I'd like to tell you a cautionary tale.
A few weeks back Kevin Beaudette of Tupper Lake, N.Y., decided he really a) wanted to see Nickelback and b) wanted to see them for free. His plan was simple: Go into the woody area surrounding the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, maneuver his way through the trees and rocks, and sneak into the venue.
It seemed like a really good idea until he slipped, tumbled, and eventually landed 40 feet deep in the Geyser Brook Gorge.
It taught us a valuable lesson: Sneaking in to a show could end with you being branded Nickelback Fan Who Fell In a Hole.
Things didn't have to end that way for Kevin, and they don't have to end that way for you. Next time you're thinking about risking life and limb to see Nickelback, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Are you intoxicated right now?
Kevin was, which is probably why he ended up at the bottom of a gorge waiting to be rescued. Being buzzed may give you the courage to go running around looking for the weak links in venue security, but if sneaking in involves actual physical activity you may be screwed.
If you have to climb a fence, dig a hole, swim across a lake, or outrun a security guard on your journey, make sure you're at least 75 percent sober before you start. Being mostly sober will also help when answering the next few questions.
If you're of sound mind, move onto the next question.
2. Is this your only chance to see Nickelback?
Here's the thing: Nickelback tours a lot. This wasn't going to be Kevin's only shot at seeing them and, unless you live somewhere that rarely gets shows, it probably won't be your only shot either. These guys played Boise so it's not like they discriminate. They'll be back. You could save up money, buy a ticket next time they come to town, and not risk any significant injuries.
But if you absolutely, positively, will just die if you don't get to see them move on to the next question.
3. Is this going to be complicated?
Different places will require different methods of attack. You won't have natural cover if the venue is in the middle of a city. You'll need plenty of water if you're sneaking through the desert. You may want to know where the gorge is before you have to walk near it.
There may be wild animals nearby that think you're a tasty snack. You'll have to be prepared for any or all of these things.
If you feel your plan is solid, move onto the next question.
4. How good is your health insurance?
Kevin lucked out: His injuries were minor. Things could have gone much worse. We're not just talking broken bones, either. He could have snapped his spine and become paralyzed; he could have been knocked out cold only to wake up alone surrounded by wolves; he could even have died and missed out on all the press coverage he'd have received.
Other than death, which would have put the financial burden on this family, all of these things would have ended with an expensive hospital visit. For you it could end up costing way more money to get healthy again than it would have just buying a ticket in the first place.
If you can afford the bills you may end up with move on to the next question.
[Writer's Note: No one covering this story, to my knowledge, has considered the fact that maybe this guy was just a really dedicated Bush fan. I'm including the above video just in case he is.]
[Writer's Note: Before you ask, yes it's possible that he was a really dedicated Seether or My Darkest Days fan but if that's the case it's his own fault for trying to sneak in to catch a 30-minute opening set instead of waiting to sneak in to see them on a headlining tour.]
5. Do you value your reputation?
If you seriously injure yourself trying to sneak in to a Nickleback show you will never hear the end of. Your friends will remind you of this at least once a week for the rest of your life. It'll come up in a wedding speech.
It'll be used against you in a campaign ad if you run for office. Teenagers will point and laugh at you on the street. You may end up with an awkward scar you have to explain any time you get naked in front of someone. There will be a Gawker article and, even worse, Gawker comments.
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SHOW ME HOW
If you're willing to risk your reputation...
Congratulations. You've made it through all five questions and are now qualified to sneak in to a Nickelback show. Make sure you're wearing the proper footwear and consider grabbing a bottle of water: if the worse happens you don't know how long you'll be waiting for rescue.