The Daily Swarm got wind of an eBay auction for a pair of tickets to Elephant 6 cult hero Jeff Mangum’s September 9 show at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, which predates his appearance at the Portishead-curated ATP in Asbury Park by about three weeks. The asking price for the chance to be one of “hundreds” watching the gig: $5,600. Plus shipping. (Aw, c’mon!) Now, granted, the listing has been up since March and nobody’s bitten yet, so perhaps the Tampa-based concern “bestavailabletickets” might wind up making a bit less of a profit. But still!
Of course, concert tickets are crazy expensive these days even before you factor in fees, or the price-pumping that goes on in the secondary market; depending on what venue you’re attending, tickets could start just under $100 and then creep up from there. And the promise of a show by Mangum, whose legacy only grew as Neutral Milk Hotel’s 1998 album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea gained enough of a reputation to eventually be a Thursday-night NBC punchline, is clearly one that people will burn up the phone lines and hit up Craigslist, eBay, and less savory sides of the Internet.
So yes, capitalism charges on. But here’s where the fun speculation comes in. Actually, it’s kind of a good party game! What concert would you pay top dollar to see—and how much would you be willing to blow on the ticket, including transportation costs if you had to incur them (hey, some people really dream of seeing their favorite bands play Wrigley Field)? I generally am terrible at this game because my “I Wanna Be Rich” fantasies generally include a beach, a lot of sunscreen, and a gigantic scissor with which to cut off any inbound links to the Internet, but if I was told that for, say, a thousand dollars I could watch the Afghan Whigs perform Congregation and Gentlemen in their entirety at the Chicago club the Empty Bottle, I’d probably take fewer cabs and drink more wine at home.
(Oh, and it should probably be noted that the asking price for tickets to Mangum’s Town Hall show on Oct. 29 tops out at an asking price of $625/pair, should you be OK with waiting
an eternity seven weeks to catch a show of his.)