I will only complicate you, trust in me and fall as well, but before that, where should I sit?
May 16, 2007 5:29 AM   Subscribe

Say I have a friend who is travelling from Australia to the Grand Old US of A to see Tool. Let's say this friend wants to see them at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Where should she sit?

There are two options available:
1. 16th row for not a great deal of money.
2. 1st row for what some people would say is a great deal of money.

My question is, is the 16th row going to be as painful as prison sex, or will she enjoy her view enough to not regret spending the extra green? My view is that if you're going to travel internationally to see a band, you may as well make the most of it, right?
posted by threeze to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
1st row. Tool gigs tend to be pretty epic and memorable. She'll enjoy it from the 16th row, but to travel all that way you might as well make it utterly memorable and do the first row. Be aware that our Mr. Keenan can be a bit audience-shy and it is unlikely your friend will be shaking hands with him during the set.

Great deal of money is a very fluid concept, especially as she's willing to brave 20+ hours of flying to see the band.

Also. Seating? At a Tool gig? Kids today...
posted by slimepuppy at 7:07 AM on May 16, 2007

On basic principles, the 16th row puts you about 50' back from the stage. That means that you'll hear the main PA speakers directly. On the other hand, the first row will be in front of the mains so you'll hear more of the stage sound instead of the house mix.

I suspect with Tool that this distinction might not be particularly relevant, but there you have it.

Although, having looked now at the seating diagram for the arena: are you talking row 1 and 16 in section 2? Row 1 vs 16 in, say, section 6 will be very different from in section 2 (and the difference a lot less meaningful), while both rows 1 and 16 in section 2 will probably be in front of the house PA, and row 1 in sections 1 or 3 might be right in front of speakers.

That said, any section that has rows numbered by numbers starting at 1 isn't going to seem distant, since it's going to be close to the stage on the floor.

One final consideration: I don't know if Tool is the kind of band to have a mosh pit suddenly develop (seems like a borderline possibility to me, at least), but if it does, it'll be at row 1, not 16.

Me, I wouldn't travel across town for a concert in a hockey arena, let alone internationally. My advice would be to try to see them at an outdoor festival instead.
posted by mendel at 7:15 AM on May 16, 2007

The front row is overrated. The view and the sound is much better a little ways back, like in the 16th row. You can't see the whole stage from the front row.

But as mendel points out, *which* front row you're speaking of is an important detail here..
posted by rhizome at 7:48 AM on May 16, 2007

The 16th row will probably become the 1st row, once the audience has rushed forward (after the lights go down and the concert begins).

I just saw them in Tucson, so here are some things to consider:
- The light show is amazing, and rivals that of much more "light show heavy" bands (like Pink Floyd). I'm not sure how that will look from too close.
- There are many screens (6, not including the huge backdrop) that project images and could likely fill your field of vision if you were very close (this is a good thing, IMO).
- The entire stage is white and becomes a screen itself -- the light patterns could only be seen if you were up high enough to see onto the stage (2nd tier?).
- There will definitely be moshing. I don't understand this (I must listen to Tool differently than most people?). The closer you are, the more likely you are to get crushed; the further back, the more likely you are to get moshed.
- The sound is incredible, and sound the best futher back.
- They throw out picks, sticks, and drumheads. Most ended up about 15-20' from the stage.

I've traveled for shows before, so I can understand the appeal. But personally, the way I'd make it memorable for your friend would be to make it a multi-day celebration. Get together with Tool fans via message board posts on toolshed.down.net, Cragislist, Meetup, and MySpace. When I left the concert, I was so focused psychologically and pumped up physically that I would have liked to discuss the concert late into the early morning with someone in a similar mindset. Maybe do something similar?
posted by parilous at 10:55 AM on May 16, 2007

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