Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff

  • 14 Replies
  • 1034 Views
*

Offline Fongolia

  • ***
  • 126
  • Gender: Male
Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« on: June 12, 2017, 10:57:57 PM »
I've read through a scattering of older posts I can find that mention the VIP/MasterClass experience. Seems like hit or miss in terms of whether people thought it was worth it, though a large part of those feelings seem tied to the exorbitant cost. Scrolling through the pre-sale site, they don't even list prices and it's like "if you have to ask, it's probably out of your price range".  I've seen Ben several times now: right up at the stage, way at the back, with and with the Five, with and without symphonies. I met him once with a bunch of other Burbanites in that Chapel Hill pizza shop at the 2008 BF5 reunion where I got a photo, signed CD, and mumbled some nonsense at him. I feel like I've read enough articles, interviews, etc. that I've heard most of the stories and answers before to common AMA questions (and don't have much original to ask myself). The CID Entertainment aspect is somewhat off-putting, like there's no hiding that it's a straight-up business transaction.  Yet, he's coming to Vancouver for the first time since 2001 and I can virtually guarantee I'll cave and do this since I'd rather regret doing it than regret not.

Anyway, have any of you gone? Were you awed? Underwhelmed? Somewhere in between?  I doubt it'll sway me either way, but I'm genuinely curious since there's so little info out there about these.

*

Offline Allison

  • *
  • 8204
  • Gender: Female
Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2017, 09:20:18 AM »
Price Ranges in the US at least

AMAA: 270
Luckiest: 150
Regular Ticket: 50


I've never done either of the upgrades - because I'd rather go to three shows at 50 instead of one show at 150
mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

*

Offline Fongolia

  • ***
  • 126
  • Gender: Male
Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2017, 09:50:29 AM »
I've never done either of the upgrades - because I'd rather go to three shows at 50 instead of one show at 150

Unless he only comes to town every 20 years! I always have to travel and spend a few hundred bucks a show as is

*

Offline Allison

  • *
  • 8204
  • Gender: Female
Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2017, 10:30:07 AM »
I feel you on that!

I'm a crazy lady and will drive 8 hours each way if necessary. :P
mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

*

Offline Fongolia

  • ***
  • 126
  • Gender: Male
Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2017, 04:54:50 PM »
Prices are out for the Vancouver show:
349 CAD for AMAA/MasterClass
179 CAD for Soundcheck
40 CAD Regular
 :o
I may be crazy, but not THAT crazy

EDIT: I lied. I am that crazy. Doing it.

Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2017, 11:15:36 AM »
Honestly, some of you seem like you pretty much have access to Ben at any concert you go to, I have no idea how to you do it.

I shelled out for it because I knew it would likely be my only chance to talk to and get a photo op with Ben, so even though that was like 20 seconds total, I have zero regrets.  Bucket list item achieved. 

Bottom line: If you want to meet Ben very briefly, hear him answer questions and get to request little pieces of songs he rarely plays during Soundcheck, it's worth it.

*

Offline Allison

  • *
  • 8204
  • Gender: Female
Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2017, 01:29:23 PM »
Prices are out for the Vancouver show:
349 CAD for AMAA/MasterClass
179 CAD for Soundcheck
40 CAD Regular
 :o
I may be crazy, but not THAT crazy

EDIT: I lied. I am that crazy. Doing it.


Which level?!


And I feel you. I am doing one of the Luckiest levels of the GULP 6 shows I bought tickets to today.

I was only supposed to buy for the 3 in Florida. Somehow I ended up with the 3 in Georgia too.
mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

*

Offline Fongolia

  • ***
  • 126
  • Gender: Male
Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2017, 05:06:55 PM »
Prices are out for the Vancouver show:
349 CAD for AMAA/MasterClass
179 CAD for Soundcheck
40 CAD Regular
 :o
I may be crazy, but not THAT crazy

EDIT: I lied. I am that crazy. Doing it.


Which level?!


And I feel you. I am doing one of the Luckiest levels of the GULP 6 shows I bought tickets to today.

I was only supposed to buy for the 3 in Florida. Somehow I ended up with the 3 in Georgia too.
Nice, I'm just doing the 1 show in Vancouver. I went for the AMAA.  I scrolled through the meet & greet photos from 2016 (someone posted a link on Reddit): https://cid.smugmug.com/Ben-Folds-2016/ and was tempted by the intimate numbers.  Looks like only 12 individuals at the Toronto show!  Fortunately my job is decent enough that I can not feel too too guilty to do this as a one-time splurge.

I happened to be plotting a weekend trip back home in August, which would be about a $300 flight, so basically I'm doing this show in lieu of that trip, ha ha. My family understands. ;D

*

Offline Allison

  • *
  • 8204
  • Gender: Female
Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2017, 10:25:06 AM »
Prices are out for the Vancouver show:
349 CAD for AMAA/MasterClass
179 CAD for Soundcheck
40 CAD Regular
 :o
I may be crazy, but not THAT crazy

EDIT: I lied. I am that crazy. Doing it.


Which level?!


And I feel you. I am doing one of the Luckiest levels of the GULP 6 shows I bought tickets to today.

I was only supposed to buy for the 3 in Florida. Somehow I ended up with the 3 in Georgia too.
Nice, I'm just doing the 1 show in Vancouver. I went for the AMAA.  I scrolled through the meet & greet photos from 2016 (someone posted a link on Reddit): https://cid.smugmug.com/Ben-Folds-2016/ and was tempted by the intimate numbers.  Looks like only 12 individuals at the Toronto show!  Fortunately my job is decent enough that I can not feel too too guilty to do this as a one-time splurge.

I happened to be plotting a weekend trip back home in August, which would be about a $300 flight, so basically I'm doing this show in lieu of that trip, ha ha. My family understands. ;D

LOL.

I laugh. Because. I just did the same thing. Hahahahahahahahah
mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2017, 09:10:20 PM »
I thought the Master's Class and Meet and Great were well worth it. It was nice to get a couple of questions answered and just to meet him and say thanks. He takes time to thoughtfully respond and goes into detail instead of just giving a brief sentence and moving on. I also snuck a question in during the meet and great, which I wasn't supposed to do but he was perfectly fine with answering it and I got a cool shot of him playing the piano in addition to my regular photo. I honestly thought the soundcheck really wasn't that great and wouldn't pay for it for a couple reasons. First, you basically get a twenty second snippit of a song so it sounds a bit rushed. Second, in my case, people ended up requesting songs that he played during the show so a little bit of that initial excitement after hearing a song begin was gone. Kudos to the people that requested Carrying Cathy and Sports and Wine but a lot of the people will be asking for Army, The Luckiest, Underground, etc. I mean yes it's cool to hear those but most of us have heard those plenty of times live already. Lastly, it's really informal in kind of a negative way where it's just people shouting out songs so there's a chance you may not even get a song in.

*

Offline Allison

  • *
  • 8204
  • Gender: Female
Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 07:37:45 AM »
Bummer on the songs not being full, but I went medium grade VIP at a General Admission show this tour because of it being, well, General Admission, but the 239 price value being outside of my budget.... because I'm going to 6 shows. OH GOD I HAVE A PROBLEM
mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

*

Offline Allison

  • *
  • 8204
  • Gender: Female
Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2017, 10:22:21 AM »
Just back from my Luckiest VIP.

Had a blast - but a bit pricey of course - worth it at a GA venue... and I got to hear Protection, Sports & Wine, Away When You Were Here, and Hospital Song..... of course we had Not the Same and Kate as well, but some real great requests from my co-attendees.
mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

*

Offline Fongolia

  • ***
  • 126
  • Gender: Male
Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2017, 12:14:44 AM »
My rambley report back on the AMAA/Masterclass in Vancouver.

I loved the soundcheck but I could've skipped the AMAA. There were only 10 of us for the questions, but Ben's answers were a little long and rambly so I was a little bummed my question got skipped (plus a couple people got double questions).  More were let in for the soundcheck (maybe 30-40 total). Again my request wasn't picked, but luckily people had good requests for stuff that I was thrilled to hear so that worked out.  The extra soundcheck folk were streamed out and the VIP folks got to get their stuff signed plus a photo op with Ben.  I don't know if the photographer was trying to be stylish or what but she cropped off the top of Ben's head in my photo. I feel like she had one job and kinda blew it, so that was also a little disappointing.  When you compare the two VIP packages, I was essentially paying $170 extra for the questions, photo, and meet & greet.  I'm glad I did it but would probably go for the lower tier next time.  I think it's worth it if you've never met Ben before.  In my 30-second interaction I got him to sign a photo of the two of us taken in Chapel Hill in 2008, plus tell him I was the one behind the mash-up that he once played live with Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, and Damian Kulash. The price point makes me wince, but I suppose a lower tier would lead to a less intimate affair.

Sound check snippets:
  • Rock Star
  • Belinda
  • Gracie
  • Selfless, Cold and Composed
  • All U Can Eat
  • Rocking the Suburbs
  • Jesusland
  • Fired
  • Your Dogs  (this would've been one of my plane requests and he really stumbled through it, which was a hoot)
  • Adelaide

All that said, the main show itself was probably the best I've seen solo and the package came with a front row seat!  Coincidentally, I sat right next to fellow 'burber Makiko from Japan who I first met at the BF5 reunion 9 years ago. The setlist was wide-ranging and the paper airplane requests were excellent.  This is probably the first show I've seen where he didn't play Army and it's definitely the first I didn't hear someone yell out Rock This Bitch (he did an improv song anyway about a blank piece of paper). The one-two combo of Uncle Walter followed by Bastard seemed like a not-too-subtle commentary on the US president.  The Vancouver crowd admirably filled in the Regina Spektor parts of You Don't Know Me.  Later he had to turn down a request for Dear Theodosia (on a giant paper airplane) since he said he doesn't really remember it and apparently screwed it up over the summer when he tried. He got a round of applause when he declined Bitches Ain't Shit, which he said he's put on hiatus not out of political correctness, but empathy since he recognizes it's just a bad time for a bunch of white folks to be singing that these days. We got Protection, which was a rare treat. We heard the full story behind Hiro's Song and how he came to start playing Tiny Dancer, which I knew nothing about previously.

Loved this setlist!
https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/ben-folds/2017/vogue-theatre-vancouver-bc-canada-63e3b22b.html

*

Offline Allison

  • *
  • 8204
  • Gender: Female
Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2017, 07:15:26 AM »
Ohhh lord I'm glad to hear that he's decided to retire BAS again. Got it nearly every night in August in Georgia. Will be happy to NOT hear it next month in Florida.

Some neat rare things! And Rock Star in the soundcheck is a great treat :)
mel (1:10:14 AM): love ben folds or burn!

Re: Thoughts on AMAA/VIP/Soundcheck stuff
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2017, 09:52:16 PM »
Will someone please try to request "Leather Jacket"? I'm very interested to know if Ben has ANY idea how to play it considering he didn't write it and BF5 never toured it. I tried my damnedest to make it happen in Portland but came up short.