BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Mötley Crüe fans Dustin Luhowy, Ray MacFarlane, Drew Martin and Tyler Shukin had waited since 4 a.m. to buy their tickets Friday. Despite being first in line, they were unable to get floor seats, which were already taken by online sales.
It could be a sign of the times. The days of camping out for concert tickets in a bid to be first in line for coveted floor seats may have gone the way of the cassette tape.
Tickets went on sale yesterday morning for the much-hyped Mötley Crüe show at the Keystone Centre box office and online — and those with itchy mouse fingers got the prized front-row seats.
Four 17-year-old high school friends arrived at the Keystone Centre on Friday at 4 a.m., and not surprisingly, they were first in line.
Fuelled by coffee and energy drinks, the boys in Mötley Crüe T-shirts held their space in line at the cost of sleep and their morning classes.
They were sure they were going to score the tickets close enough to make eye contact with one of the most notorious bands in rock and roll, but their disappointment was more than a little audible when the die-hard fans were told the closest seats available weren’t near the front rows.
"We’ve been up all night hyped about this," said Dustin Luhowy, one of the high schoolers, disappointed with the ticket in his hand.
Keystone general manager Neil Thomson said it’s no surprise the plum tickets sold quickly online.
"Looking at the lineup we had, we had a good lineup and then phone calls, but the majority are through the Internet, which doesn’t surprise us," he said.
About 70 per cent of the tickets were sold as of Friday afternoon, which marks one of the strongest first-day sales in recent memory for the Keystone Centre and signals a good possibility of a sellout, which proved difficult for the recent Tragically Hip and Kenny Rogers shows.
Thompson said more than 500 of the floor seats are being held at the request of the band, for the band’s crew and fan club members. Brandon actually had one of the highest fan club ticket sales in Canada, Thomson said.
"There may be some that open up later, I’m not sure … sometimes they release those holds when it comes closer to the actual date," he said.
About 50 people were in line as the box office opened up — at 10:03 a.m. according to the early-rising teens — and a wide spectrum of age was seen queued up.
Despite Mötley Crüe reaching the peak of stardom in the late 1980s, 17-year-old Ray MacFarlane is still drawn to the care-free persona of the band.
"They’re just awesome, that’s all I can say," he said. "They are who they are and they don’t care what you think."
For others, it’s a chance to see the band that will conjure up memories of glam metal’s heyday. A man waiting in line by the name of Breeze is keeping the era’s style alive with a curly blond mullet that reaches his lower back. This will be the second time he has seen the Crüe — the first time was in Chicago in 1986.
"They were friggin rockin’ out then," Breeze said. "I’m sure they had a lot more energy then than they do now."
He said he was surprised about this week’s concert announcement of the Crüe hitting Brandon.
"Usually big bands like this won’t hit small towns," he said. "I know a lot of the rock bands now are starting to do smaller venues."
For the Keystone Centre, Thomson said they were hoping to sell out on the first day.
"When you put together these type of events with a quality act like Mötley Crüe, you can always hope for that type of result, but I’m happy with the 70 per cent," he said.
Meanwhile, Thomson anticipates heightened security for the May 6 show, a decision traditionally made by the band.
"In this concert, we are doing pat-downs, which again is part of the expectation from the group," Thompson said. "The band knows their fans and they’re the ones who say ‘you have to do this in order for us to perform at your facility.’"
Prices for tickets to the May 6 show range from $65 to $100 plus service fees. Westman Place will be set up in its 5,000-seat configuration.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 2, 2013