my underwear with a bottle of wine in most theaters/auditoriums.
And if it really sucks, I'm only out a small amount of money if I walk out or fall asleep.
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 10, 2008
This reminds me of the Simpsons Movie, where at the beginning they make fun of the moviegoers for paying to see something that's on TV for free.

Sounds like the Simpsons was better, though...
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 10, 2008
And David Cook's performance probably sent the 30 year old ladies into premature ovulation and brought the 60 ones back from menopause for a month or two...
Get the new Dilbert app!
Old Dilbert Blog