Are These Ticketmaster Fake Concert Ticket Tips For The Fans?



Continuing our exploration of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, here’s a few wonderings I had about fake concert tickets as I read a recent post on Ticketmaster’s Ticketology blog.

Ticketmaster’s  Are those real post aims to share tips for fans to avoid counterfiet tickets. Most of the tips are helpful and it was interesting and heartbreaking to watch the videos they noted about a NY scalper who was caught scamming One Direction fans.

Yes, most of the tips are common sense and I would recommend reading them with the understanding that this is Ticketmaster after all and they don’t always have the best interest of the fans in mind.

And when they direct you to watch a video from Fans First Coalition just remember that Ticketmaster has been in a heated battle with rival Stubhub and as the NY Times reported last year:

This week a new nonprofit group, the Fans First Coalition, announced itself with a mission of protecting ordinary consumers from predatory ticket scalpers. The group appeared to have broad support from the industry, including prominent artists like R.E.M., the Dixie Chicks, Maroon 5 and Jennifer Hudson.

What fans might not know is that the coalition is financed by Live Nation Entertainment, the parent company of Ticketmaster, and that it has grown out of a lobbying fight between Live Nation and StubHub, the biggest legal online ticket reseller, over control of the multibillion-dollar secondary ticketing market.

Muddying the waters further, there is another group with a confusingly similar name, the Fan Freedom Project, which also claims to represent the interests of consumers. But it is largely financed by StubHub, a division of eBay.


As we continue to see social media transform the concert industry and the fan experience, the most interesting tip on Ticketmaster’s list is the one about not posting pictures of your concert tickets on Facebook or Twitter.

4. Do NOT take pictures of your tickets and post them to Facebook or Tweet them. Scalpers take these images and make counterfeits.

This tip seems like the hardest for fans not to do because part of the concert experience is sharing the news that you’re going to the concert and part of that process is proud showing of the evidence with a photo of your tickets to family and friends. It sure makes takes some of the fun out of using the Stagepage mobile app and Pinterest to celebrate our emotional ticket memory moments

But Ticketmaster advises you to resist the urge to do so because that feeds right into the evil clutches of ticket scammers.

Scammed by Sharing on Social Sites?

That said, I wonder how many fans have actually been the victim of counterfeit because of posting pictures of their tickets to social sites? If you have a story to share about this, let us know so we can understand how this sort of thing actually happens and explore it more on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

For me, I’ve never been the victim of counterfeit concert tickets directly, but indirectly I imagine that ticket scamming does raise the cost of tickets and I know that I’ve felt the impact many times in my wallet.

To wrap up this post, here’s a few links to more info I came across as I cruised around the interwebs to discover other aspects of our fake concert ticket exploration.

  •  – I used this to have some fun and create the fake Live Fix Music Festival ticket above. Who knows we actually might have a festival like this someday.  What fake concert would you create?


Tips or Tricks?

Do you think these Ticketmaster tips truly shared in the best interest of the fans or is Ticketmaster posting these to drive fans to use their services?

What stories, tips and experiences do you have about fake concert tickets?

Share your concert experiences and thoughts in the comments below, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Saul Williams Experiment: The Dual Review



Saul Williams

Saul Williams

I’ve always wanted to do this. 

So I did it.

But before I share with you Part One of a recent Live Fix Experiment, I want to thank my friend and fellow music writer Moira McCormick for giving me the chance to test out some ideas and explore another aspect of live music.

The Dual Concert Review

Last Tuesday, I reviewed Saul Williams and the Afro Punk tour stop when it came to the Double Door. You can check out my review and more of Colleen’s photos here.

But I’d like to give Moira’s review center stage because it was her review that made this Dual Review Experiment a success.

For some time know, I’ve been wanting to team up with a fellow music writer and have us attend the same concert and both write reviews just to see what sort of things show up.  I wanted to see if there would be similarities or differences in how the show moved or didn’t move us, how we each interpreted the crowd response, and what sort of expectations we both brought to the show and how those expectations influenced our reviews.  (The bold areas are my additions that I’ll explain later.)

Moira’s review

Saul Williams live at the Double Door, Chicago, 27 October 2009
When Saul Williams played Lollapalooza 2008, the multi-hyphenate artist (poet-actor-emcee-activist-writer-avant-rocker) scorched an already sultry Sunday afternoon. His skin-flaying barrage of electro, industrial, rap, and riffage was glandular in its intensity; the fact that it scared off a pair of yammering fratboys to my left made Williams’ startling set that much more delicious.
Thus, my question: was the impression that Williams’ Chicago appearance (Tuesday night at the Double Door, as headliner of the Afro-Punk Tour) was just a skosh less gobsmacking due (at least to some degree) to the following: the amiably dank Wicker Park venue’s near-capacity crowd was rather emphatically preppy?
And my answer: Oh, probably.  It’s that how-radical-can-this-be-if-these-people-like-it bias, embodied since time immemorial by music snobs everywhere (I will admit, grudgingly, to swelling their ranks now and then myself.)
If Saul Williams is swelling his own ranks with this brand of mass audience, it’s due in no small part to the brands of two corporate footwear titans: Nike, who made indelible use of Williams’ ferocious punk salvo “List of Demands (Reparations)” in a 2008 ad campaign; and now Converse, sponsor of the multi-city Afro-Punk Tour. It’s large-scale exposure, and it works.
Headliner Williams (who was immediately preceded at the Double Door by the workmanlike clatter of Houston-based American Fangs) took the stage calling a litany of names who have influenced him (and his alter ego, Niggy Tardust.) Baldwin, Coltrane, Hendrix, Shakespeare, Marley, and many more were invoked, while the four-piece band Krak Attak – led by drum machinist and Williams’ longtime compatriot CX Kidtronik – loosed a fire-hose spray of large rusty nails.
“Too many people to dance?” queried Williams, crowned with turquoise feathers and sizing up the sardined throng in the mosh pit. “No? Prove it!” He lurched into the fury of “Sha-Clack-Clack,” his declaration of incandescence from the 1998 movie Slam, going on to deliver a seething hit parade of signature tunes, including the sinuous “WTF,” jazz-inflected “Black Stacey,” jagged “Surrender (A Second to Think),” and deeply rocking “Tr(n)igger.” All eminently worthy, if (as mentioned) maybe not quite as utterly staggering as Williams’ Lolla set. 
A handful of new material did intrigue, in particular the piece Williams introduced as “a demo,” all ominous synths oozing between anxious staccato beats. By his performing the work-in-progress, Williams announced to the crowd, “You’re helping me write it.”  Also striking was a song so freshly minted Williams described it as “barely written;” it had a loping, psychotic-Asian-cowboy feel – the soundtrack to an Eastern Western, maybe.
The show could very easily have done without Kidtronik’s playing-to-the-groundlings antics towards the end, soliciting “the ladies” to dance onstage, but it was followed with a respectable version of “List of Demands” – a crowd-pleasing closer that got the desired response.


I learn a lot from reading the work of fellow music writers and this was no different.  The areas I bolded were spots where I really zeroed in because Moira’s descriptions were either strikingly different than mine or revealed a side to Williams music that I hadn’t seen before.  We had talked about her Lollapalooza 2008 review before the show and I didn’t expect her to use that as a lead.  Nonetheless I loved how she used “delicious” as a way to describe her excitement and anticipation Williams show.

The other part I loved about doing this Experiment was how it unlocked ways to describe live music.

Sometime I get in ruts and when I read reviews like these I walk away inspired and pumped because I feel like I have just added new weapons into my music writing arsenal.

Reading her “loosed a fire-hose spray…” and  “…soundtrack to an Eastern Western…” descriptions were truly  “new weapons” moments.  And it’s moments like those that make writing, and reading, about live music so fun and a great creative adventure.  Because let’s be honest, writing about music doesn’t always pay the big bucks so there’s got to a be reason why we do it for so long and for so little pay most of the time.  One reason, I know, is because when we’re having fun doing it, it’s a highly pleasurable creative outlet and a powerful form of self-expression.

And this makes perfect sense because many music writers (me included) are better at writing about music than playing, so it’s only natural that we’d turn to the written word to express ourselves. 

The other part of this experiment that I loved was the chance to connect and collaborate with a fellow music writer.  It’s not to often that I get to meet and work with my colleagues in this way, so this was a great chance to do something fresh with a old craft and build our  Live Fix community.

Part Two:  a music journalist  tells her story

I hope you enjoyed Part One and stay tuned for Part Two as I interview Moira about some of her favorite concert experiences as a fan and a music journalist.   We had a brief time to chat before the Saul Williams and I’m excited to share the rest of her story with you.

Are you a music writer?  If you want to share your story or do a Dual Review send me an email at

 Photo credit Colleen Catania

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Pitchfork Music Festival: Did Day One Go As Planned?


Day One of the Pitchfork Music Festival was a drizzly and chilly one. But there was enough warmth and heat coming from the stage via the Jesus Lizard and Built to Spill to keep me from shivering myself to death (I’ll make sure to bring a sweatshirt for Day Two).

The Live Fix Twitter Experiment is going well and there’s been a plethora of sights, sounds and smells to document and process. In just a few hours I had the pleasure of tweeting unfortunate accidents and beautiful moments of euphoria as live music fans soaked up a night during which the fans got to pick the set lists. Did you get to hear your song? Did you enjoy having the bands play the songs you wanted to hear?


But all didn’t go as planned. Because, as the Chicago Tribune reports in one of my favorite wrap ups of Day One, some bands didn’t play by the rules.

Day Two is underway and fans are making their way around the grounds as the beer lines and port-a-potie lines start to grow longer with each passing minute.

I’ll be keeping an eye on several bands: Black Lips, Yeasayer, The National among others. But especially Doom.  Will the real Doom show up or will he send an imposter?  

Follow and join in on the Live Fix Twitter Experiment here.

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Can Readers, Newspapers and the Web Get Along?


Earlier this month, two Dallas newspapers begun an “experiment” which involves running the same review of the same concert for both papers instead of having two critics write about the concert providing two different perspectives. This experiment is an attempt on one level to cut costs and help newspapers get more bang for their buck when it come to paying the writer and filling newspaper page with content.

But critics have argued that this type of experiment will only further diminish the importance of balanced cultural criticism and result in a water-down, one-sided perspective that ultimately hurts the reader and kills arts criticism.

From a business perspective the experiment makes sense but what I really think is that newspapers should spend more time figuring out how to become relevant again in terms of how they present stories and most importantly how readers get and digest and process entertainment journalism.

Yes, newspapers need to figure out is what is really important to reader and fans. But readers and arts fans also need to take a look at themselves and ask if they even care about reading arts criticism and why it’s important.

As I’ve learned more about human behavior, I know that if people truly believe that their getting something by acting or paying money, they’ll also have a reason to read a story. They will pay money for it. And if newspapers want to make readers want to pay for the paper then they have to give readers something that resonates with them. Clearly the old model of the newspaper needs to be re-thought and evolve. What good does it do for newspapers to freak out and miss a chance to find new way to engage readers. Likewise, readers need to take full advantage of the situation. Newspapers have never been more attentive or open to suggestions.

Do fans want in-depth criticism?

Do newspapers really understand their readers?

Have readers let newspapers have a chance to figure them out?

Do newspapers see any value in taking the time to figure out readers and take chances with new mediums?

There are more questions but the important thing for newspapers and readers is not to stop asking questions. Both sides must figure out what they want the future to look like.

I love newspapers. I love both the nostalgia of the ink on my fingers and the crinkle of the paper. I also love the feeling of being informed, of being challenged, of reading a good news story in print that makes me think differently. But I also believe that print newspapers should serve a different role in my life other than to give my eyes a rest from the digital hypnotizing of the internet computer screen, which is really what it’s become lately. It kills me to type that because I studied media and journalism in college and I’ve always loved what a newspaper means and represents but the model and the significance needs to be rethought.

I also love the freedoms that the internet presents. I love the immediacy of the web and I’ll take the flaws and perks of web and citizen journalism, hoping the print newspapers will find a way out of the coffins they built when power of web journalism flexed its muscles with advent and evolution of the internet.

It will take a while to see if readers choose whether or not they want newspapers to provide them with daily news and quality journalistic reporting. But newspapers also have to ask themselves what role the arts and entertainment play in the lives of readers.

Because clearly blogs and the internet are delivering what readers want and in the why they want it. This doesn’t mean the newspapers have to go extinct. It just means that they have to reevaluate what entertainment journalism means to readers and how far readers are willing to go to get the best—and for the pink elephant in the room—whether or not readers feel that should pay for it.

I think part of this issue is based on quality and not necessarily on the medium or the accessibility of the internet.

This may seem like a gutsy move but newspapers should force readers to choose what they think is most important to read.

If readers don’t care that they’re only getting one perspective of a live concert performance and the fact that newspapers are double-dipping to save money, then newspapers have no reason to care either. It’s a nasty circle, and it does no good for critics to whine and moan amongst each other.

I’ve asked this question before. And I’ll ask it again.

Do you reader and fans really care to read two takes on the same concert? Does this serve a purpose in our lives?

As a music writer and journalist, I know the value of having two perspectives but again…

Do fans really care? Do fans see the value? And are they willing to pay for it?

If fans do then shouldn’t they pay for it? Fans shouldn’t expect to get multiple view points at a lower price and expect the newspaper to survive. Any reader or fan who does expect this doesn’t understand how a business works.

I’m putting the question back in the readers and fans court for 2009 and beyond.

Making art shouldn’t always be about making money, but ask any independent artist and they’ll tell that if you want what you believe in to continue then you have to support it with your time and resources.

Readers have to tell newspapers what they want and what they’re willing to pay for. Then maybe newspaper might be able to come up with something better than running the same review in two different papers.

If readers really care, it’s up to them to do something. Being passive reactive consumers will only give us what we’ve always gotten.

How about you? What are you going to do?

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Live Music Experiment #1: What Is The Most Important Sense?



It’s begun!

I’m pleased to announce the first phase questionnaire that will begin a series of experiments examining the role and importance of the five senses at a live show.

After having several conversations with friends about what they think is the most important sense when it comes to enjoying a live show, I didn’t get any sort of general consensus on the senses. Whether it was a rock, hip hop or country show that my friends were recalling, I received a wide array of answers, making strong cases for ears, eyes, noses, taste buds and touch sensors.

And I now pose my question to you: What is the most important sense needed to enjoy a live show?

Yes, I have decided to put you faithful Live Exhaust readers to the test. And see how well you know your body and how it works when you’re being entertained.

Here’s how you can participate. You can drop a comment or send an email including either the number or the corresponding sense from the list below, along with a brief explanation.

With the summer festival season in full swing, I will also be handing out question cards and talking with fans at upcoming festivals like Rothbury, Pitchfork and Lollapalooza, so if you’re heading out to either one of those festivals be sure to keep an eye out and stop me and tell me what you think.

Here’s the list:

1. Hearing
2. Sight
3. Touch
4. Smell
5. Taste

Be sure to check in as the votes come in over the next few weeks and we’ll see what you think is the most crucial sense needed in order to enjoy a live show.

Thinking ahead… if it came down to it, is there a sense you would give up if you had to?

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