Tristan Niskanen: The Belly Up Aspen Quandary |

Tristan Niskanen: The Belly Up Aspen Quandary

Tristan Niskanen
Guest Commentary

Why do we have such a love-hate relationship Belly Up?

You have been my best friend and archenemy at different times respectively. You’re my best friend around New Year’s when you bring the Flaming Lips to town, for example. On the other hand, I can’t stand you when you bring an amazing artist but charge high dollars or make it 21 and older.

Belly Up is a quaint, acoustically stellar club situated in the downtown mountain mecca, Shangri-La of Aspen. Belly Up is a unique venue that has the pull to bring in nearly any artist.

I love to go when I can, but I often face the Belly Up Quandary.

The Belly Up Quandary is a common phenomenon that takes places a couple of times per season. It’s when Belly Up brings an artist who you like but the price is a little too steep. The quandary involves deciding whether an event is worth it.

Belly Up Quandary No. 147: Spoon.

Spoon is an indie rock band from Austin, Texas. They’ve been around since the ’90s and can boast their smooth, resounding rock or can flirt with their psychedelic flare. Britt Daniel, the lead singer, has a voice like Elvis Costello and Tom Petty yet still brings his own uniqueness to his sound. Spoon is known for songs like “Do You,” “Inside Out” and “The Underdog.” Their latest album, “Hot Thoughts,” received critical acclaim and Stereogum said, “(“Hot Thoughts”) is an international-playboy concept album … it’s absolutely remarkable that, nine albums deep into their career, Spoon are still capable of something like this … they’re a truly remarkable beast.”

So Spoon plays Belly Up on Aug. 8. Price: $70. Sold out. Because I slept on scooping up tickets to the show, I have to rely on StubHub. Those tickets are hovering around $150. Here I face the Belly Up Quandary. Is it worth it? I would love to have a night out, rocking with some of indie rock’s finest. I would love to see Spoon in an intimate setting of fewer than 500 people. I would love to go, but I don’t love the price tag.

As my summer winds down, I will continue with this Belly Up Quandary until I make a decision. If ticket prices drop on StubHub, I might bite. If not, I’ll have my eyes set on the shows down the road, with my fingers crossed that there will be a good show, with a good price.

P.S.: Does anyone have an extra ticket?

Tristan Niskanen is an Aspen resident and is a member of Aspen High School’s class of 2016. He is a contributor to The Aspen Times this summer and will attend Colgate University this fall.

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