Monday, August 10, 2009

Hollywood Bowl 101

On Wednesday I went to the Hollywood Bowl to see musicians perform works by Miles Davis and Gil Evans. From that event and the others I've been to, I've learned all sorts of tips you can do to have the best experience.

I've seen concerts from every seat style in the bowl, and I think my favorite seats are the Terrace boxes because you can see the entire band shell. The Garden boxes are okay too.

The pool circle seats are way too close. You spend most of your time looking up at the performers and you can't get the overall impact of the stage. One perk of the pool circle is that you can order a meal served by waitstaff, but the food is just meh (although it looks pretty) and you're probably better off bringing your own treats. All in all, not worth it.

The benches are the most economical and are great for cuddling with a blanket. The wooden seats can be hard, but they provide cushions for a fee if you have a sensitive ass. I sat in benches for this concert and though I was pretty far away, the sound was fine. It was a long trek to the seats though. lol

The super seats are like your basic stadium seats. I sat in them for this concert and had no complaints.

Box seats at the bowl are equipped with four canvas chairs and one fold up table. You might be able to snag a second one, but all boxes have at least one.

We usually buy our tickets from a third-party supplier. For the concert I went to on Wednesday I bought our Terrace box seats at Barry's Tickets at a 30% discount from the face value of the tickets. And they threw in a free parking pass. Yay!

These are the things I'd recommend bringing along:

Table cloth. You get one table in a box and most of the time it's all dirty and gross looking. Besides, having a table cloth makes the dining experience more "refined" and elegant. It doesn't need to be a white linen cloth - any scrap of fabric will do. You probably want to bring something a bit better than I did though (a yellow beach towel that I got as a Thank You for donating blood).

Candle. I saw a few boxes with tealight candles in a small votive on their tables. The group next door to me had one and I was insanely jealous. Again, it sets nice ambiance and provides a little light.

Food. I like to eat at my seat, but even if you picnic on the benches or on the grounds before the concert, bringing some things to nibble on or dessert makes the experience much memorable. How often can you eat while listening to the LA Philharmonic?

Wine. Don't forget that you can bring all you can drink booze to the Bowl.

Flashlight. This is actually really handy and I'm embarassed to say that it took watching the experienced Bowlers next door to us with a flashlight to put two and two together. A flashlight works much better than using the screen of your iphone to find a wayward item. You don't have to bring along an industrial version - a small penlight would do.

Sweater or blanket. It can get a little chilly. And blankets are great for snuggling.

That's it!
Happy Bowling! :)


weezermonkey said...

I've never sat in the box seats. Swanky!

Here's one more tip:

Usually, a day or two before any show, the Bowl releases what I call the Faux Handicapped Seats. When all the legitimately handicapped seats are not sold, you can buy seats in this section for a decent price. You sit in folding chairs and are just as close as the closest seats (albeit off to the side), but you pay a fraction of the price.

We did this for The Shins and Belle and Sebastian a few years ago. Really really fun -- you can get up and dance with large movements and not bother anyone because you have the whole area pretty much to yourselves.

Insomniac said...

Great tip WM!

dapotato said...

great tips. so sad my next concert there doesn't allow BYO (leased event).

{grace} said...

Great tips! We’re going tomorrow night, and it will our first time taking our daughter. We’ll be in a Terrace box, so it will be nice and enclosed… like a cage for my wild little animal, lol. Aagh, this could be a recipe for disaster.

:: keeping fingers crossed that she’ll behave and won’t get us thrown out ::

amber said...

Great tips!
I've only been to the bowl once, but it was in the boxes to see one of my H's favorite symphonies. Another really nice couple sat next to us and it was a fabulous evening.

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