If you buy a ticket to a major rock concert, it goes without saying that your ticket will be checked at the door by venue staff. This policy is the same across the board, regardless of the venue. Moving between sections within a venue, however, is another matter: staff often double-check tickets within each section, but as any frequent concertgoer knows, this policy is futile in the face of rock fans with bad seats eager for a close-up view of the band.
In the battle of venue vs. rock fans with nosebleed seats, the latter often wins—and almost always to the chagrin of fans who pay what is usually a large sum of money for prime seats.
Thus the poor Jimmy Buffett fan who suffered this fate at Buffett’s sold-out June 14 concert at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. This fan, who requested anonymity, shelled out a generous sum of money on the resale market for a seat enviable to any Buffett fan. But according to the fan, the show was difficult to enjoy because stadium staff did not check tickets of people moving between sections, leading to a chaotic situation in which rowdy fans took over prime seats and crowded towards the stage. (This was coupled with the fact that, according to the fan, most of the invaders appeared to be inebriated, an ironic observation, given that Buffett opened the show with a solo version of “Why Don’t We Get Drunk.”) A frequent concertgoer might say this is par for the course at a major event—especially at a Buffett concert, where the crowd displays their almost religious devotion to the singer and his music—but the fan felt it put a damper on the evening. A thunderstorm that delayed the show also contributed to the bad time.
When asked to comment on the “chaos” described by the fan, a spokesperson for the Citizens Bank Park said, “I can assure you that all tickets were checked. It’s a general rule.”
The 43,647-seat Citizens Bank Park is home to the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. Jimmy Buffett first played at the Citizens Bank Park in 2005. The stadium has also hosted Bon Jovi and The Police.
But not every attendee’s experience was spoiled by the crowd. Philadelphia’s Centre Daily Times editor Bob Heisse wrote on his blog that the Buffett show was “in a word, awesome, as good as any Buffett concert that I’ve seen.” Remarks left on internet message boards by people who attended the concert indicate an audience generally pleased with the show, with one woman writing, “this show was better than ANY Buffett show I’ve seen anywhere.”
Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer band stopped in Philadelphia as part of his The Year of Still Here 2008 tour, which winds down in October in Mountainview, CA.