At the last minute we decided to go to the Fillmore to see Big Head Todd and The Monsters. Much to our surprise, we arrived to a sold out show. As ticket-holders wandered past, we queried, “Extra ticket? Friend bail?” all to no avail.
Emily headed to the box office; I headed to the scalper’s corner; the other two simply watched.
At the box office:
Emily: Are you going to release any extra tickets?
Box Office Girl: No.
E: What about after the show starts? Will you release extra tickets then?
E: Is there any chance you may release tickets?
E: Should I check back later, just in case?
At scalper’s corner:
Me: What are you selling those for? (craning my neck as I speak to the 6 foot 7 massive block of a scalper)
Scalper Man: Fifty dollars.
Me: For one ticket? (incredulous) Face value is $25.
Me: I’m talking about tickets to tonight’s show. Big Head Todd. And the Monsters. They’re a band from Boulder, for god’s sake.
SM: Fifty dollars.
Me: Did you know that according to California law, you’re not allowed to resell tickets for more than face value.
SM: Then try the box office, sweetie.
Emily and I reconvened, the other two laughing at our attempts. Emily continued to query passers by. I decided to try the scalpers again.
Me: Okay. So let’s say, hypothetically speaking, that the opening band plays for an hour.
SM: (silence, gazing into the distance)
Me: That would put Big Head Todd and his Monsters on at, say, 9:15, maybe 9:30.
SM: (still silent)
Me: So, hypothetically speaking, if you still had those tickets in your hand at 10:00, what would you sell them for?
SM: (still not looking at me) Fifty dollars.
I sighed with disgust and started walking back to our group. On the way there I noticed a guy with a Fillmore ski cap on, just hanging. I smiled. He gave me the nod. “They giving you any problem?” as he nodded towards the scalpers. “No. They’re just trying to sell the tickets for $50. That’s ridiculous. Can they do that? Who are you?”
“Troy. I work for the Fillmore. I’m kind of a scalper police. I make sure they’re, you know, doing right.”
Emily joined us. “This is ridiculous. This is Big Head Todd. I stood in line for Prince, the line wrapped around the block, and I was able to buy tickets for FACE VALUE. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to do the same for Big Head Todd.” And she continued to query the ticket holders. “Friend sick? Extra ticket? Thanks…”
Troy watched us, amused. He walked away, he talked to the scalpers, he went to the box office, he eventually came back. Speaking to no one in particular he said, “Follow me. Don’t speak to me. Don’t smile. And don’t say thank you.”
Emily led the way, with me, Tricia, and Bryan close behind. Troy whispered something to the bouncer. We were whisked in, hands stamped, and on the floor of the Fillmore, ready to rock out. For less than face value.