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Percy at Prospect: Another Tale - Part I

Thanks much to LGM's much more timely review from Sunday ... great pre-show 
story, plus set-list and description of the show.
I was similarly fortunate when it came to getting tickets for this event, 
although it was a bit of a roller coaster.  In the months leading up to the 
show, I was repeatedly assured by one of my friends (and fellow Zep fan) that 
he'd have no trouble scoring me excellent seats - gratis - because he lives a 
block away from the park as is a regular contributor to the organization that 
helps provide the mostly free events at the Bandshell.  
All was good, until the Thursday evening before the show, when, during a 
conversation totally unrelated to the upcoming concert, he vented his 
frustration that an unexpected business issue was requiring him to head out of 
town the next day.  He didn't mention anything about the evening with Mr. Plant 
and, based on the harried tone in his voice, I felt it totally inappropriate to 
inquire.  I held out a faint hope that he's shoot me an e-mail or text about 
the show later that night or the next day, but as of late afternoon on Friday, 
I'd received no word and I knew he was already on a plane. 
So, I jumped over to StubHub, EBay and the like and was surprised to find what 
I considered to be a relatively low number of seats being offered.  Moreover, 
the price on any even remotely good seats was pretty high, which wasn't worth 
it for me since I've been to Prospect Park before and knew that even the 
general admission lawn seats offer a great view of the proceedings.  In fact, I 
wouldn't have even thought twice about resigning myself to the lawn but for the 
fact that my buddy's prior exhortations of premium seats at no cost had raised 
my hopes.  In fact, perhaps even more attractive the the prospect of seeing 
Robert from the first several rows was the reality that having a reserved seat 
meant I would NOT have to get to the park hours early and queue up in order to 
dash over and claim territory in the best lawn area as soon as they opened the 
general admission area to the public, and then sit on the ground for 3-4 hours 
before his arrival on stage.  Instead, my guest and I would be able to enjoy 
the hours leading up to Percy's stage entrance in the comfort of a local pub 
enjoying good food/drink, a nice bar stool and good jukebox. Since Robert had 
agreed to perform this show as a benefit for the park (most shows there are 
free), I figured I'd try Ticketmaster first to see if there were any GA's left 
- better to support the benefit if I could than to line the pockets of a 
scalper.  Just for the heck of it, I checked out "Best Available" and found 2 
seats about 15 rows from the stage.  Sweet!
As a lark, on Saturday afternoon, I checked out Ticketmaster again and this 
time, the "Best Available" were even better - 6 rows from the stage.  I, of 
course, jumped on them, and therefore ended up with great seats after all.  
A few minutes later, I realized that I now had 4 tickets and, although they 
were all at face value, I'd essentially double paid and my overall expenditures 
were now closer to that which I would have paid for a single pair of similar 
seats on StubHub (although still not as much) ... sweetness starting to sour a 
I offered the tickets up to FBO and made a desperate, last-minute post to 
Craigslist but had no responses in the few hours before I hopped on the subway 
to get over to Brooklyn and, by the time I got over to Park Slope (the 
neighborhood closest to the Bandshell), I had resigned myself to the fact that 
I'd end up with 2 extra seats.  I suppose I could have tried to scalp the seats 
on site, but I simply didn't want to take the risk, however small, that I'd be 
the one guy out of thousands busted for doing so and end up stuck in the back 
of a paddy wagon during Plant's show.
Thus, 20 minutes before the opening band went on, I was seated in a local bar 
enjoying a cold brew when I received a response from Craigslist - it was for 
one seat only, but at least I got back half of what I spent on the extra pair.  
That single-seat sale meant I was not only down the face value cost of a single 
seat ... getting sweeter again.    
As I sat at the bar finishing my drink, I overheard a few old-timers next to me 
(including one who, when I first briefly caught his visage in the mirror behind 
the bar, made me think that David Crosby had dropped in) talk about how excited 
they were that Plant was in their neighborhood park and reminisce about how 
trashy and crime-ridden the place used to be back in their day (as FBO's Nech 
and Chris Leone had mentioned in posts a few days before the show).  At one 
point, the Crosby clone started talking about how much he loved Zep and how he 
remembered seeing them at Flushing Meadow (out in Queens) and the Fillmore East 
in the late 60s.  He gave enough details about the band to demonstrate to me 
that he was, in fact, a real fan.
I then heard him lament that he didn't have time to get over to one of the 
brick and mortar places in Brooklyn where hard tickets were being sold when 
they went on sale (he didn't strike me as much of an internet guy) and 
therefore didn't have tickets to the show.  He vowed, however, not to miss an 
occasion where "Mr. Robert Plant was in my neighborhood" and said he would walk 
over to the park and hang out behind the fence at the rear of the lawn area in 
order to at least hear the show.   I excused myself for interrupting, told him 
my story about the last-minute ticket upgrade and offered to sell him my ticket 
for whatever he wanted to pay.  He was quite the gentleman, insisting that I 
let him know the face value.  That fair-mindedness, in conjunction with my 
giddiness about the rapidly-approaching show ... not to mention a few pints of 
Anchor Steam ... touched me in just the right way and I gave it to him for 
I finished up my pint knowing that I'd now only be losing about $50 on the 
extra set of tickets (nothing to sneeze at, but a lot better than the full 
value of the extra pair and certainly worth it to upgrade to the 6th row) and 
headed over to the Prospect Park Bandshell ... perfect timing, too, as I could 
hear the opening act saying its goodbyes to the crowd as I entered the park.
I'll detail the show tomorrow ... suffice it to say, however, that if you're 
going to get a bootleg of any SSS show, this would be the one to grab (assuming 
it exists) because Robert was absolutely on fire throughout.