Whether you paid $25 or $200 to see Jay-Z, the Veronicas, Third Eye Blind, and Kelly Clarkson perform at Arizona Stadium, you had the option of sitting wherever you pleased because ASUA didn’t effectively monitor seating.
Not when the first mainstream act, the Veronicas took stage, at least.
I was among the smart students to go for the best bargain, and I was immediately upgraded to sit closer to the stage. Still, my friends and I saw dozens of empty rows in the center stadium, so we decided to sit in one of the many vacant areas.
Just then, an ASUA student approached my friend and said, “I trust you, but can I see your ticket?”
He didn’t do that to anyone else, and after a few minutes, we moved closer to the stage again because there was no reason for anyone to deny us good seats that weren’t purchased.
As soon as the Veronicas came on stage, all students moved as close as they could to the front, and the audience had filled by the time this seemingly bored, indifferent girl band played their last song.
Next was Third Eye Blind, and the crowd came alive during popular songs such as “Jumper” and the new “Non-Dairy Creamer.” Everyone seemed to enjoy their performance more, as shown when they constantly sang along and began dancing.
Pretty much no one sat in their assigned seats, and the man on the loudspeaker said Kelly Clarkson would not come on stage until everyone retreated to the actual seats they bought. And nobody moved, so even though I got the cheapest ticket, I sat in seats worth $200 a month ago, and there was nothing ASUA could do to control this issue. They tried to get everyone to get what they paid for, therefore, move further away from the stage. Everyone stayed put, though, and why would ASUA have a problem with everyone moving forward if those seats weren’t sold, anyway?
Kelly Clarkson was the third act, and she probably sang the most songs out of all the performers. She mostly sang from her most popular 2004 album “Breakaway,” and then she sang her mixed-bag 2007 hit “Never Again.”
The southern American Idol seemed the most genuine out of all the performers, even though she didn’t seem nearly as excited or into the music the way she did when I saw her in 2003 (guilty). She’s been known to make awkward jokes in public, and she definitely maintained that reputation tonight when she fixed her bra and revealed to the audience, “It just snapped. Never get bras that snap in the front. The girl over there just said something about small boobs, she knows what I’m talking about! Woo, small boobs!”
“I never thought I’d tour with Jay-Z,” she went on. “I’ve got 99 problems and sometimes a bitch is one!”
After a 45-minute break, Jay-Z jumped on-stage, and somehow, the crowd went crazier than they had for the other three bands, even after hours of standing around, dancing, shouting, and trying not to fall into anyone. Weed reeked throughout the stadium, and the “no smoking” regulation didn’t stop anyone from smoking cigarettes.
Jay-Z sang “My President is Black,” a slideshow of Barack Obama playing on the background screen, and the crowd seemed to appreciate the tribute. I can say it felt a little too political, but I’m glad the president is African American. Even so, the issue is still political, and it’s kind of unfair to broadcast a political agenda onto a group of concert go-ers who do not expect to hear all about someone they did or did not vote for. But I know I’m not going to win this argument.
All the concert rules should have been communicated to consumers before they entered the stadium. No bags were allowed, including purses, and none of the women knew this beforehand. I was lucky to hear someone else screaming about it before I got in line, so I immediately stuffed my bag in my trunk. The only reason the line only took five minutes to get through was because so many women were being turned away, and they all ran back to their cars or homes to find a place to temporarily stash their purses.
It seems rather unsafe to force women to make this decision. I felt especially vulnerable only having my pockets to hold all my essentials. I left my credit and debit cards in the car and stuffed a $20 bill in my pocket. Anyone in charge of the concert should have made this rule clear earlier on because hundreds of frustrated women had to step out of line and change their plans somehow.
Overall, the only artist who seemed exceptionally jazzed was Jay-Z, who ironically got his rapper name from being “jazzy” in the past. Kelly Clarkson acted chipper but not necessarily thrilled, the Veronicas didn’t even feign enthusiasm, and Third Eye Blind behaved as if this was just another concert they’ve done. These artists could have been a lot more animated, but thankfully, the audience kind of made up for it.
I’m just glad I paid the bare minimum for my ticket because everyone ended up sitting wherever they wanted. The Desert Lamp definitely foresaw this happening. Besides the sales disappointment, ASUA pulled off a great event, and I’d like to see these kinds of concerts come to the UA every year.