Well i thought this merited a longer answer, forgive me for dragging on a bit here.
First off, I'm in Northern Ireland, and really my maximum travel distance is Dublin, about 160miles from where I live.
Have a look at this. Bear in mind that my music tastes are quite eclectic. Now, these are just the bands that you would recognise.....there's no point in me including Five Below Zero, The Damned, God Speed You Black Emperor, etc etc.
My first gig was Suzanne Vega, in the Ulster Hall in 1987, at the age of 15. Ticket price £9.50.
Here's a chronological list of the rest that I can find tickets for.....
U2 - King's Hall - 1987 - £11
Brian May - 1993 - Birmingham NEC - £16.75
Brian May - 1993 - Ulster Hall - £15
Bob Dylan - 1995 - King's Hall - £17
Tanita Tikaram - 1995 - Church House - £11
The Who - 1996 - Point Theatre, Dublin - £27.50
Suzanne Vega - 1997 - Waterfront Hall - £14
Manic St Preachers - 1997 - King's Hall - £14
U2 - 1997 - Botanic Park (classic...) - £26.50
Fun Lovin' Criminals - 1999 - Waterfront - £14
U2 - 2001 - Slane Castle, Dublin - €39.50
Divine Comedy - 2001 - Mandela Hall - £17.50
Oasis - 2002 - Odyssey Arena - £27.50
Bruce Springsteen - 2003 - RDS, Dublin - €65
David Bowie - 2003 - Point Theatre, Dublin - €40
The Darkness - 2004 - Botanic Park - €33
Manic St Preachers - 2004 - Waterfront - £22.50
Queen+ - 2005 - Odyssey - £49
U2 - 2005 - Croke Park, Dublin - €80
Now, there are a lot of variables in here. Anything listed in Dublin here is listed in Euros (hope the wee symbol shows up when I post!!) So U2's last gig cost around £50 in British money, and Queen cost £49. U2's would have been cheaper if the GAA in Dublin had been so greedy in hiring out Croke Park.
I have to say, I think Queen's gig was outrageously expensive. But it wasn't the worst I'd seen - Fleetwood Mac were charging £65 to play in the same venue in Belfast. That's $112.
Only 18months before I got to see Oasis, which it cannot be denied would be a much bigger draw, for nearly half the price in the same venue.
Why? No idea. Costs haven't increased THAT much.
For our American friends, I'm going to make the following outrageous statement. Feel free to refute it, but remember, this is the internet and I am free to hold my own opinions, just as you are free to POLITELY answer back....
I don't know if there's anywhere else on the planet outside of Amerika where:
(1) people would be stupid enough to pay $600 to essentially see a show - because, dear friends, that's the point of going....not to get a nice jacket and a DVD
(2) a band would know that people would be daft enough to pay this money
Now if I'm wrong, and the same thing happens here in the UK/Ireland (and I don't mean hiring a corporate box as a one-off treat for twenty mates), then I apologise. But I really think people in the US can't complain about VIP tickets - they seem to have pretty much invented the concept.
Anyway. That's my fifty quid's worth.
Enjoy your gigs, folks.
"Just tryin' to have a little fun, folks..."