Commenting on his time with The Rolling Stones in 1986, drummer Charlie Watts humorously said that, in his estimation, he’d “worked five years and had 20 years of hanging around”. It’s a sentiment that I share when having the privilege to go to a concert with my 12-year-old daughter, Hannah. While I haven’t been on-stage as much as The Rolling Stones (quite frankly, who has?), I’ve definitely spent a lot of time with Hannah waiting for the concert or show to begin and hang out afterwards. I stopped counting after a few dozen shows I’ve been lucky enough to bring her along, but recently, it’s her that is taking me to her favourite bands.
Last week, thanks to American Express Canada, we had the soaring pleasure to see 5 Seconds of Summer at Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre and have a daddy-daughter night out. Not only was it a thought-provoking experience for me, but seeing how Amex has gone from a credit card to providing Cardmember perks such as Front Of The Line Advanced Presales, the Amex Lounge and Amex Front Of The Line Reserved Tickets, only demonstrates the power of music as a marketing platform, as sponsorship spending in the music category continues to soar to new heights. And the fan wins, every single time.
Amex unlocks memorable moments for half a million Canadians every year. In 2015, Amex will help over 400,000 fans rock out to their favourite band. It was our turn – the Alpers – to unlock – our concert experience. I talked to a number of other parents who brought their kids, and that took advantage of Amex perks like staying in the Amex Lounge or who used their Amex Card for Front Of The Line Reserved Tickets to get up-close to the stage. These parents found out 5 Seconds Of Summer was coming to the Molson Amphitheatre even before their kids knew because they had signed up for the Front Of The Line Entertainment e-updates. With American Express Invites, Amex is expanding the model to bring Cardmembers an ongoing flow of access to entertainment and lifestyle experiences – often with added value elements that make them both very appealing and also accessible only through American Express.
When it comes to access, no other brand comes close to providing the memorable experiences that American Express does, and that means we knew first when the major touring acts play in our area, or get in early to watch an up-and-coming artist play a small theatre, before they start to play stadiums.. Another superb reason to have an Amex Card is known as soon as you enter onto the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre grounds, where a large banner tells Amex Cardmembers they can skip the general line, and go right to the dedicated Amex line for faster entrance to the venue. This doesn’t seem like much, until you have the opportunity to see over 10,000 teenagers celebrating by singing their favourite 5 Second Of Summer song over and over again. Not just the one song, mind you, but different groups of teens singing their own choruses punching through the night. So, while I’m happy to have singing around me, we got to skip most of the impromptu choir, thanks to Amex.
What was politely noted by the parents is the loyalty they have for Amex, since the card company has been doing this for over 25 years through Front Of The Line by providing their Cardmembers with experiences like Delights, its partnerships with LiveNation, Mirvish, Massey Hall, and Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, to name a few. My fervour is the same, as what Amex does so well is really know what I want to see, and their access to some of the most in-demand events is second to none. You don’t have to question Amex’s ability to show that as a credit card company they can indeed be human and offer memorable experiences.
What followed us arriving into the venue was a scene I love – 17,000 screaming teens, the party atmosphere I thrive for every artist I work with to one day have. Walking up to our seats – first row, by the way – we leapfrogged the usual hurdle of waiting for hours in-between sets, and into a short countdown on the screen with an emotional audience already almost unable to contain their emotions. From the start of the opening three songs, End Up Here (as in my thought, “How The Heck Did We End Up With These Awesome Tickets?”), Out Of My Limit (like, “This Volume Of Screams Is Out Of My Limit For Normal Hearing, Just Kidding, I Can Take It,”) and Voodoo Doll (I have nothing funny to add about this song), it’s easy to see why 5SOS are finding themselves in surroundings like these, night after night. Here was Hannah, so comfortable in this stadium, it’s almost impossible now not to think of her as my daughter, but as a fun concert buddy. She’s singing loudly, having an unexpected glee, going for broke with her happiness of seeing the band so close.
— Eric Alper (@ThatEricAlper) August 26, 2015
By the time the band ended their set with She’s Kinda Hot and She Looks So Perfect, every single girl in the crowd knew 5SOS wrote the song just for them. Because, in a way, they did, the sly ones. Hannah and I have been to enough shows to know our experience was better than we had a right to expect, but that’s really what Amex does. They offer an experience you’ll never forget. As 5SOS closed off the night with The Romantics’ cover of What I Like About You, I almost sang it as a heartfelt thank-you to Amex.
Looking for your own memorable experience? Explore www.AmexInvites.ca to learn more about some of the hottest upcoming events.