ZZ Top....wasn't Times Union Ctr Perf Arts Moran Theater @ - Jacksonville @ , FL @ - Tue, May 4, 2010 @
Posted 05/05/2010by Av8rJames Location:Jacksonville, FlI have been a huge ZZ fan ever since the first time I heard "I'm bad, I'm nationwide," but this was my first chance to see them perform live. And since the opportunity presented, I paid the extra $250 for the personal "meet and greet" with the band after the show. Bad move.
The show itself was good - ZZ are professionals and they did just about every number I had hoped to hear, and did them well and faithfully to the original music. I thought the showmanship was lacking and that they did not connect with the audience at all...just got up and did their music thing - which, again was good and I have no complaints at all about the tunes...not much personality or connection to the audience tho, and this venue would have been really conducive to that kind of interaction - it ain't exactly Radio City Music Hall.
The "meet and greet" was an entirely different story. The best comparison I can make would be the Santa Claus scene in "A Christmas Story," where Ralphie and all his commrades wait for hours in line for their one big chance, 3 seconds worth, to sit in the big man's lap and have their moment in the sun. The only real difference is that Ralphie's big adventure only cost him a little time and some dignity - mine cost all that and the $250 I spent. $250 for merchandise worth about $50 and a "meet and greet" with personal photograph with the band.
Here's how that event went down - after the show about 50 of us stood in line in a hallway somewhere around backstage (we didn't get to go back stage - that might have been worth the $250....but alas, that was not to be). After about 30-45 minutes, we were marched up to the end of the hall where the organizer gets out his Canon Sure Shot (okay, it was a little more professional than that, but not much...) and mounts it on a tripod in front of three lovely pieces of dark red velvet hanging on the wall - the only thing missing was the painting of Elvis... After about another 30 minutes, yay! Here comes the band - finally! We all dutifully clap, both because we were genuinely happy to see them, but also because we were good little sheep and followed the organizer's instructions to "give the guys some love..." Not the slightest acknowledgement from the band that the 50 of us were even on the same planet, never mind cheering and applauding them did we receive. Seriously, not so much as a glance in our direction....hm...meh...
So, it turns out I'm first in line...not sure how that happened, but there I am. The band arranges themselves in front of the minus-Elvis velvet and we're ready for the big meet and greet moment. I have no idea what to do, but here is my chance to say hi to three guys whose music has inspired me and millions of others. I'm nervous - what do you say to guys like that so you don't sound like a complete retard? Dunno, but I decided to ask them about the Mexican food they said during the show they had at a little hole in the wall place next to the venue, and offer to call rescue for them if they need it...corny, but what else did I have?
Turns out I need not have wasted any mental effort worrying about interacting with the great men...interaction was not to be had. I'm standing there in front of the line not sure what I'm supposed to do, and then Frank Beard looks up and says to me, "Alright come on up, man." His tone was human and welcoming and so I think he is a decent guy, and so up I stride for my meet and greet. Cool! Not....
"Stand and pose" would probably be a better title for this event, because those are the ONLY things that then occurred - I stand next to Frank and Billy and turn to face the camera, while muttering something about them rocking the house at the show. Now, I'm a good size lad - 6'2, two fiddy, but I might as well have been an amoeba for all the acknowledgement I got from any of the three great men amongst whom I am now standing and trying to put on a genuine smile.
So, click goes the camera...my 3.276 seconds with ZZ is concluded...no thanks for coming, have a good night, faretheewell, go screw yourself...nothing. Click, you're done, get your drumsticks, BUH BYE!. 3.2 seconds for $250...lets round down to 3 seconds...that comes out to, $300,000.00 and hour. Pretty good pay for the great men.
If I sound a little bitter, I guess it's because I am...maybe not bitter, so much as disappointed. Now look, I understand that ZZ's been doing this stuff for a llllloooonnnnggg time and I am SURE it gets old and routine pretty quick. I got that. But if it's old and routine and the best you can do is a photo posted on a website taken with a Kodak, then DON"T CALL IT A MEET AND GREET AND CHARGE PEOPLE $250!! Or if you're going to have a meet and greet, for crying out loud at least greet or bid people farewell.
You like ZZ's music? Go to the show. You will enjoy the tunes. But don't spend a penny more than you must to get a seat under the roof, because it will NOT be money well spent.
Just my humble $.02
dallas failure. i have 6 diamond vip front row seats. when i got there they were second row seats. i had two gold vip tickets row 2 for my secretary. they were given row 11 tickets. the email said be there at 5 pm for ticket pickup and we assumed meet and greet. it was over 100 degrees in dallas and we got there at 5 pm for NOTHING. NOTHING. we got out tickets and sat for an hour. they wouldnt even let us shop until 6.they had this bs "vip tent" that had a bar. it was not the vip that every other concert at gexas uses as ive been to it 3 dozen times probably. and after the gates opened anybody could come or go from this "vip area. " zztop played at 9:30 pm! then they told us when we picked up our zztop vip tag we have photo op after the band played at 10:40..which the concert was running 30 minutes late so that put it after 11. who wanted to stay after being in the 100+ degrees heat for 5 hours. not only did we have row 1 seats but were given row 2, but when the zztop started the band authorized security to immediately open the front up to the general admission people so we had crazed fans crowding in our seats and in front of us and all around us. i asked security what the hell was going on and he said "its up to the band they open up the front when show starts." i said "why the hell did we buy these high priced seats then. ?" he just shook his head. it was a ripoff from the 5 pm to the 11 pm ending. and the accoustics sucked. i've a huge fan of zztop and have seen then solo, with kid rock and with lynnard skinnard but i will never go again. this even source is the biggest rippoff i have ever seen. i pay front row for concerts and sporting events monthly. SAVE UR MONEY. ITS A RIPOFF!!!!
VERY WELL PUT!! SOME PEOPLE JUST NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT A GRUELING SUMMER TOUR WITH SHOWS PRACTICALLY EVERY OTHER NIGHT ALL ACROSS THE U.S. HAS TO BE PLANNED OUT LOGISTICALLY TO THE MINUTE. I PAID $250 FOR A MEET & GREET IN NASHVILLE WITH 34 OTHER PEOPLE. IF THEY WOULD HAVE SAT DOWN AND TALKED TO ALL OF US INDIVIDUALLY, THE POOR FOLKS IN BATON ROUGE WOULD STILL BE WAITING TO SEE THEM FOR THE NEXT SHOW. ALL 3 GUYZZ AND THEIR MANAGEMENT DO A GREAT JOB WITH WHAT TIME THEY HAVE TO WORK WITH. I WILL PAY $250 AGAIN NEXT YEAR TO GET ANOTHER PHOTO.