On the one hand you get to see them up close and personal, potentially, and have the live experience.
On the other hand you have to put up with the rest of the audience, for good or bad, potentially poor quality sound, a crap place in the audience, transport to and from, often expensive tickets and all the waiting around for the artist to appear - you have to wonder who's entertaining who at times.
I'm probably missing some pros and cons, so feel free to add.
Case in point was Madonna last night. It was great to go and see, and it was an experience, but what our tickets failed to tell us was that she wasn't actually on until 9pm, despite mention of the doors opening at 5pm. This meant we got to hang around up in the gods of Wembley Stadium for 4 hours, as not only did we have a side view, but we were up relatively high. In fact it was impossible to actually make out any detail, and Madonna was a bit on ant (a Madonn-ant?) when it came to seeing her. Thankfully Lu had the sense to make sure we brought binoculars, although even at 10x zoom it was hard to make out any detail. Also presumably due to our location the sound was *terrible*. We could make out what the songs were, but could often not make out the lyrics.
We would have paid twice the price for closer tickets, bearing in mind Lu paid a fortune for the tickets she bought, but in all honesty if you are going to go to anything like this you either need to buy decent tickets or not bother. A fair few people left early, presumably because of the poor location.
And then despite getting decent parking, we had to wait an hour before we could actually leave the car park, due to parking *chaos*. Despite all the parking attendants when we arrived, there was ONE GUY directing traffic when we left. Apparently we weren't the only people having a bad time. Purportedly public transport couldn't cope with the volume of people leaving, and Wembley Stadium had to reopen to cope with the people who couldn't go anywhere, to serve them food if nothing else.
Now you could put all this down to cranky old man syndrome, but it doesn't take more than a bit of organisation to turn one of these events into at least a vaguely pleasant experience.
Ah yes, and before I forget, they didn't give a crap about people taking cameras in so I could have taken the lovely ole 450D with the 300mm lens. Balls.
Anyway, here are some photos from the Lumix which are less than brilliant due to the distance so the best of a bad lot...
^Wembley begins to fill.
^"When's this going to start?" It appears that there are some things that even PaintShopPro's SmartFix can't fix!
^And about as full as it got.
^The opening DJ, who I could have sworn said he was Paul Oakenfold. Like most DJs he was a bit of a pratt with an ego.
^This seemed to be the "celeb tent". I spotted who I thought was Patsy Palmer (yep, A grade celebs) but couldn't be sure.
^And a closer view for readers of Heat.
^But enough of that, here comes Madonna!... Where is she?... Ah yes, off to the right and we can't see her. Bugger.
^Thankfully someone gave her a car and she drove out onto the extended stage (she's the leggy one).
^I think this was a thumbnail for a video, hence the lower quality, but it did catch her in one of her solo moments.
^And another solo moment. At one point in the performance the circular screen above her lowered to cover the stage, in what was probably the best set piece. The screen is translucent, so you could both see her through the screen, and the various bits of projection on the screen as well. Clever stuff, and it looked amazing.
^Madonna with dancers.
^With three costumes changes for Madge there were three songs where she vanished and some other set piece was put on. This is where she switched to a sort of gym/boxing theme.
^The four eras of Madonna? Surely there were more.
^Madonna and dancers, again.
^Oof, particularly poor quality. At this point Madge paraded onto the extended stage followed by her hooded dancers...
^... who then proceeded to take off their cloaks and get all colourful! Awwwww.
^Madonna sings 4 Minutes, with Justin Timberloins projected on screens that were them moved around the stage, which she danced with. Clever!
^Gratuitous artistic shot as a static Madge is surrounded by the motion of her dancers, or something.
^Wembley's big ring! It certainly felt like the arse-end of the Earth waiting in the frickin' car park.
I do have more of an appreciation for her Hard Candy album, well two or three tracks at least. That's a good thing, right?... Right?
In other news, as I still don't feel 100% I'm going to finish the week and stay away from work, not helped by the 2am get-home-time. Partly also so I don't give my colleagues this crapness.
As an example of my increasing miserly-ness I'm waiting for my rear tyres to wear to the absolute limit (the 1.5mm marker?) before I get them replaced. Although I never enjoy spending money on annoying but necessary things like this.