Four months ago I had signed up on the Soundgarden website to get updates from the band. Lucky me, because the website was about to send fans a secret code for a chance to buy tickets online to the first Soundgarden show in over 13 years. There were no physical tickets for sale at the box office. That would have been good information to know yesterday. You see my phone battery was running on fumes after mistakenly waiting in line for 10 hours to buy a ticket. Standing outside the Showbox at the Market that morning, I was exhausted, cranky and my feet hurt. But I knew that seeing the secret code in my in box would make everything right in my world. After all, it would make a colorful story – right?
Tickets went on sale at about 10:05. It sold out in 15 minutes. I never got the code. I never had a shot at this. Ever. My parking meter had expired. My phone battery was dead. After standing in line all night, it was time to leave.
I can’t lie. A soft bed looked real nice when I got home. But like the glutton for punishment that I am, my first move was to crack open Twitter. Frankly, I was overwhelmed. It wasn’t just me – a lot of fans didn’t get the code. And for some reason Seattle decided I was the one they needed to share this with on Twitter. Somehow I’d become the central clearinghouse for all the anger and frustration people needed to vent. Post after post poured in all afternoon with questions and confusion. I reposted a fraction of the tweets so that @Soundgarden could see what was happening.
Then word broke of a scavenger hunt at 12:15 PM. It worked like this, the Soundgarden website would send picture clues to fans that lead them to a hidden bottle cap. The first one to find the cap gets the tickets. The first clue confirmed that the cap was hidden in…THE PIKE PLACE MARKET! Quick geography lesson: The Showbox at the Market is across the street from the Pike Place Market – you know the place I just came from, the place I’d just spent 10 hours waiting in line. This would be information useful to me…two hours ago.
Fans posted comments on the photo clues as fast as they were released. More anger. More frustration. Not because they didn’t get tickets. They were angry for reasons that could have been avoided by releasing more details to their fans the day before. It broke me. This was not a band issue. This was a management issue. I love the band. But Alice in Chains did this so much better.
I unfollowed Soundgarden and walked my dogs for the first time in days. When I got back around 2 PM what did I find? Soundgarden sent me a secret code, “dangersound.” I gave it a try – hoping against hope that there was a second wave of tickets released. Of course there wasn’t. This was the code I needed 4 hours ago. How many times can you kick me before I stop coming back?
I turned off the phone, took a shower and slipped into bed. You’d think this is the end of the story. But a few hours later while sorting through more emails and messages about the show, a friend called. He was going down to the Showbox with a few buddies who were plotting to sneak into the concert. I was desperate – not stupid, so I passed. They never made it in. Besides, I was clean and drinking a nice wine with dogs sleeping at my feet. I was done. And really, how many times can you kick me?
Well as it turns out the concert gods had one more swift kick. Give or take a catnap, I had about 4 hours of sleep in 3 days and I really couldn’t face reading real-time tweets from the concert, so I finished that bottle of wine and fell asleep around 8 PM.
I woke up around 10 AM the next day and opened 3 direct messages from my Twitter peeps. One was from someone who got his secret code about twenty hours late. I feel yer pain, bro. Another message was from a local PR firm that sent me a bootleg of the Soundgarden concert. Hey, thanks! And the last DM was from a well connect twitter pal. It came in around 8:30 PM the night before.
“Where do you live? If I get down there and somehow there’s a tic floating around… how quick could you be there?”
– The Stupidest Soundgarden Fan in Seattle