Media > Angels Could Benefit

April 23, 2001

Sarah Tully Tapia

OC Register

Rob Rohm has splurged for hundreds of concerts, but none as expensive as the one he is heading to Tuesday - U2’s show in the biggest tour to hit Orange County so far this year.

Rohm and three family members are shelling out close to a total of $1,200 for a package, including tickets at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, parking and an Irishpub-style buffet. And it’s the second time Rohm will see the band this month,already spending $115 a pair for last week’s San Diego show.

"I’ve always been a big music fan and I’ve always thought it was worth the money to have the best available seats and enjoy the whole experience to get right up there," said Rohm, a 30-year-old tech writer from Orange.

Fans are going to great lengths and paying big bucks for U2’s Elevation Tour,which tonight will hit Anaheim for the first of three shows. More than 50,000 people are expected to flock to the Pond from around the Southwest to shows today,Tuesday and Thursday in the band’s first arena tour in a decade.

Through normal channels, patrons are paying $45 to $130 for seats to see the Irishrock band. But, because the show sold out months ago, some are paying hundreds of dollars through brokers, Internet auctions and privately. Newspaper ads had tickets for $500.

Rohm profited by selling on eBay an extra set of tickets for more than double what he paid - $275 for a $112 pair.

Even after the show sold out, some tickets became available on Ticketmaster’s Web site. A radio station gave away tickets over the weekend that DJs admitted were the worst seats in the house.

The band is drawing followers from those in their teens to middle age, having stood the test of time from its first album in 1980 to Grammy winner this year.

Brea artist Bob Drake, 43, who became a fan with 1983’s "Sunday Bloody Sunday," is taking his wife and 13-year-old daughter, Callie, who likes "BeautifulDay" from the latest album. Drake barely got tickets Thursday when he checked at the Pond to see if any tickets were available - something he has done weekly. He spent a total of $390 for three tickets to his second favorite band behind The Beatles.

"She’s kind of getting away from the Backstreet Boys. I’m trying to get some taste inher," Drake said of his daughter.

Zenia Hunter, 68, of Anaheim, stood in line in January for more than two hours for tickets for her brain-injured son, 38, and three others, paying $45 each for seats behind the stage.

Vanessa Cruz of Laguna Niguel got married Saturday, but is leaving behind her husband tonight -- before they leave on their honeymoon -- to go to the concert with a bridesmaid. Cruz and her best friend, Kathryn Kuykendall of Newport Beach,have attended a concert from every U2 tour since they were students at Fountain Valley High School - the first from the 1987 Joshua Tree tour.

Cruz, a 29-year-old dentist, said she didn’t think twice about paying $130 per ticket through the fan club that she joined last year.

"I have a lot of memories just growing up with them," Cruz said.

"I think that there’s not so many bands anymore that appeal to a wide amount of people, as big of a level as U2 does. So when they tour, it’s a big deal," Rohm said.