This is what happened to me at the Morrissey concert last night at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. I just wanted to get this unfair treatment off of my chest.
I was very sick, but, nevertheless, I got into the line and waited for a good spot in the crowd. This was my very first Morrissey concert, and I was incredibly excited.
My mother had given me both of our tickets that morning--she had to work that day, and intended to join me in line at about 5:45. The line moved forward into the lobby of the Aragon, and she still wasn't there. So, I explained the situation to the woman who was scanning tickets, and asked her if I could leave my mother's ticket with her. She told me to talk to another woman (named "Lois", my mother later found out), which I did. Lois was very rude to me, for no reason that I could determine. She told me that I could stay down at the door and give my ticket to my mother when she got there. I was very frustrated and insulted by Lois, and eager to get a good place in the audience, so I just went ahead, had my ticket scanned, and headed up to the ballroom.
I ended up in a pretty good spot, near the center, with a great view of the stage. I turned my cell phone off, out of politeness (I always make sure to turn off my phone when going into a concert, movie, etc.). The longer I stood, the more sick and nauseous I felt.
Several times, before and during Kristeen Young's set, I felt like I was going to either vomit or faint. I needed to sit down, but I didn't want to move, as I didn't want to abandon the place in the crowd that I had waited so long for. Near the end of Young's set, I finally decided to lower myself to the floor, and sit for a while with my head down. It helped a bit with my nausea and dizziness, but, before I felt much better, a woman next to me told me
that I shouldn't be down there, as I might get kicked or pushed, and she pulled be back into a standing position. I told her that I was feeling sick, and she suggested that I go off to the side for a while, or take the stairs up to the balcony, and watch from there. A few minutes after Young's performance was over, I felt sick enough that I decided to take my neighbor's advice and make my way off to the side. I got off to the side, and the only place I found to sit was the stairway leading up to the balcony. A mere moment after I sat
down, the security guard there informed me that sitting on the stairs was not allowed. I asked him where I could sit, then, as I felt that I was going to faint. The guard promptly alerted a venue medic, who took me to a chair in the corner, sat me down, and gave me a bottle of water to drink.
Morrissey had just come on stage when I decided that I was well enough to get back up and watch the performance. I had been standing off to the side for about a minute when a woman very rudely informed me that I should move as I was blocking her view. Hurt, I moved again, looking under a tall man's arm. I didn't want to be rude and push my way back to the front,
but I did want to be able to see Morrissey.
After "Disappointed", I remembered what my former neighbor in the audience had said, and made a move towards the stairs. However, as soon as I got a foot onto the stairway, the security guard there waved me away.
In tears, I decided to try and find my mother near the beginning of "Everyday Is Like Sunday". Worried that security didn't let her intothe concert, I went down the stairs and into the lobby. I didn't find her there, so I turnedmy cell phone on, and found that I didn't have very good reception, so I went out the frontdoor, where the reception was better, and it was quiet enough to hear the phone. I saw thatmy mother had sent a message, telling me where in
the audience she was. I called her phone,but immediately got her voice mail. I figured that she had done as I had, and turned off her phone out of politeness.
I turned around and headed back in, hoping to rejoin my mother. The ticket-taker scanned my ticket, but, as I was walking back towards the stairs, she beckoned another security guard over, who intercepted me and informed me that there are no re-entries. I told her that no one had ever told me that, even when they saw me walking out the door. I then informed her of my situation, and she told me, and I quote, "Not my problem." I told her that I would just go upstairs, get my mother, and come back down. No, she said. I told her that I couldn't get home without my mother. Again, she said, "not my problem." I again broke out in tears, and begged her again to let me up to find my mother. She again refused me, saying that I could wait inside the lobby if I didn't want to sit outside in the cold. I finally tried to walk around her. She blocked my way with her body, and physically dragged me into the lobby.
Weeping hysterically, I sat down, curled in a ball, next to the wall, and there I remained, for the rest of the concert, which I could barely even hear.
Perhaps she thought that I was a crazy homeless girl who picked the tickets out of the trash and invented a story about my mother in order to get in to see the concert? I don't know.
As people began to leave the concert, I stood up to wait for my mother, but another security person shooed me outside, where I stood beside the door, so that I could see my mother when she came out. Again, another security person shooed me down the street, saying something along the lines of, "You're the girl who was sitting in the lobby crying, aren't you? Well, you can 'wait' for your 'mother' over here." I cried hysterically again until my mother finally came out, and I told her the whole story.
According to my mother, she had a run-in with Lois when she finally got to the Aragon, shortly after I had. Lois claimed that she had never heard my mother's name before, but the woman who had scanned my ticket told my mother that I was up there, and that I had tried to leave a ticket with them for her. My mother told this to Lois, who angrily just told her to get the heck away from her.
If you've made it this far, thank you for reading. This was my first time at the Aragon Ballroom, and will be my last. I will not give the Aragon one single thin dime, no matter who is playing there.
Also, thanks to the kind people who I encountered: the couple from Washington, DC, and the guys from Indiana, who I talked to in line; the two medics who gave me water and let me sit down; and the woman who comforted me as we both waited outside for our loved ones after the show.
I know that this disaster was partly due to my own foolishness and selfishness, but not entirely. Partly because of the security workers at the Aragon Ballroom, I missed the performance of my very favorite singer, who I had been waiting for a very long time to see, and may not have the chance to see again.