World Record: Pearl Jam Singer Eddie Vedder Sells Out Solo Show At Tower In Zero Seconds

Something tells me that the fix is in

This morning at 9:58 a.m., I brought up the Live Nation/Ticketmaster page for Eddie Vedder’s June 25th performance at the Tower in Upper Darby. There was a message on my screen indicating that tickets were not on sale yet, which made sense since the official on sale time was set at 10 a.m. Still, I obsessively clicked on the refresh button through the waning seconds of 9:58 a.m and into and through 9:59 a.m. until the system gave me the option to select tickets, which occurred about eight seconds after my computer and phone clocks switched to 10 a.m.

After quickly requesting two “Best Available” tickets, I was asked to enter the CAPTCHA “words,” which are those annoying things designed to make sure that you’re a human and not some bot. My CAPTCHAs were something like “redoed” and “staxtf.” “No tickets available,” was the response. So I went back—it’s now probably 10:00:25—and selected one ticket (once pairs of tickets are gone, you can usually find singles) and entered my CAPTCHAs. Same result.

I checked in with Nick McIlwain, executive producer of the Preston & Steve show on 93.3 WMMR, who managed to get tickets for all four sold-out Pearl Jam concerts at the Spectrum in 2009. But his ticket count for the Vedder show? Zero. He tried to get seats via the fan club pre-sale earlier this week but was shut out of that. And today, he had the same experience as I did. “Stupid Internet,” he said.

Someone at Live Nation told me that there were people lined up to buy tickets at their Bala Cynwyd office at 9 a.m., which he describes as a “rare event.” He blames the ridiculously quick sellout on the popularity of Pearl Jam in Philly (after all, they did sell out four Spectrum shows) and the limited capacity (3,000) of the Tower. Both good points.

Of course, no one really cares except for the fans left out in the cold, since everyone else is making money on the deal. At $16.50 per ticket in Ticketmaster service charges, that’s $49,500 (!!!) in fees. Not bad for zero seconds worth of work. Also making money are the people selling seats on StubHub, which somehow had well over 300 tickets for sale (up to $450 each) when I checked at 10:03 a.m. And then there are the brokers. I called Sherry’s Tickets in Center City, and they told me that they’ll have 30 to 40 seats on Monday. Of course, they wouldn’t tell me how.

Long live the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll!