As of the last few hour I have made the final decision not to go to the Bryan Adams concert. Having said that, I don’t want you to be under the impression that I’ve been anxious for the concert and that I have been listening to his music (I don’t even own any Bryan Adams ) or that I’ve been brushing up on lyrics to his songs (I couldn’t even remember his songs until I saw some titles published in our daily). In fact, I don’t even have tickets.
Initially my friends and I had decided to watch the man croon tunes from the 90’s in our national stadium, but I thought about it and realized I’m simply not a fan of his and didn’t think it was worth the money so I skipped out on doling out Rs 2000 for the cheapest tickets. I do understand the appeal in wanting to see Bryan Adams, he’s the first international star to “grace” Nepal with his music, and musically speaking Nepal does lean on the underdeveloped side (which isn’t to say there isn’t great music here, there is… it’s just sooooooo underground).
But I’ve seen bands I actually love, (The Swell Season, Flight of the Conchords, Death Cab for Cutie, Dave Matthews, The Decemberists) in concert and shelling out the money to watch a guy I wasn’t even into when he was a huge hit just seems absurd. I’ve heard so many comments on the street, “Of course we’re going to go see Bryan Adams!” and in my head I’m like…but WHY?!
I have to be fair, even though I decided not to use a portion of my too-small salary to pay for the ticket, I had originally said I’d go if I got a free ticket… I mean… if it cost me nothing, why not right? And then the likelihood of me getting a free ticket (worth Rs 6000 no less!) became a strong possibility. I was psyched…. But then I also had to admit that I am honestly fed up with all the coverage that Bryan Adams has been receiving for the last week. It’s like the media is trying to cram Adams trivia because we realize he’s a has-been but the people of my little country will eat up the content and swoon over the khaire coming to play for us.
If you’ve been following the day-to-day coverage in Republica, you’ll notice that most of the people (“celebrities”) don’t even know Adams that well… they all bring up the same two or three songs (that I had forgotten, so some credit to them for remembering a couple of titles) but really, is that much attention necessary? I’m sure those who are interested 1) already know 2) already got their ticket.
I was skimming some of the news on him and where as I was indifferent to Adams before, I think I’ve turned anti-Adams now. The reasons being these:
1) The hype is simple intolerable. If the Beatles had resurrected, you bet I’d be selling my kidney for the show and I would camp by the newspaper stall and have a portable TV with me… but it’s Bryan Adams… a name that makes everyone go “Oh yeah… Bryan Adams” and then the follow up comment is, “What did he sing again?”… so basically, I just don’t think he’s big enough of a deal for all the coverage he’s getting.
2) Over priced tickets. The cheapest tickets are Rs 2000 and the high end ones are marked at Rs 6000. Any event I have been to in Nepal has been marked less than that…and even then those tickets came with food if not an open bar. These tickets to Bryan Adam don’t even grant you re-entry. When converted into USD or EUROS it may not be much, but given the average income of Nepalis, it’s a ton of money to spend on one show… and no one would spend that kind of moolah on a Nepali artist. Which makes me terribly sad. Why are we willing to spend so much more on something that is foreign, I admit I don’t listen to much Nepali music but I could name songs that I prefer over any hit of Adams (“Mai Runchu” by Diwas Gurung being on top of my list!)
3) The organizers of the event are feeding us bullshit about how this attracts more tourists… like for serial? People will come to Nepal to see Adams? I somehow doubt that’s on anyone’s bucket list.
4) More bullshit we’re fed is that this gives people jobs… if even a small portion of the money raised went to charity, to sponsor a child, or anything that contributed to sustainable jobs, I’d give that statement more credibility. But seeing that Adams goes home with USD 200,000 and our stadium will probably be left with trash, the positive spin on bullshit makes it hard for me to ignore the fact that this is still bullshit.
5) While at work, the TV was on and the opening ceremony for the cricket World Cup was on and whaddya know… Mr Adams was performed for the opening ceremony and my thoughts went something like this: wow… he’s def not as blessed as Bruce Springsteen, this fellow doesn’t age as well… the show isn’t that good… this performance isn’t being done very well…
6) And.. .I’ve come to the realization that Adams is a spoiled prick. You ask why, and the answer goes something like this: I get that famous people on tour need “special treatment” but the guy is touring in a third world country…. But he’s bringing his own crew… if it was just his band members, and own equipment that’s totally cool… but he’s going as far as bring his own physician and chef? REALLY?!!! C’mon that’s a little too much….
SO, all that to say, if you’ve saved your money to go watch him, I hope you think it’s worth it because I don’t. What I wish is that those people who were are willing to spend that much on one show were as welling to donate half what their ticket is worth to something that could actually make Nepal a better place.
Plus, if we’re going to have an international star, why not get someone who is actually a star and not a meteor that fell a long time ago and doesn’t even shine anymore? So… while a large chuck of Kathmandu is listening to the old foggy belt tunes people only half remember, I will be eating piro aloo in Patan or listening to music that is actually good…. on my computer… from home.