Spandau Ballet… 30 years later

I am a product of the 1980s.  I wore paisley shirts with puffy shoulder pads, and blue eye shadow.  I had so called “designer” jeans with the names of Gloria Vanderbilt, Chamin De Fer, and Dittos. My first concert was in 1985 at the Universal Amphitheater, and I went with my friend, Lynette.  Her mom was our chaperone and we were in New Wave heaven listening to our favorite band, Spandau Ballet.

Fast forward to 2015 and the band has reunited.  They were sort of back together in 2009, but never toured North America.  I kept following their fan sites, and found out they were coming to Los Angeles on January 25th.  I scored VIP seats before they went on sale, and got to use my CitiPoints for the concert, so they were also free! Can we say, Score!

It was my first time at the Wiltern and probably not the last.   Here’s a rundown on my experience:

I heard yelpers complain about the $20 parking, but also saw tips to park on the street.  Being it was a Sunday, street parking was free! (Score!).  We arrived at 6 pm and I came down Western, and turned a right on Wilshire, and found a spot 2 blocks away on Wilshire, just across from the 24 hr fitness. Its metered, so even during the week, its free after 6 pm.

My GF was hungry but didn’t want Denny’s (next door to the WIltern), and we only had an hour before doors opened.  There was a Starbucks next to my parking spot, and a Subway next door to the 24 Hr Fitness and a sushi joint next door to that.  We went for sushi and made it to the Wiltern with 10 minutes before doors opened. There is a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf located literally across the street as well.

While walking to the venue, I saw the line literally wrapped around the corner of the block! Fortunately for me, I had VIP tickets, which I assumed meant I didn’t have to queue in the main line.  I was right! We had  a special line at the front, which had maybe 10 people deep.  We got in, but unfortunately still had to wait for the theater doors to the seats to open.

Buy your stuff before the show.  As we left, there were lots of stuff sold out. They take cash and charge, but the charge machine is slow.  There’s scalpers outside the venue after the show if you want knock off stuff.

Wristbands if you plan on drinking:
We didn’t plan on drinking, so we skipped the wristband check.  Drinks, I heard, were not cheap! Plan on spending money. While waiting in our seats, a girl came to take drink orders, so I got us 2 sodas (in a plastic 16 oz party cup) which came to $7, which I guess would be ouch if it were anyplace but a concert venue.

Overall experience:
It was a great show.  2 hours of nostalgic songs by one of the influential British Invasion band in the 80s.  Former KROQ DJ Richard Blade warmed the crowd with trivia, and the show started at 8:45, and was also streamed live on Yahoo!…

We had excellent seats, dead center, and slightly inclined so I could see over the 1st level.  I think if I were to get row 1 of the 2nd Level, it would have been even sweeter.

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