In this series Fugitive Sounds editor Cameron Howell posts selected stubs from his cache of concert tickets, along with his memories of the shows—a “little exercise” that he says “is as much about memory and explaining memories as it is about music or concerts.” Check back at noon each Thursday for the latest installment.
This is what happens if you unwittingly purchase counterfeit tickets and try to gain entry to the (relatively new) Barclays Center to see Pearl Jam in 2013: security sends you inside the venue, to the ticket office, where officials confiscate your tickets and photocopy them for you, after stamping VOID all over them.
Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)
October 19, 2013
Let’s start at the beginning. You make plans to visit a buddy and his family in New York. You and your buddy will see Pearl Jam at the Barclays Center, since your buddy’s brother-in-law can always get tickets.
As the weekend of the concert approaches, the brother-in-law has not produced any tickets. No sweat. You’ll wing it. At minimum, you will enjoy a weekend with your buddy and his family at their new home in Bronxville. With maturity, your buddy has migrated from St. Marks in the East Village to Washington Heights to the suburbs.
You spend Friday walking around Manhattan while your buddy works. You see the exhibit honoring the 100th anniversary of the Armory Show, at the New York Historical Society. You watch museum staff hang canvases at the Guggenheim. On Friday night, you and your buddy and your buddy’s wife see Gravity in 3-D on a huge screen at Alamo Drafthouse. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock float in the vacuum of space while you drink a boozy milkshake.
On Saturday, the day of the Pearl Jam concert, you scour StubHub and Craig’s List for tickets. You convince yourself that you have found a good deal on Craig’s List.
Despite warnings from your buddy’s wife, you phone the guy who is selling the tickets. He explains that his “son” has the tickets. You arrange to meet the son at Fleetwood station, on your way from Bronxville to Manhattan.
The son meets you at the Fleetwood station. He shows you his ID and the tickets. You give him a lot of cash. He says that he doesn’t really like Pearl Jam anyway. That he’s going to the football game instead. The kid gets into the passenger side of a Porsche SUV and drives off.
You take the train from Fleetwood to Manhattan. You visit old East Village haunts, eat a dog at Crif Dogs, find some vintage Sonic Youth records, play pinball, and find the only bar in the East Village where every television is playing college football.
After dark, you eat some fancy pizza and take the subway to Brooklyn. You settle in at a bar near the Barclays Center to watch the Red Sox, who are playing Detroit in ALCS Game 6. Your buddy, an incurably superstitious Boston fan, cannot watch the first two innings. He paces and plays pinball and has you call the outs.
You wander toward the Barclays Center. The crowd is thin, and it sounds as if Pearl Jam is already playing as you approach the venue. You rarely miss the beginning of a show because your nerves won’t let you. But you shrug off the fact that you’re late. You’re having a great day.
A security guard at the door scans your ticket with a handheld remote. Security tells you that your ticket has already been used by another patron to enter the venue tonight. Security tells your buddy that his ticket is fake.
Security sends you to the ticket office, where other humiliated fans are getting photocopies of their counterfeit tickets, stamped VOID. You can hear Pearl Jam playing just through the steel doors, thirty yards away. No, there are not any tickets remaining for the show. The show is sold out.
You take the subway to Manhattan and then to Bronxville. You and your buddy walk to his house, discussing how stupid you were to buy those tickets.
But you get to watch the end of ALCS Game 6. Koji Uehara, the Boston closer, does those strange ballet moves on the mound after he hurls the ball–the glove on his left hand extending up and away in the opposite direction of his right leg. The Red Sox hold on to beat Detroit and go to the World Series.