WE'RE NOT WORTHY: Nothing like getting slickered by a bunch of big-city folks--once again, we can all feel like a bunch of rubes. Lollapalooza has officially abandoned the Pima County Fairgrounds for the greener--as in money--pastures of Compton Terrace in Phoenix on Saturday, July 27.
You might also notice the date has changed--seems the Lollapalosers picked up a large venue in Washington, offering the opportunity to make a lot of dough for the festival. The fact that the Washington date conflicted with the Tucson date might have been a blessing, since it required moving the festival up the calendar, which meant that we'd get to see the show on Saturday rather than Wednesday, which would have given us a day off to sleep off the hangover and heat exhaustion. No problem.
But rather than allowing Tucson the chance to sell out the new and improved Saturday date, the Lollapalosers experienced a greed attack on the scale of an '80s Drexel bond salesman and--whoosh--the festival was yanked up the road to Compton Terrace. Paint that place red and call it hell.
Apparently someone misplaced the press release which read: "Lollapalooza organizers have forsaken permanent standing concert venues in favor of more festival-like settings that allow maximum freedom while accommodating the increase of fans." Yeah, right.
Admittedly, Tucson is a tough market to gauge. Just about everybody here is a paycheck away from utter oblivion, so concert tickets tend to sell at the last minute--after the rent's been paid but before the utilities. Still, with a month to go before the concert, there is little doubt around here that the tickets would have sold for the Pima County Fairgrounds site.
As if that wasn't enough, ticket prices went up $1 for the Compton Terrace show. Doesn't sound like much, but multiply that by 20,000 and it ain't chump change.
No telling how this will affect the Metallica tour scheduled for later this year, which is the reason many secondary markets were chosen in the first place. Looks like Metallica's management is about to stomp a mudhole in the middle of the Lollapaloser organizers.
Don't blame the bands--they just play wherever the tour bus takes them. Their road managers received an itinerary change from the Lollapaloser organizers and, well, that's pretty much all they're gonna know. So the next time you hear a band attribute their success to the support of their fans, just remember that there's a bunch of bottom-line suits lurking in the shadows and muttering "Whatever you say, guitar boy."
If you're harboring any high-falutin delusions about Perry Farrell disengaging himself from the festival, don't kid yourself--he's just bad-mouthing the thing while waiting for his lucrative slice of the Lollapaloser pie. God bless him.
Contrast all of this festival hypocrisy with the Sex Pistols reunion tour, which was announced with a brazen "We're doing it for the money!" by an older-but-no-less-rasty John Lydon. Lydon killed rats for a living as a kid, which provided him with the requisite skills to nail the rock-and-roll game. No doubt about what to expect from those guys. Imagine the sneer on Lydon's face when manufactured labels like "alternative" are mentioned in his presence. You can trust a guy like that.
Problem is, they'll probably play Phoenix.
LAST NOTES: Tucson's own Greyhound Soul plays Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Friday, June 28. The musically impulsive Geggy Tah opens with a blend of punk, funk, and--gasp--prog-rock. Four bucks buys your way in. Call 622-8848 for more information.
Club Rhythm Dance Jam returns to the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave., on Saturday, June 29. Get ready for a throbbing mix of tribal, African, Carribean, Latin and South American, European, blues, funk, folk and rock will pour from the speakers for the listening pleasure of the light-footed folks taking advantage of the 4,000 square feet of wooden dance floor.
Admission is $5, $4 for KXCI members and $2 for children 12 and under, available at the door. This is an all-ages event and child care will be provided with the price of admission. Call 721-1710 for more information.
Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens return to Tucson on Sunday, June 30, with a performance at St. Philip's Plaza, the northeast corner of River Road and Campbell Avenue. Masters of mbaqanga, a South African style featuring driving rhythms by a six-piece band of various percussion, electric and bass guitars, sax, keyboards and Zulu traditional style penny-whistle. Nelson Mandela was so taken with the band they were invited to play at his Presidential inauguration.
A special high stage will be set up for the show. Gates open at
7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 o'clock. Tickets are $16, $15 for Tucson Jazz Society members, $8 for children, available in advance at Hear's Music, Antigone Books, Loco Music, Buffalo Exchange and all Zip's locations. Tickets will be $2 more day of show, available at the gate only. Reserve tickets by calling 881-3947 or 327-4809.
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