From Nosebleeds to Pit Passes – Our Grateful Dead Adventure

As you should know by now from our previous blogs, we love adventuring around the country whenever we can. Often, we let Mike’s love for music lead our adventures… whether we go to a music festival or see live performers in a local bar, we are always keeping our eyes open for the best musical events near or afar.

Earlier this summer, we shared LiveNation’s $20 ticket deals on our Facebook page. We ended up buying two lawn tickets for Dead & Company in Phoenix. That was the true beginning of this story… the day Mike became a millennial Dead Head 😉 The music was already amazing, and John Mayer finally found his calling when he joined the group that has been blessing people with its music for over 50 years. We highly recommend watching the Grateful Dead documentary, Long Strange Trip (available for free on Amazon Video).

All the way from the lawn, Mike knew he had to see Dead & Company again, so he looked around. There is a festival in Tulum, Mexico that would be perfect! But, at $5k/person, it’s not really the Rich Living, Less Spending way. Knowing that would be awesome, yet unrealistic, he subscribed to the band’s email listserve to be the first to hear when more tour dates would be announced. *TIP* If you love a band, we highly recommend doing this. Pre-sale often truly is the best way to buy tickets, and you’ll find out why as you keep reading.

Finally, the Fall 2017 tour was announced, and they were stopping in Dallas, Texas! This was perfect for us… we have tons of family and friends in Dallas thanks to my time at SMU Law. It also meant we already knew where to look for the best deals!

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Mike super excited once we arrived at American Airlines Center for the Fall Tour

So, while I was seeing just how cheap Spirit Airlines could get, Mike found some great Southwest tickets for a Thursday-Saturday flight. *TIP* If you can travel, Thus-Sat, it is typically way cheaper than Fri-Sun. Because the concert was Friday night, we figured we would fly in Thursday, work remotely for a full day Friday, go to the concert, and leave Saturday morning. Meaning only two nights of hotel/VRBO stay.

We spent a long time looking for hotels that were cheap and close to the American Airlines Center. We ended up staying in Crowne Plaza Downtown and booking a non-refundable stay to save some money. The good news: it was right next to a light rail stop, so we would save money on Ubers. The bad news: there was no changing the dates of our stay!

As we started looking more into our stay, we realized we really wanted to spend more time with friends while we were there. The problem was, even though Southwest is free to change flights, flying out Sunday increased our ticket prices by $150/person. Not worth it…. So, Mike decided to watch concert ticket prices instead.

During pre-sale, Mike bought our nosebleed seats for about $120/ticket. We both loved them when we saw them in lawn seats before, so why wouldn’t we like them in nosebleed seats?! BUT…. Wouldn’t it be so much better if we saw them just a little closer??

So, we found out about this awesome app called Gametime from one of our friends (thanks, Rose! Use code TAYLOR763 for $5 credit). It’s an app designed to easily buy and sell last-second tickets without having to go through some of the long processes that you go through with websites like Stub Hub. Mike hit the jackpot! Seats in the lower level of American Airline Center for the EXACT same price that our nosebleeds were in… so, he used Gametime’s trade in feature to trade in our nosebleeds for Gametime credit. He then used that credit to buy the lower level seats. AWESOME!

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Just to see if he could keep trading up, he listed those lower level tickets on both Gametime and Stub Hub. A little time went on, and he ended up selling those lower level tickets for a huge profit through Stub Hub.  All the stars must’ve aligned that night because the profit he made on those tickets covered the cost of VIP pit passes on Stub Hub. So, all-in-all we ended up spending $150 each for VIP pit passes to Dead & Company!

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Excited for the show to start

What did this mean?? As Mike explained to my sister, “We will be able to see John Mayer’s nut sack if we tried hard enough.” Not only were we super close, we also got separate line entrance and a private lounge with unlimited food and water. Maybe best of all, bathrooms for only VIP… meaning no hour-long lines in front of the women’s bathroom.

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Dead & Company playing their hearts out
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Entrance to the VIP Lounge!

Seriously, this was a night to remember. If this was the only thing we did in Dallas, we would have been ecstatic. 12.1.17 was a night to go down in the history books for us.

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However, right after we bought the pit passes, Cyber Monday hit and BAM Southwest had weekly sales on flights. The Sunday extension that would originally have cost us $300 to change, ended up actually being cheaper than our original flights, so we extended our trip and walked away with $100 in future Southwest credit $$$. Hotels were about  $100/night, but we ended up staying with a friend for free (thanks, Annabel).

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Thanks for hosting us ❤

Yeah… so what started as a Thurs-Sat flight with nosebleed Dead & Company tickets ended up being a long weekend trip with pit passes one night and great company with friends the next night.

We are so GRATEFUL for our Grateful Dead adventure and all our friends that made this weekend just that much more memorable.

Our favorite Dallas spots this past weekend:

  • Buzzbrews – where we worked remotely on Friday. Good food and great WiFi.
  • Pecan Lodge – I had a 1.55 lb beef rib. Awesome BBQ in Deep Ellum, which has a lot of other bars within walking distance.
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This was a monster rib
  • Lower Greenville – fun place to barhop and have brunch

NOTE: We ended up taking the light rail everywhere! We took it to the concert at the American Airlines Center. It was great because we skipped all rush hour traffic by doing this 🙂 . We also went to visit our friend in the suburbs and took it up north to go see her. We recommend not going to the West End stop!

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P.S. Right after the concert, John Mayer came down with appendicitis. Mike said he not only played his heart out, he also played his appendix out… We hope he has a speedy recovery!

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6 thoughts on “From Nosebleeds to Pit Passes – Our Grateful Dead Adventure

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