Concert merchandise has become a bigger and bigger enterprise for touring bands. It used to be that going to the show would net you a t-shirt and a sticker…all reasonably priced under $20. T-shirts would be emblazoned with the latest album cover artwork and the tour dates on the back. With the exception of the backs of magazines like Hit Parade, this seemed to be your only chance of showing your friends you were actually at the show. Or you could opt for the fabric patch that would go on the back of your favorite denim jacket after you pleaded with your mom to sew it on (because picking up a needle & thread was a foreign concept to you). Either way, going to a concert was a rite of passage and supporting your favorite bands at the merchandise table helped you learn the value of a dollar.
That has all changed now.
I first noticed there was a change in tides when Pearl Jam did their #TheHomeShows in Seattle. It was announced on their website that a pop-up shop would be setup right next to Safeco Field about 4 or 5 days before the first show. At first, I thought it was kind of stupid and why would people want to wait in long lines before the show to get a t-shirt and a poster. But it wasn’t just t-shirts and posters available. Everything from pins and pint glasses to socks and tote bags could be yours as willing as you were to pry open your wallet.
Something I have been getting into as a hobby the last couple of years is collecting gig posters. With the exception of one, all the shows that I have posters for I attended. The double-edged sword comes when you want to go down to the pop-up shop before the show to get your hands on an exclusive print at retail but realize it would be easier letting someone else wait in line and flip the poster on eBay. So you shell out your hard earned money and hope that whoever made the purchase would treat your potential win the same as if they were handling a newborn child.
But what does this have to do with the Foo Fighters? They too did a pop-up shop before playing a hometown show at Safeco Field. This time I was on board with the idea. Reason being, after seeing the lines at the merchandise table at the Pearl Jam shows (long and slow moving) it became apparent that one of the reasons was crowd control. If nobody had their shirts and posters before going in, people could potentially wait in line from start to end of the show.
Being a little paranoid that we were going to miss out on something, we met up with our friend Chelly about a 1/2 hour before doors opened. We were the second ones in line to get in and bolted up the stairs as soon as we got through the metal detectors. I battled with myself on whether or not I wanted to get a poster. Granted, I had already purchased one of the limited Don Pendleton prints on eBay from a gracious soul that waited in line at the pop-up shop. I told myself, “If they have cardboard tubes, I might get one. If they don’t, then no. If the print is absolutely awesome I will just wait and get it when the artist does a drop of prints on their website. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.”
Back in line at the merchandise table, I saw that they not only had the Todd Slater print that I saw online earlier ($30), they also had the foil variant ($100). It was a hard decision, there were no tubes, only plastic bags and no rubber bands. I decided to pull the trigger and get the foil variant. I justified the purchase by thinking when was I going to have another chance like this to get a foil variant at a show. Was it an artist print? No. But I held onto it like it was a newborn. Come to find out later that only 50 were made for the show and I got number 49.
As far as the show went, it was an absolute blast! I had seen Foo Fighters at The Gorge a couple of years back (picked up a sweet Brad Klausen print there) and it was enjoyable. The big difference seeing them this time around is that it felt like it was a rock show. A true rock show. Like you were a fly on the wall watching the band play together and have the time of their lives. After the last encore was played, you couldn’t help but feel that what you watched for the last 3 hours was awesome…special…and pretty fucking epic.
|3.||Make It Right||4:39|
|4.||The Sky Is A Neighborhood||4:05|
|5.||La Dee Da||4:03|
|8.||Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)||3:41|
|11.||Concrete And Gold||5:32|