The Agony and the Ecstasy

Touring Steve 2011 is slowly getting off the ground: I have tickets for Pearl Jam concerts #26-29! Last Tuesday I spent five-and-a-half hours suffering through a disastrous Ten Club presale. Pearl Jam’s online store is where ticket dreams go to die; it crashed within seconds of the first batch of onsales (for Montreal and Toronto) and never really recovered, and the vast majority of would-be buyers were completely shut out. I was one of the lucky ones: I got tickets to both Toronto shows, but the situation actually got worse as the day progressed. And so the following day the Ten Club–and, by extension, the band themselves–got into bed with the devil and enlisted Ticketmaster’s services for a hastily-scheduled second fan club presale. Fan club members were sent individual passcodes that were good for two tickets to each of the ten Canadian shows. The result: I had my Calgary and Edmonton tickets within about two minutes. Has Pearl Jam finally solved its ticket selling problems? And, if Ticketmaster’s the solution, what does this mean to Pearl Jam and its fans?

Right now I don’t really care: I’ve got my tickets, and I’m a manager’s permission away from four more Pearl Jam shows. But this is clearly a discussion that has to eventually take place. It’s just evolution, baby…right?

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