General News

Hollywood.com Sounds Off: Summer concerts bombed

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Aug 19, 2001 | 8:43am EDT

Summer concert tours did not measure up to what they were supposed to be.

And I say this with bruised feelings (and pocketbook).

As an avid music fan, I was as excited as everyone else when the summer concert guide was released in late May. The biggest names in the music industry would be doing their North American tours this summer and I wanted to be a part of it all.

Eagerly, I jotted the dates when my favorite performers would be in town on my calendar.

Looking back, I should have known better and gotten a good night's sleep instead of spending restless nights counting the days until acts like Ozzfest, Poison and Blink 182 came to town.

The first hint that all was not right in concert-land was my biggest disappointment of the summer, not getting to see 'N Sync perform at Miami's Pro Player Stadium on Aug. 2.

Like any other fan, I purchased my tickets the day they went on sale through Ticketmaster in February. I got 18th row to the side of the stage. Not bad, I thought, but I needed to be closer to my beloved Justin Timberlake.

Call me a freak.

I consulted a ticket broker in Chicago and got 10th row center seats. I was now $200 poorer. The news got better, my best friend would fly over from Arizona to see the show with me. The countdown had begun.

With my luck, tropical storm Barry decided to pay South Florida a visit a couple days before the show. 'N Sync's Pop Odyssey Tour was "postponed until further notice," said a recorded message at the Pro Player Stadium's answering machine.

It wasn't until Aug. 7 that the concert promoter, Clear Channel Entertainment, sent out a press release saying that both the venue and 'N Sync "had made every possible effort to reschedule, but there are no mutually compatible dates available."

With the start of football season, there will be no availability for stadiums to seat the 40,000 fans that purchased tickets for the event.

I missed out on seeing 'N Sync and my frustrated best friend took the plane back to Arizona.

"This is the second time ['N Sync] should be here in Miami and they cancelled. If I was an 'N Sync fan I would be very upset," a spokesman with the South Florida-based Todd'sTickets.com said.

Florida local news reported that night that 'N Sync suffered $90,000 worth of damage to their equipment due to rain while they tried to set up their stage.

Bitterness aside, there hasn't been a single show this summer that has left me exhilarated. Half the artists never showed up while the rest sang their tunes showing no passion for their music.

This year seemed to be the summer where every artist entered rehab or decided to cancel their show, disappointing many of their fans who eagerly anticipated these shows.

Madonna was forced to cancel her Drowned Tour concert scheduled for Aug. 3 at the Continental Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey, due to laryngitis. During the same week, the singer postponed her Aug. 6 show in Boston because of "logistical reasons," her Web site announced.

Fans who cashed in $150 for a single Madonna ticket learned that the Material Girl had no desire to relive the past. Most of the songs on her set list were taken from her most recent albums, Ray of Light and Music, leaving out hits like "Material Girl," "Vogue," and "Express Yourself."

The Backstreet Boys postponed the start of their Aug. 24 tour after singer A.J. McLean, 23, entered a 30-day treatment for depression and alcohol abuse on July 9. The group postponed the date two additional weeks when McLean needed more time in transitional care.

Other acts added to the spate of tour cancellations. Janet Jackson postponed the kickoff to her All For You tour on July 5 in Vancouver, British Columbia, because her equipment did not arrive on time for the show. She also postponed her Aug. 5 show in Cleveland due to "a bout with influenza," according to a statement from her publicist.

Poison nixed the final 22 dates of their Glam Slam Metal Jam tour after bassist Bobby Dall underwent emergency surgery on his spine. Godsmack canceled their Aug. 7 show in Atlanta and their Aug. 9 show in Antioch, Tenn., after bassist Robbie Merrill sustained an injury to his leg, Launch.com reported.

At Ozzfest, Black Sabbath played with no energy while Ozzy Osbourne, who I've seen a handful of times, gave the most tedious performance I have ever seen. Needless to say, I left halfway though their set.

Hip-hop acts D12 and Esham were booted off the Vans Warped Tour after their Aug. 3 Camden, N.J., show. In addition, Alien Ant Farm, currently hot because of their cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," bailed out after the last three Warped stops because, they had "some business to take care off" in Los Angeles before heading off for an European tour, Warped Tour founder, Kevin Lyman, told Launch.com.

Even still, good luck guarding your spot at the Warped Tour, which brought together punk rockers filled with teenage angst. I got pushed and shoved around so many times I still have the bruises to prove it. Their artists showed no audience participation as they came and went from the stage performing their mere 30-minute stage show.

Most recently, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have canceled their late-August concert in Israel fearing their safety due to the suicide bombings. According to Launch.com, more than 200,000 tickets had been sold for their Aug. 28 performance in Tel Aviv.

Last but not least, Stevie Nicks has postponed her two Northern California dates due to an undisclosed illness, but the shows will be rescheduled for a later date, promoters said.

Too much hype often creates disappointment, and this summer's tours were no exceptions.

Next time around I will give a second thought before buying tickets to every concert on my calendar. I might as well save my money and take an extended trip to the Caribbean.

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