I think I got spoiled during my time owning a nightclub in Iowa. As someone who put on live concerts, I had access to get in free to shows virtually anywhere in the country. Part of me hates paying for shows now and I'm extremely picky about what I'll see because I dislike large venues and I don't want to be shoved in the back of the room. At CES 2006, I missed my chance to attend Microsoft's VIP party at Pure, where The Killers played what was probably an awesome set, because I was working the floor at Showstoppers for The Chris Pirillo Show. Sometimes work wins over play.
I also had a free admission to the Monster Cable party, with Stevie Wonder on the bill. The show started late in the evening on Friday of CES. I had already missed an invite-only seven-course meal, so I was hoping I'd at least have some chance of salvaging the evening. I dropped in on the party at what should have been show time, "Retailer" level access in hand. While I wasn't in the cattle section open to any sucker who happened to walk by the Monster booth, retailers apparently don't rate in the Monster world either. You needed one of three higher levels of seating to even have a chance at seeing anything. I hung out for about 15 minutes. When the show hadn't started 30 minutes past the scheduled time, I headed for my room to catch up on email and much needed sleep.
Next year I'll remember to steer clear of any party hosted by Monster. Apparently their entertainment is as overrated as their gear.