A Reunion Worth Waiting For

For the first time in over 15 years, the band Neutral Milk Hotel reunited for a tour in the fall of 2013. The announcement, promoted by the band solely through a post on their website, came very much out of left field and had fans young and old scrambling for tickets. Though promotion by the band was essentially nonexistent, publicity through music blogs and social media spread like wildfire. Ticket sales began in May and most venues sold out immediately online. In fact, the band ended up adding more shows in the same places in order to give more ticket buyers a fair chance.

Tickets were only priced around $15, which only drove demand up further. They were not scaled by seat, as it was general admission, so all attendees paid the same price at the outset. Also, tickets could only be obtained on the night of the performance at will call to prevent reselling. The band seemed to put a lot of effort into making it an authentic experience, rejecting the past ten years of technological progression by prohibiting cell phone photography.

After selling out approximately one second after I managed to purchase a ticket, it is fair to say the concert was very well-attended! All ages could be found in the audience, though most people were either in their teens or twenties. There was seating available in the balcony area with a nice view for anyone who could not stand for the whole concert, which is definitely a plus for disabled or older viewers.  From the minute the band entered the stage, you could feel the audience shifting into a really surreal moment. I have a feeling no one, including me, ever really expected to see them live, so the emotional response of everyone in the audience was incredible. Almost everyone sang along, and thanks to no-phones rule, there was minimal distracting screens being held in the air. The entire experience was unique and ethereal, and I have a hard time thinking there was anyone in the audience that wouldn’t go again.

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