However, that old piece of logic is being questioned these days as concert fans and archeologists alike are raising alarms as to whether current ticketing science has progressed farther than was meant to be.

At issue is the concert ticket itself. Or, more specifically, how that ticket is handled when you attend the show listed on the face of the ticket.

For almost as far back as anyone can remember, ticketing has been handled in a straightforward fashion. You go to the show, say Bruce Springsteen or Ramsey Lewis, hand the person at the door your ticket, upon which, he or she tears it in half, keeping one half and handing the other to you. The result? The promoter gets one half of the ticket, thus proving that the ticket was indeed used, while you get a free souvenir of that night’s entertainment.

However, new technology has done away with tearing tickets in half. Instead, ticket-takers scan the ticket with a barcode reader, resulting in the concert fan keeping the entire ticket. And therein lies the controversy.

“What good is a whole ticket?” asks Professor Melvin Udall, the country’s top ticketologist and author of Get Stubby! Ticket Stubs Through The Ages, that 5,000 page classic piece of research which tracked ticketing science back to the days of the Roman Coliseum. “For most of our concert history, the torn ticket was a symbol of accomplishment. Fans of The Rolling Stones, U2, even Pink Floyd, all had their tickets torn on the night of the show. Now you get the whole ticket back, and the only person who knows you used it is the promoter. And you call that progress?”

Evidently, many fans do not. Already, several fan-driven sites have sprung up in protest, the most popular being, which has accumulated over 25,000 signatures for its petition calling for “a return to the days when you got both a show and a stub.”

“We’re talking about a vanishing culture,” says’s webmaster, A.D. Ryan-Monk, who took a sabbatical from his government-sponsored project of identifying, counting and then cataloging the cracks in the sidewalks of New York so that he could launch the pro-stub Web site. “A culture where an experienced observer could look at any ticket stub, and not only identify the date and venue for the show, but which ticket taker tore the ticket, whether he was left or right handed, and what he had for dinner earlier that evening. Now you go to see David Gray or Avril Lavigne, and all you get back is the entire ticket. No tear, no stub, no memories.”

Are ticket stubs fast becoming a product of a bygone era? Or will the concert industry heed the call of those caught up in the insignificant minutia of days gone past, and return to tearing tickets so that fans, as well as historians, might have a record of today’s current concert scene? Furthermore, if stubs vanish into the oblivion of past pop culture, what will become of other traditional concert practices, such as verbal microphone testing, more commonly known as the 1, 2, 3 Effect? While not being specific, Professor Udall does have one message for all those who equate the latest ticketing methods with progress.

“Think of all those concert memories. Think of all those stubs you’ve collected throughout the years,” says Professor Udall. “But most importantly, think of your children.”

Coming up later this week – the controversy over clapping too loudly at shows by Judas Priest, Megadeth and Green Day. Are the experts correct in asserting that prolonged applauding leads to irreversible palm damage? Or are audiences simply clapped out? Stay tuned.