Boys and girls, somebody is not getting the message. Someone has not been paying attention. If you've read the news lately, the economy is in the terlet. Apparently everyone knows this but the concert industry, particularly the reviled ticketing agencies TicketMaster and Live Nation.
Coldplay has announced a new run of dates for their Viva La Vida tour that will keep them in North America through at least August. The topline ticket price for Coldplay runs in the $97.50 neighborhood, which feels high to a cheapskate like me, but wasn't terribly out of line with other top headliners before everyone's disposable income turned into last month's late rent payment. By the time taxes are tacked on and Live Nation takes their pound of flesh, that ticket rises to $131.
Children, hear me now: this is either another sign the economy is improving or someone is going to lose their ass this summer. I'm not predicting it will be Coldplay. It could be U2, who thinks now is the right time to charge mini-bar prices to play stadiums. Even they'll probably get away with it. Someone, though, is going to overreach. This bubble will burst just like the real estate bubble did. The music will stop and someone's ass is going to be left without a seat.
It hasn't been all sunshine and daisies for Coldplay. I suppose this expanding tour was supposed to be a victory lap but Robert Plant and Alison Krauss had other ideas. Coldplay was nominated for seven Grammy awards this year but walked away with two. They are being sued Joe Satriani for plagirism. Satriani claims Coldplay's hit single "Viva La Vida" is too similar to "If I Could Fly," a song from his Is There Love In Space? album. Chris Martin and his Oscar-winning wife Gwyneth Paltrow have both had to repeatedly deny rumors their marriage is on the rocks.
Then again, it hasn't been all that bad for them either. They had the best-selling album of 2008, which is no small accomplishment these days. Even before the economy went to hell, record companies couldn't get anyone to buy a record, particularly Coldplay's EMI label. It's kind of amazing when you think about it. The multi-platinum (and completely wonderful) Viva La Vida is approaching the 8 million mark worldwide. It's one of those rare occurences where commerce and quality are not diametrically opposed.
This run of dates includes stops in some secondary markets and will have the band playing amphitheaters and arenas. Some dates are already on sale while others come online in the coming weeks.
15 – West Palm Beach, FL – Cruzan Amphitheatre
17 – Atlanta, GA – Lakewood Amphitheatre
18 – Birmingham, AL – Verizon Wireless Center
20 – Virginia Beach, VA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
21 – Washington, DC – Nissan Pavilion
23 – Hartford, CT – The Meadows Music Center
24 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Stadium
26 – Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center
27 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center
29 – Scranton, PA – Toyota Pavilion
30 – Pittsburgh, PA – Post Gazette Pavilion
1 – Darien, NY – Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center
2 – Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
4 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
5 – Noblesville, IN – Verizon Wireless Music Center
6 – Nashville, TN – Sommet Center
9 – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Arena
10 – San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
12 – Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Arena
13 – Omaha, NE – Qwest Center
15 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – MTS Centre
17 – Calgary, Alberta – Pengrowth Saddledome
18 – Edmonton, Alberta – Northlands Park
20 – Vancouver, British Columbia
10 – Ridgefield, WA – The Amphitheater at Clark County
11 – George, WA – The Gorge Amphitheatre
13 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
14 – Marysville, CA – Sleep Train Amphitheatre
16 – Chula Vista, CA – Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
18 – Carson, CA – Home Depot Center
21 – Dallas, TX – Superpages.com Center
22 – Spring, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
24 – Maryland Heights, MO – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
25 – East Troy, WI – Alpine Valley Music Theatre
30 – Toronto, Ontario – Rogers Centre
3 – Mansfield, MA – Comcast Center
6 – Raleigh, NC – Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion
7 – Charlotte, NC – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
9 – Tampa, FL – Ford Amphitheatre