Unexpected luck with Springsteen, Ticketmaster

Tickets for many dates on the new Springsteen tour went on sale this week. I was determined to get into at least one show. Of East Coast big-city, reasonable-drive concerts, Washington went on sale near the end of the Ticketmaster release stretch — New Jersey early on Friday, New York a bit later Friday, and Washington and Boston on Saturday.

Friday, I went for the insurance. Tried for the first night in New Jersey, refreshed my browser at just the right moment, for once retyped the Captcha words without typos, and up came two floor seats. Success!

But to buy? Not to buy? Had I just gotten lucky in the maw, or was no one buying Bruce tickets? Would Washington be even easier the next day, making Jersey tickets unnecessary? I hemmed and hawed a few minutes as clocks ticked. Then I went for it. Of course people in Jersey were buying Springsteen (!) tickets. They were probably fighting each other in the streets for them. What was I thinking? I was fortunate.

The two times in my life I had turned my back on fortunate Springsteen seats, I had regretted it. Once was due to youthful hubris, my college friends and I in a moment of insanity throwing back middle-deck seats for the final concert of the Reunion Tour, thinking we could do better.

The second time, also long ago, was due to financial concerns. I ended up paying the same money for far worse seats to the same show. The lesson learned was never, ever throw back great Springsteen seats.

So, I bought the New Jersey tickets. Later Friday, I tried halfheartedly for the New York shows. Got to the browser a minute late, never had a shot. Saturday morning, I tried for floor tickets in Washington. Success again. I wasn’t sure what I would do with the New Jersey ones. Could two Springsteen shows within a few days be a bad thing, though? No.

Looking at the news output today, luck was surely on my side. Scalper computers blew up New Jersey sales. The Wall Street Journal even did a story. “As seats went on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for Mr. Springsteen’s performances at three venues in New York and New Jersey, traffic on the site shot up to a level 2.5 times higher than any point in the past year, Ticketmaster spokeswoman Jacqueline Peterson said.” D.C. sold out within minutes, without trouble. To pay for my fortune this week, fate may never allow me to get Springsteen tickets again. We’ll see.

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