Then finally Tuesday morning the fan club announced they were selling tickets for Tokyo a couple of hours later. This notification came way too late for most Japanese fans who’d gone to work without any news on the sales and who came back home to find out the tickets were already sold out. But lucky me found out in time and the sale would start 30 min before I had to leave for work. I was a bit nervous, but I managed to buy Tokyo tickets in a relatively relaxed manner, not realizing that it would sell out in less than 10 minutes instead of the 20-30 minutes I had in mind. As soon as I received a confirmation of my order the tickets were sold out, and heaps of angry and confused fans started appearing on the fan club forum. The Osaka tickets were going on sale the next day and the Nagoya tickets were scheduled for 3 days later. After white-collar Japan came home that night, and found out they were cheated out of a chance to buy fan club tickets I knew they would be fighting to get Osaka and Nagoya tickets with a vengeance. And sure enough Osaka was sold out in 2 minutes the next morning! I pretended to buy a ticket to see if I could get through but I never made it to checkout.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Bon Jovi is coming to Japan
Bon Jovi is on tour again and of course they're coming to Japan too, next January. I have been a Bon Jovi lunatic for many many years, and every tour I try to go to as many concerts as my bank account will allow. I usually try to average 5-6 concerts per tour, but the last tour had to be minimized to only 4 - Düsseldorf, Koblenz, Nijmegen & Stuttgart - because I was working on my final thesis and I had no job and therefore basically no income besides the change I got from selling my belongings online. I knew that keeping up my touring habits would be hard once I got to Japan, simply because I’d be working a full-time job with set vacation days. I was hoping that Bon Jovi would be nice and plan at least one concert on one of my days off, and I would go there even it is was in Hokkaido. But I made myself accept that I might not be able to attend any of the Bon Jovi gigs… Well the universe has been very kind to me and provided me with 3 concerts to attend: two in Tokyo and one in Nagoya (pretty much in my backyard)!! There is also a 4th concert in Osaka, but I have to work on that day. But being there for 75% of the Japanese Bon Jovi tour has made me a very happy camper indeed!
The new album causing the 2008 World Tour
Next job: getting tickets! Now that isn’t easy, especially not here, Japan loves Bon Jovi and tickets sell out quickly. I’m a longtime member of the official fan club, and that has given me many front row spots in the past during the European tours, but in Japan it’s a different story. Here people don’t stand during concerts but sit O_O … Or at least they all have seats and try to dance or jump in front of it. So an early entrance before the other tens of thousands of fans into the venue will not do us any good when you have an assigned seat number. Here the fan club sells special tickets that guarantee you a seat in the first 15 rows. Of course, more likely that means you end up in rows 13-15 instead of 1-3, with all the big shot friends of the promoters getting free seats in the front. Still it’s better than getting tickets through regular channels.
Minke and myself standing front row again, which is a good but not a very comfortable spot
But it’s not the same as standing front row after spending a night on the street in front of a concert, and having your feet hurt like hell after standing up for many hours at the front row barrier, nearly being crushed by hundreds of other Bon Jovi fanatics trying to steal your spot, while your waiting for about 6 hours for Jon and his friends to hit the stage. Hmm, perhaps the system here is better? No sleeping on the cold and hard street, no verbal battles to keep your spot in the fan club line for more than 24 hours, no people running from the entrance to the pit to position themselves as near to Jon Bon Jovi’s microphone as possible, no physical battles to keep standing upright during your 6-hour-long wait for the band to start to entertain you and forget about all the pain in your feet.
Camping out for a front row spot lasts very long
Now that I think about it, this Japanese deal could be very comfortable: arrive at the Nagoya/Tokyo Dome just a few hours before the show starts and pick up my tickets and hang around to sniff up some of the pre-concert excitement, then enter the Dome and find my seat (and hopefully find out it’s pretty decent), then take a walk around the venue to visit the restroom, get some drinks and check out the merchandise, talk to some familiar faces (hmm probably not in Japan though) and head back to my seat when the opening act begins and chill in my seat (my feet experiencing nothing but comfort) and only start getting seriously active as soon as I hear a Bon Jovi tune coming out of the speakers. Hmm, I could get used to that, you know, I am getting older :P.
Fanclub member trying to secure a spot as near to the spot as possible, already starting to cheat the people in the front out of air
Any who, back to the tickets. So I decided fan club tickets were the way to go. Even though I’d already bought tickets, in a panic of being afraid of ending up with nothing in this Bon Jovi loving land. The regular sale of the Tokyo Dome tickets started last weekend, even before the fan club announced its own selling date, and with the help of my lovely Japanese speaking boyfriend I bought tickets for both Tokyo shows. The tickets were actually pretty good, except they weren’t Arena seats which I thought was what I was buying… Japanese can be tricky! Now, I just have to find a way to sell these tickets, anybody want them?
People getting ready to run the grounds like crazy, to crush into and add extra pressure to the people already waiting in front of the stage
I didn’t have high hopes for the Nagoya sale, especially not when there were zillions of Japanese members still trying to get a ticket to any concert. So this morning, I wasn’t a bit nervous I was a lot nervous! Especially after finding out the website had crashed the night before when the European dates went on sale and people had to wait for 90 minutes to be able to buy tickets. I didn’t have that much time, I only had 30 minutes (and I’d already swapped working time with yesterday, because normally I would have at work at that time). My mission was to get 2 tickets for Nagoya, one for me and one for a friend, and miraculously I managed to buy two tickets on a seriously-slowed down website in a sale that ended 3 minutes after it started. So this tour I’ll be dragging my lucky ass to 3 Bon Jovi concerts! The only thing I'll really miss is my Bon Jovi ping pong ball buddy Minke!