Pontiac Civic Center
201 Southwest Jefferson Avenue
Peoria, IL 61602
So the trip down to Peoria was an interesting one for me and Jess. Full of various events that made us wish we had never agreed to drive the 3.5 hr drive down to the middle of nowhere. When we arrived to the Civic Center there were mass amounts of people everywhere which seemed pretty normal for a rock show at an area, until we realized the Civic Center is probably the only means of entertainment for city. We followed the signs that said Box Office to pick up our tickets and press pass. I don’t know how big this place really is but the “arena” like room where we thought we would be in had kids hockey. So needless to say we were at the wrong box office from the start. After waiting in line and making our way through the sea of people waiting for their game to start we finally found where we needed to be. I will never know how box offices run their shit but all I know is it really pisses me off when shit doesn’t flow as it should. We give our name, say we need 2 tickets, photo and video pass. Well the girl at the window gave us our photo pass but no tickets and no video pass. What good is a photo pass without tickets!?!? How does the box office not have the means to print tickets and how does the Production Manager not have this shit ready when the Box Office OPENS!?!?! We were told tickets would be ready at 6:30. Fine, that will give us enough time to get in, assemble the camera and get in the pit. No problem right?
The Opening of The Doors Dilemma:
From what we were told and what was on the web the show was to start at 6:45. Normal venues would open their doors at 6:00 if not a bit earlier. Not Peoria! They opened the doors at 6:30. At first we were like oh maybe they are gonna start a little later. Nope. 6:45 on the dot the first band starts and here we are outside at the box office still waiting for our tickets. Nice! Finally the girl we first talked to went to get all the will call tickets for those of us still waiting. Thanks buddy you were a big help!
So we get in line to head in. Not being familiar with this venue I show the security guard my press pass and ask which side of the stage do I go for my photo pass. He looks at me with that deer in the headlights look and says “You should have taken care of that already.” Really? Whatever. So I give the lady my ticket to scan and he stops me asking what’s in my bag. Seriously!? So he has me open my bag and asks what everything is.
Security Guard: “Is that camera equipment?”
Me thinking YES YOU STUPID FUCK! I just showed you my photo pass.
Me:“Yes. Do you want me to take it all out?”
Security Guard: “No you’re fine, did she scan your ticket?”
Me: “Yes Sir”
To be honest with you I have NEVER had my bag checked before. I show the nice people at the door my pass and they flag me through. They usually even tell me where I need to be and any other rules that may apply to the nights show. Not so much in Peoria.
So we walk in and right away you see merch tables. The more we walked in the more I felt like I was in High School all over again. The name of the room was Hall A which felt like a HS gym minus the bleachers. It was just a long hallway-esk room, no seating just general admission. It was definitely the oddest room I have ever seen a professional live show in. It was like being in someone’s basement at a house party. I don’t know how small of a town Peoria is but it seemed like everyone knew everyone here. Apparently this was the place to be that night. And one other thing I would like to point out about the people was the way a good majority of them were dressed. Now when I go to a concert I dress comfy. You know jeans, good gym shoes, t-shirt. Not Peorian’s. They got all gussied up like they were going to the club. Weird…..
Sadly I don’t have anything good to say about Peoria or the Civic Center except for this. The parking was fantastic! Right across the street from the venue is a parking garage for only $5. This was awesome. Maybe it’s cause we are from Chicago and never pay $5 for anything, but their rates were spectacular! 75 cents per half hour, 6am-6pm only $6, this is a steal! I wonder what a normal base pay is here. Maybe $5 is a lot for them? Anyway.
My time spent in Peoria was a memorable one and I think it’s obvious to say I will not be covering any other shows here in the future. Although I really did like seeing Puddle Of Mudd, next time I will wait to see them closer to home.