Getting Scalped and Inspired

Scalped and Inspired

I’ve been traveling a ton recently from the east coast and west coast continuing to promote the beginnings of everything ktc mgmt. 2011 has been a whirlwind of a year and just when I think it can’t get any better I get a quick dose of reality.

In the past month alone, I’ve been working on the finishing touches of ktcmgmt.com 2.0, a video treatment, music for that video, have hired and fired a few creative elements of the ktc team, pushed in-house development and strategy teams to their fullest, and a focal part of my team went down with a mysterious illness; needless to say its been an interesting and extremely busy month. This doesn’t include the hours of preparation for a conference, kickstarting the ktc mgmt promotion-machine while trying to contribute to my non-profit organization, have somewhat of a real “life” and oh yeah…the holidays.

It doesn’t get any easier in December.

Oh yeah, I’m beyond excited to keep going.

I flew into the east coast on Monday morning (red-eye) and had a chance to catch up with family after about a ½ a day of work. On Tuesday, things resume to normal a bit with me deciding at the last minute to go and see M83 at Webster Hall in New York City.

Not much can go wrong right? Just gonna swing in on a non-stop rainy day in NYC, scalp a ticket to the show and recharge those internal batteries. Live music gives me a tremendous dose of motivation. I hope it does for you too, if not than go search pollstar.com or songkick.com and get out to see your favorite band as soon as possible.

Do it.

I arrived at the dreary and wet Webster Hall and began storming the front of the venue in search of a ticket to the show. Pretty quickly I bump into tickets for about $60. I had done my research coming in. I had checked ebay, stubhub, craigslist and found tickets in the range of $100 to $150 a piece. I simply was not going to pay this and felt I would get one for the $60 to $80 range. Since this hit the low-end number of my range it was simple for me to say two things to the trio of guys.

  1. Is the ticket a hard ticket?

  2. Is the ticket real?

Answers: “Yes” and “Of Course”.

I inspected the ticket and handed over $60.

What a lucky break I thought. Tickets have been sold out for awhile and if online after-market was any indicator of pricing, this was going to be a DEAL seven days of any week. I posted up at the bar across the street, grabbed some food, made a few new friends and waited until about 9:30 to stroll back over to the now-shortened Webster Hall line, albeit filled with umbrellas and sputtering rain showers. I got on the line, got my 21+ wristband and headed into the venue.

Handing over my ticket I had just a second of hesitation, almost as if saying to myself “this is all too easy” as things had been busy and difficult, to say the least, over the last 30 days. Not sure where it came from, maybe I was over-traveled, or under-rested or didn’t drink enough alcohol yet.  A combination of things hit me all at once.

Then it got real.

“This is a fake ticket sir. The show is sold out and the venue can do nothing about it and we’re confiscating your ticket”.

I was stunned. There is no way I drove 2 hours, paid $60 and with the 10pm start time looming 30 minutes away I had nowhere to go but back to the streets to try and find another ticket. With time and inventory against me it looked like a lost cause.

Now its really starting to rain, both literally and figuratively.

I start circling the front of the venue, asking every person I could find, “do you have any tickets”, “have any spares?” even asking the same people that I knew were also looking for tickets the same thing over and over again. I had made pacts with at least 2 or 3 different people that we were going to co-mingle our funds for a pair if needed and even a pinky-swear bar date with some girl if we both lost out on our mission.

Things were looking grim. Tickets were down to the single digits at this point. Demand was clearly exceeding supply. With about 15 minutes left to go before 10pm, it looked as though I was gonna drive home a loser.

Only three shows in my life have I been denied entry:

Coldplay at the Joint in Las Vegas in the early 2000’s

Brand New at Soma in San Diego in the middle 2000’s

Mute Math at the Troubadour just a couple months ago.

It looked like #4 was about to happen. With nowhere to go, I literally stood in the Webster Hall entrance miserable, wet, yet undeterred to accept my fate. This one kid had managed to find one ticket for $100 that was a printout and looked like a fake or reprint. He wouldn’t buy it and got into a screaming match with the guy right in front of the door. After persistence from this also-looking-for-a-ticket-guy I put my chances down to less than 1%.

Just as I was about to turn away, I asked a guy in his young 30’s who was approaching the entrance to Webster Hall if he had any extra tickets.

He said “Sure”.

He pulled out a ticket and just handed it to me. Still-in-shock, I said “I’ll follow you in and will $25 work?”, he said “yeah that works for me”.

Believe it or not, I was still semi-buzzkilled. I followed him like a tail on a coat into the venue for fear I was being ripped off again. After seeing his ticket get scanned and accepted, it was my turn. It worked.

Three minutes ago I was about to walk back to my car!

We wandered up talking for a minute and hanging out at the show. A nice guy from Israel who had lived in NYC doing advertising for the last 14 years. He was a fan of M83’s epic-ness and had two little girls who were excited about the upcoming celebration of Thanksgiving.

A good person who added value to my life in the most random of ways.

All that hard work this past month was gonna be a long-drive-home-sob-story.  I know its not that big of a deal, if I didn’t get in to the show.  There will always be other shows.  I just saw a break in my schedule, love the band and ran after the opportunity.  Much like most of what makes the music business so exciting.

The show was trumped by a good story.  The music rings in my short-term memory but the story will last forever.

I told him I would write about him, but I won’t expose his name as he may not be appreciative of that.

Anyways, thanks man, I had a ball.

You made my night.

You inspired me.


P.S.  The best way to see if a ticket is fake is to check the “ticketmaster” watermark. The above photo shows how they watermark the ticket on an angle.

ktcmgmt.com, killingthecabinet.com