How to Buy Concert Tickets From a Scalper
February 21, 2006
So I'm in the Japantown parking garage, on my way to see Fort Minor in concert at the Fillmore. My friends know that I have this thing where I only listen to white rap (Eminem, The Streets), but I am branching out. Fort Minor is fronted by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park fame—I think he's half-Japanese—and their debut album, The Rising Tied, features such catchy and confrontational tracks as "Remember the Name" and the WWII-Japanese-internment-history-lesson-disguised-as-a-hip-hop-song, "Kenji." They also have an amazing string section (!). That's right—aggressive hip-hop complemented by guys on violin and cello. I saw them blow away the audience at the MySpace Anniversary Party at Dodger Stadium in L.A. last year before anyone knew who they were. Three frat-ish guys park next to me, and one of them decides to take a piss behind a pole.
I get to the box office to discover that the show is completely sold out. Shit. And I ask myself, "How do I buy concert tickets from a scalper?"—especially since the Fillmore staff guy near the door knows that I don't have a ticket (I kept asking him about it). What would happen if I showed up at the door again with a ticket—would he bust me? But I don't even know if I would make it that far because my parents never taught me about the art of scalping.
I know enough to know that the middle-aged black men in hoodies and/or beards with signs that say "I NEED TICKETS" do not actually need tickets. I know that they are my scalpers. But how does it work? Are some of them undercover policemen? I'm scared!
So the question "How do I buy concert tickets from a scalper?" continues to burn in my mind. I need an answer, and I need it now because the show starts soon. I call Loren. No answer. I call Rica. No answer. I call Thomas. No answer. I call Gabriel. No answer. I call Brent. No answer. My friends have unwittingly let me down.
I wander back toward the parking garage, and I see an Asian dude negotiating with one of the scalpers. The Asian dude is trying to sell his extra ticket to the scalper, and they cannot agree on a price. At that point, I should've injected myself between them and said, "Hey, Asian dude, help a brother out. I need me some Fort Minor action tonight." But before I can assert myself, their deal is done. Now I wonder if I should just approach one of the "I NEED TICKETS" guys and see what happens. Police cars start to circle the block. I decide to leave.
In the parking garage, the frat-ish guys are still there, and they are just now leaving their truck. The entire garage smells like pot.
I go home. I watch the video for "Remember the Name" online, and I make it so that you can too by posting it here. I'm nice. And a little high:
[Commentary 08.07.08: I still don't know how scalping works. Anyone? Anyone?!]