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Any time that U2 tours, you can expect something out of this world when it comes to the staging setup, and the 360 tour is certainly out of this world. A self-named “spaceship” by Bono himself, the 360 touring stage is a giant claw with two staging areas, one platform positioned under the massive claw, and one catwalk that forms a ring around the inner platform.

When the 360 tour concept was announced, it was U2′s intentions that it bring the audience closer to the band by giving an “in the round” setup so that you had the same experience no matter where you sat. Unfortunately, when the tour finally debuted, reports began to pour in from those who sat on the side of the claw where the drummers back was facing. We had to take a look for ourselves, so we headed out to check out the show from this perspective.

Having seen the U2:360 from the “inner circle”, I knew immediately from the view at our seats that this was going to be a completely different experience than the view from the floor, but I tried to keep that from influencing my opinions. The first thing I noticed was that all of the musicians gear was set up to face the same direction, as opposed to facing out to the audience at every angle like most ‘in the round’ concerts do. One thing that impressed me, however, was that although we were in a massive football stadium, the way the stage was positioned made it seem as if it were closer to us than it actually was.

The house lights dimmed for the opening act (the Black Eyed Peas), and our show was under way. It was to no surprise that the singers immediately began to favor the side of the stage that the band equipment was facing, just as if it was in an ‘end stage’ setup. The massive video screen hovering over the stage was a tremendous help, and I found myself watching the video screen more often than I normally care to. It wasn’t until a few songs into the set that the band began to make their way around to the back side of the staging area to greet us, and the Fergie even took the time to perform her hit single while completely facing our direction. Aside from these few moments, that was about the only attention that the ‘rear view’ section got from the opening act.

As U2 began their incredible show, it also became quickly understood that while Bono made frequent trips around the catwalk, the band would highly favor the opposite side of the stage. I’m not sure why this surprised me in this tour. I guess because I had seen other bands pull off ‘in the round’ setups beautifully in the past, it just made U2′s choice to address one side of the claw more than the other three sides seem like a poor choice.

Now, all of this to say that the show was just as enjoyable from these seats. However, if I was on tour management, I would charge significantly less for the tickets in this area of the stadium, and let people know that they are sitting behind the stage. Regardless, if you do choose to sit in these sections, you’re going to be guaranteed a phenomenal show, just as U2 has always done.

We’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up over the course of the next few weeks, and a lot of venue reviews to bring to you. We also want to make sure that we cover as many venues as possible over the course of this website – so venue owners: this is a call to you!

Let us know how we can partner with you so we might be able to cover your venue and give a great review of your venue, as seen from the “worst seats in the house”!

E-mail Chris at worstseatsinthehouse@gmail.com, or call 405.633.1460.

Over the past few years, one very popular feature for many venues is to include a virtual tour of their particular layout. This can be anything from navigatable photos in each section, to a full blown 3D model where you control what you look at. What’s great about these seating chart formats is that it gives you a very realistic view of what you’ll be looking at when you arrive at the arena. This is a great way to figure out where the best seats are for the lowest cost possible.

Below is a list of venues and links to their 3D seating charts. If you have any to add, please feel free to write us at worstseatsinthehouse@gmail.com

American Airlines Arena – Miami, FL
American Airlines Center – Dallas, TX
Amway Arena – Orlando, FL
AT&T Center – San Antonio, TX
Bank Atlantic Center – Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Bradley Center – Milwaukee, MN
Boone Pickens Stadium – Stillwater, OK
Chaifetz Arena – St. Louis, MO
Conseco Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, IN
Energy Solutions Arena – Salt Lake City, UT
Ford Center – Oklahoma City, OK
IZOD Center – Rutherford, NJ
Jobing.com Arena – Glendale, AZ
New Orleans Arena – New Orleans, LA
Oracle Arena – Oakland, CA
Palace of Auburn Hills – Detroit, MI
Phillips Arena – Atlanta, GA
Rose Garden Arena – Portland, OR
Target Center – Minneapolis, MN
TD Banknorth Garden – Boston, MA
Time Warner Cable Arena – Charlotte, NC
Toyota Center – Houston, TX
US Airways Center – Phoenix, AZ
Verizon Center – Washington, DC
Wachovia Center – Philadelphia, PA
WaMu Theatre – Seattle, WA

Tulsa, Oklahoma prides themselves on many new improvements and additions to their city, but one of the most visible is the BOK Center. This beautiful structure shimmers in the sunlight, looking like a giant steel tornado on the brink of leveling downtown Tulsa. Having just celebrated its 1 year anniversary, there was a great deal of excitement to visit this new arena.

Upon entry, we were surprised to find a plethora of amenities, including just about every type of concession stand you could imagine. There was a concession stand that served fresh sushi, and another that grilled burgers and steaks over an open flame. Plasma screen televisions viewed some of the sports games in an area sponsored by the local cable company, and there were even computer stations where people who just can’t be away from their Facebook for an evening can check in and update their status before the concert.

Making our way to the upper levels, it began to become noticeable that there were not going to be quite as many options or luxury features on the 300 level concourse. Decorations were sparse, concession stands weren’t nearly as diverse, or available for that matter, and some areas felt more like a storage facility than a major concert and sporting venue. Everything was kept very clean and up to date, but it lacked the sparkle and appeal of the 100 level’s concourse in a major way.

Heading into the seating area I was pleased to find that while I was in the upper decks of the arena, the view of the stage was one that was desirable. The arena felt a bit more intimate than many of the newer arenas that have been built lately, and it did not feel as if I was in the “nosebleed section”. I took a moment to head up to the very last row and found that the seats weren’t terrible there either, at least by worst seats in the house standards.

The actual seats seemed somewhat wider than the average seat, although there wasn’t as much legroom. If anyone wanted to exit the row, there was no choice but to have to stand up to allow them to pass. This bothers some people, but the wider seats made for more elbow room and made up for the lack of room in front of you. There were no cup holders that could be found on this level, but the cushions were plush and comfortable. The only downside to these seats was the sound. Everything seemed somewhat muffled where I was positioned, and after talking with others who had been in the upper level of the arena, I found that this opinion was not alone. The music was audible, but seemed as if it was being heard through a pair of thin earmuffs.

In the end, I found the BOK Center’s upper level to be strictly average. They could use a sound architect to come in and work on the audio acoustics of the building, but the amenities offered, especially on the lower levels, as well as the intimacy of the venue made for an overall enjoyable experience. Whether it was worth the money for the seats strictly depends on the price of the ticket, which we won’t find ourselves paying more than $40-50, regardless of the act. If the ticket is affordable, then you can be assured that you’ve found a fantastic bargain at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City has a gem of an arena: Ford Center. Located in the heart of the arts and entertainment district, this arena is perfectly located in the city to cater to anyone who wanted to attend an event here. This arena towers over Bricktown, which made us anxious to take a look at what the Ford Center’s Worst Seats In The House had to offer.

The 300 level section, known as “Loud City” to local patrons, has recently been renovated to upgrade both quality of seating and luxurious amenities. The stadium seating has been installed so that there is plenty of leg room, and plenty of height from row to row so that your view is not blocked by the person seated in front of you. Most impressive was the addition of cupholders in many of the upper level seating options, a feature that is not commonly found in the stratosphere of arena seating.

While you may be in the upper level of the arena, there is truly not a bad seat in the house. Every seat has a clear viewing spectrum of the action on the arena floor. It may be an optical illusion, but the view from the 300 level rivals some of the views you get on the 200 level, and occasionally the 100 level.

Although not needed as a monitor, the Ford Center is equipped with a brand new scoreboard that rivals any scoreboard in the arenas across America. Crystal clear images feature live feeds of the events, instant replays at sporting events, and beautifully displayed statistics sections come across on this scoreboard as if you were at home watching your television set. Although covered in advertising, it is done tastefully, and appealing enough as to not distract from the picture on the screen.

On the upper level concourse, there are plenty of vendors, concession stands with top-chain brand foods (such as Pizza Hut), and restrooms located conveniently throughout the hallways. Most noted on a visit to the Ford Center are the restrooms, complete with television feeds of the events so that you don’t miss a beat when nature calls.

Overall, the Ford Center has done an excellent job of making sure it’s upper level spectators feel as if they had paid high dollar prices for their seats. Needless to say, the value of service, quality of amenities and variety of vendors by far surpasses the price of admission to this level.

Recently, I had the chance to see the Dave Matthews Band on their “Big Whiskey” tour. When first offered seats, they were upper level and on the opposite end of the stage.  I asked them if there was anything better, and the only other seats available were on the lower level – but to the rear of the stage. Thinking that I’d rather be closer to the stage than as far as I possibly could, I accepted the REAR VIEW seating.

When I walked down to my seat, I was very surprised that although I was slightly behind the stage, I had a pretty clear view of the stage. There was even a speaker stack on the side of the stage that offered our section our own personal mix of the show.

Although I could only see the back of Dave Matthews’ head while he sang, all the other parts of the concert were provided with excellent views of the entire band. One thing that I really enjoyed about these seats was the unusual angle that the drummer was visible from. It was as if I could watch every strike of his stick, and every tap of his feet. It was mesmerizing to say the least.

Overall, I would absolutely sit in this section for any concert. While most people would snarl at the thought of purchasing rear view tickets, it was much better than sitting in the far back of the arena.

Welcome to the Worst Seats In The House – a website designed to give you an informed review and in depth look at the best events and venues in the country! Everyone dreads them. There’s nothing worse than getting to a concert or sporting event and realizing that your tickets are worse than you expected. Or maybe money is tight, but you just have to see your favorite band or sporting event and are forced to buy the dreaded ‘cheap seats’.

This site is designed to enhance your nose-bleed event experience to the max!

We’ll review concerts, sporting events, theatrical productions – pretty much anything that is a ticketed event – from the worst seats in the house. We’ll also provide reviews of the venue itself, complete with a list of upper-lever amenities and perks.

If your seats are bad, you can find comfort here. So enjoy these pages, and feel free to give us feedback as we go along this journey together. Until then, keep those binoculars handy and enjoy the show!

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