Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Last Word from Riverport

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Last Word from Riverport

Article excerpt

Each year's Riverport concert experience leaves us a little wiser and a little frustrated.

It took us one season to find out that to beat traffic into the place you have to take the Rock Road or head to St. Chuck and work your way back.

It took us another season to find out that to beat traffic out of the place you have to leave immediately after the warmup act.

And it took us this season to realize that the easiest way to get good seats is 1.) suck up to your companies CEO and hope he's not using his comps 2.) pay a scalper or 3.) go to see The Steve Miller Band.

So how should St. Louis view Riverport?

Perhaps we should be Grateful, as in The Dead, who would never have come back to town had it not been for this facility. This show provided Riverport's defining moment, Jerry Garcia's encore version of "Black, Muddy, River." He then went to Chicago, forgot lyrics, was forced to use a Telepromter and died a month later.

Yet we often find ourselves less than pleased with Riverport. It's a sparkling facility. The bathroom lines move quickly and the sound, most of the time, is good. But is that all we should expect? Here are some areas in which Riverport could improve next season, listed with our gripes, and comments from Contemporary's Irv Zuckerman.

1. That extra stuff:

We say: Are those "service fees" for tickets a bit high?

They say: These are (ticket) services and as a service, they charge fees. If people don't want to pay them, they can buy tickets at the Riverport box office where there is no service charge.

2. Parking:

We say: If it's going to take 30 minutes or more to clear out the parking lot, couldn't Riverport leave food stands open for people to wait? By forcing everyone out of the facility 10 minutes after the show ends, Riverport is contributing to the congestion problem.

They say: We tried that but we found nobody was interested in eating after a show was over. …

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