That’s the only reason I can think of. THE ONLY REASON I CAN THINK OF…as to why oh why Kylie’s appearance in Chicago (on her first U.S. tour EVER in fact) is going to be one of the biggest disappointments of many a middle-aging gay men’s lives.
You have no idea how tirelessly I have researched her October show at the Congress Theater, snooping on this site and reading that forum to get a sense of whether the outrageous $75 price tag is going to be worth admission. My hunger for information only increased when I discovered recently that the show is STILL NOT SOLD OUT despite the fact that tickets went on sale several months ago.
Now to the latter point, I have conducted a tiny survey of gay men who reside on Chicago’s North Side, asking why they think the “one-in-a-lifetime” concert has not sold out. Their response, “I guess Americans just don’t get Kylie.” This is a stupid, stupid response on so many levels.
Kylie has been around for two decades. She might not be as big as Britney, honey, but she has amassed quite an American fanbase, and I’m not just talking about those that yearn for her Locomotion days. Given that Chicago has a population of 3 million (with the surrounding area more than doubling that) and given that the Congress Theater only fits max 2,500 people, I doubt the validity of the speculation that she just isn’t appreciated. In addition, consider the fact that non-Illinois Kylie fans on her forum are planning to come to the Chicago show, and it slaps the face of reason that Kylie can’t sell out a house of 2,500 in the Midwest.
I know why the Kylie show has not sold out. It’s actually pretty easy to guess if you know ANYTHING about the local music venue scene. The Congress Theater is a notorious shit hole. It is more famous than any other shit hole in the city, and that’s saying something (Chicago is the city of Big Shit Holes). I understand Kylie wanted to pick scaled-down venues for her tour. This isn’t going to be the laser light show and big to-do that the X tour was. No. This is going to be kind of like VH1 storytellers but without the story. Just Kylie. In a theater that most people are surprised has not falled down due to ruin. Seriously. The Congress may look kind of stunning due to its age, but it’s terrible for music. The acoustics are arguably decent, though some shows have led to the complaint that no vocals could be heard over the echo of the music. The space is awkwardly laid out, with some chairs in odd places but mainly a wide open floor. Now a wide open floor is perfect for a Kylie show (though according to her message board, many people are expecting seats. That what you get for having an “all ages” concert). Oh, and the bathrooms are gross. So have fun with that.
It’s also fairly easy to guess why the concert isn’t sold out if you’re a regular concertgoer and understand that paying $75 for a show better mean that the corpse of John Lennon is going to butt fuck the corpse of Jimi Hendrix on stage while Yoko sings “Imagine” like a Cantonese cat. In other words, $75 for a single-star bill is fucking ridiculous. Even if it is Kylie’s first American tour. You’re being raped. Stop acting like you like it.
Want another reason? If the house is packed, good luck dancing, drinking or peeing. This is because the majority of the venue is an open floor. Want a good spot? You’re going to have to stand for a while. Your friends and you are going to have to swap turns going on beer runs for each other (granted they even let you buy a beer for someone who isn’t present at the bar). This is so you can save your space because people WILL TAKE IT! Same goes with going to the bathroom. My advice? Try to hold it in. Because the moment you bum rush the watercloset, that spot you spent two hours protecting is gone, man, solid gone. And with a lack of any seats, expect to stand for at least three hours total. At least. What a workout for your calves, right?
Finally, the Congress is not letting people wait outside for more than an hour. Because all tickets are General Admission, this is going to end badly. People are going to line up earlier than an hour. I’ll bet puppies on it. The Congress will try to shoo them away. This won’t work. More people will line up. Some will be angry others lined up earlier, given the one hour rule. People will be mad at Congress. Congress might threaten to call the cops. I don’t know. This is obviously speculative. But it’s a dumb rule, and it’s going to make for trouble.
So yeah. I love Kylie. I love love love Kylie. I very much want to see her. But her tour company has fucked up royally. Overpriced tickets + seriously awful venue = terrible time and a waste of money. If they move it to another venue, I might consider it. Otherwise, if you’re going, tell me how it is. I’ll be at home having a listening party, which means I will be blasting Kylie while passed out on pina coladas.