Still Not Sold Out!

U2 with Bono Boston dot com

Visiting Boston.com today, I got greeted by the reminder that U2′s coming to town soon. Nice to know that Bono will be with U2 for the show. (Geez, Boston.com – talk about duh!)

I’ve been tweeting about this over the past few weeks…every week or two, I go on Ticketmaster to see what U2 tickets are still available. Sure, I could use a better hobby than patrolling Ticketmaster, but I view it as a public service to other fans.

What has struck me is that this tour has not sold out in North America. It’s an odd vibe to know that with close to 6 weeks before the band hits North America, it’s sort of turning into leg 3 of PopMart.

For example, I was able to pull a block of 20 – yes TWENTY – tickets for Norman, Oklahoma in the $250 range, $95 range, $55 range, and $30 range. That’s 80 tickets!

The major cities of Chicago, Toronto, Boston, New York and Los Angeles don’t have that kind of inventory left – and that’s what I’d expect. However, to see these other cities with such inventory available makes me wonder why the band chose to play in these markets in the first place.

So, for the fans out there who want to see U2 and aren’t afraid to travel a little, go for tickets in the smaller cities. I hear Oklahoma’s lovely to visit in October!

16 Responses to Still Not Sold Out!

  1. Jason July 27, 2009 at 11:58 pm #

    I wouldn’t visit Oklahoma on a dare, but that’s just me.

  2. Silvrlvr July 29, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    I’ve been to Oklahoma. It’s flat, but the people are friendly.

  3. R July 29, 2009 at 9:20 pm #

    I’m going to Oklahoma with GA tickets and it’s kinda nice to know that it won’t be too crowded. Although, it probably will be in the GA section. And it’s good to know that most people from larger cities are too snobby to want to come to Oklahoma. Which is fine. ;)

  4. Damien July 31, 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    Anyone know where I could get a spare GA for the NY shows by any chance?

    I want to book a flight from London, but would like to get gig tickets first.
    I’ll probably do the flight anyway and just hope to get tickets nearer the time.

    I’ve got the fever after going back to Ireland and seeing two shows last week.

    D

  5. Undomiel July 31, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    They’d better come to my Homeland Ukraine, we’d sell out)))

  6. Jim Chanda July 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    Who wrote this Live On Stage article.
    and where the hell does this guy live? Does he not realize we are in the Biggest recession in over 30 years. so yea U2 may not sell-out every show. Who Cares!!!

    “What has struck me is that this tour has not sold out in North America,” WHAT
    And its an “odd vibe?” How is this odd, you just said in the major cities they were sold-out and because they didn’t sell out an area they normally wouldn’t sell out is an ODD VIBE. DUDE Stop wasting our time!!!

  7. sherry July 31, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    Jim – the “Live on Stage” was from Boston.com. The graphic was what greeted me when I went to the site a few days ago.

    The reason why I labeled it as “odd” was because after the disaster of PopMart’s 3rd leg in North America, one would have thought that taking a stadium-style show to these areas would be a bad business move. PopMart leg 3 had them playing in Tampa to a stadium that wasn’t even 40% full – it was so empty that the band were making half-hearted jokes from the stage to lighten the mood playing to a relatively empty stadium.

    So, to have a North American leg with only 20 concerts planned between Canada and the United States, why would they go to areas where their strongest fan base isn’t? There are obvious locations missing from this itinerary, like Philadelphia and Seattle, where the shows would have sold better than Norman, OK and Charlottesville,, VA. Admittedly, they are trying to play football stadiums when football season is at its peak, however I would have thought they would have learned their lesson 12 years ago. I do not believe the recession has a lot to do with the issues at hand with this band. Obviously it’s not impacting people in Europe as they’re playing night after night of sold out concerts. In the US, I’d understand why the $250 seats aren’t selling, but to be able to still pull $35 seats in huge blocks is surprising to me.

    This is why when you’re playing before sold out audiences all across Europe, then you’re coming across the pond where you have shows that aren’t selling as strongly, it’s an odd vibe. I remember going to see Robbie Williams in a small club in Boston (where less than 1000 people could see him) a few days after he performed in front of a sold out Wembley Stadium. While Robbie never really broke into the US market (thus the reason for the waaayyyy smaller audience size here), it does mess with your head a bit when you’re playing in front of 80,000 people one night and far fewer the next.

    Why U2 would allow their tour itinerary to not include far better locations is beyond me. Not to mention why their latest album isn’t getting more airplay only underscores to me that however dramatic the tour may be with the kitcsh of the artistic claw and such, I’m still likening what’s going on to PopMart.

    Maybe it’s just me. I guess the “you can keep this suit of lights” bit from “Gone” also weaves into the comparison a bit too, thanks to Bono’s laser beam jacket.

  8. Sylvia July 31, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    80 tickets for how many thousands sold? Willy Nelson and Bob Dylan are playing this Sunday in a venue that holds about 10,000 (including lawn seating) and the tickets were still available today when I checked, tickets in all price ranges.

  9. Christine August 1, 2009 at 3:15 am #

    Australia isn’t in a Offical Recession. Let them come to Australia and they will sell out all states 3 times over again.

  10. Josh August 1, 2009 at 8:18 am #

    “Is it getting better?”

    Since that infamous Popmart show in Tampa (which was still an amazing show, by the way) the Tampa crowds have done much better over the past two tours. I was a bit concerned over how the U2360 show was going to sell, and I’ve kept an eye on Ticketmaster as well.

    Interestingly, the most expensive seats (and the GAs, of course) sold out promptly, but the $95 seats hung around for quite some time. Looking now, however, I see that the best available seats are in section 307, in the upper level, ten rows up. These are in the $55 level. I’m pretty sure that as show time comes nearer and more people start catching the fever that we’ll see more of these shows starting to sell out.

    Most people haven’t seen “the claw” yet and have no idea what the show looks like. As U2360 hits our shores and accounts start coming in, there’s bound to be a boost in sales. I’ve got my GAs for Atlanta and Tampa, but hell, I might grab some tix for Norman, Oklahoma just so I can see what the show looks like from the stands!

  11. Jason D. August 1, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    I made a post a long time ago saying people in OK wouldn’t pay for $250 tickets. It’s definitely come true. I think most of the front stage and the seats by the end zones will be sold out by show time though. There will still be around 50K-65K tickets sold. It’s a very large stadium.

  12. John August 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    I think the reason why U2 is not playing in the big markets such as San Fransisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Miami etc. this time around is because it takes about 4 days to build “the Claw” and about 2 days to take it down. With both NFL and NCAA football seasons in full swing the band is limited in terms of where they can play this fall. Hopefully they’ll be back in the spring.

  13. KC August 1, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    Sherry, this doesn’t surprise me at all. The only surprise about this tour is that they opted to play Stadiums in the U.S. IMO, there was no evidence that they could sell out Stadiums here, except for the major markets like Boston, NY/NJ, Chicago, LA and Toronto. Vegas, isn’t big, but if it hasn’t sold out, i suspect it will do very well thanks to a relatively small venue and out of state attendees.

    Of course it doesn’t help that the tickets are so incredibly over priced. Yes, it’s an expensive production, but I didn’t ask for that…and frankly, I’ve seen Pink Floyd many times, and I never paid much more than $50.00, in 2008 dollars, to see them. Great lights/lasers, great videos and better sound than any U2 concert (not that U2′s sound is bad). And the archtect, Mark Fisher, was designing the Animals stage while U2 were in highschool.

    So if there’s nothing terribly knew here (I’m sorry but I don’t consider a unique stage a reason to play Stadiums), why are they outside?

    Fortunately that question is easy to answer: for the cash. It was true when Pink Floyd played Stadiums in 1977, 87 and 94 and it’s true now. The difference is that Pink Floyd sold Stadiums out. Perhaps if U2 quit listening to Art Fogel (who loves Tiered pricing) and just picked a reasonable price point for all but the worst seats (something under $100.00 after all fees), they might sell more seats.

    Oh well. The next time they tour, they’ll play inside….of course ticket prices will cost as much, or more, than this tour (yes, $250 is the new 150, which was the new 135, which was the new $55, which was the new $30)….my how things change.

    I bitch and yet I continue to feed the beast.

  14. Bloodredguy August 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    It’s been since 83 since U2 came to Oklahoma. It’s nice not having to drive to Dallas, St. Louis, Denver or Austin to see them. They are the only major act not to have played the area (The Stones, Prince, Bruce, Paul McC all have).

    As for ticket prices, anyone with have a brain knows the GA tickets are the best, especially if you get there earlier enough to be in the circle. I had 5th row seats to Popmart and EVERY single GA ticket I have had for the subsequent tours has been far more enjoyable (still no Zoo TV, but nothing could ever be……)

  15. KC August 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    I don’t buy the GA is cheap. GA is often the most expensive ticket you can buy, if your time is worth anything and it remains to be seen how GA will be handled in the U.S. We can only hope they do better than last tour. And FYI, IMONSHO, if you didn’t plot and scheme last tour, GA was not a good value at all. The lottery effectively made it impossible to get inside (unless you were sneaky). For the record: 11 shows never won the lottery. The lines still started very early (often 24 hours before the show). If you weren’t near the front of the line, and you didn’t win the lottery, you were hosed….though I suppose that varies based on your height. Now if they ran the lottery like Springsteen (held around 5pm), then at least you could get your wristband early (or get it at the last minute) and do something else.

    As for better than Popmart…..I can’t say I agree. Standing near the back for SD2 last tour was not better than 5th Row Center on Popmart. It was not better than standing on the rail at the B Stage in Seattle (or Houston for that matter). In fact, only Houston, Chicago 4 and both Miami shows were better than those shows, IMO. Chicago 3 was probably on par with Houston Popmart.

    For my money, all of those popmarts (and virtually all Elevation shows) were better than Zoo TV (Outside Broadcast) in Dallas (12th row), but few were as good as Houston (first leg)….though the former was my first…and you never forget your first ;)

  16. Diane August 2, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    Have no idea why U2 would visit Oklahoma