The first show that Another Planet Entertainment’s Allen Scott saw put him and his father in the very last row in the furthest section of the venue. Even in the nosebleed seats and at nine years-old, Scott realized the live music industry was a world he wanted to be in.
Throughout junior high and high school, Scott attended every show he could see, from Fleetwood Mac to the Grateful Dead to Cyndi Lauper.
His first foray into the business side of live music was booking a band in his high school cafeteria. Then, he became the social director of his fraternity in college. During college he would drive an hour out to see acts like Dave Matthews Band, who were working with Coran Capshaw. Scott started helping Capshaw with promotion by handing out flyers and hanging posters in Lexington, Virginia and scouted venues for groups like Phish.
“I was doing it for the love of live music and for free tickets to the show,” Scott told Amplify. Coran “taught me a lot about the business. He was very instrumental in me seeing the business behind the music.”
Scott got a hold of Bill Graham’s autobiography shortly after and was inspired to move to the Bay Area to grow in the industry. He interviewed with Bill Graham Presents, Noise Pop Industries and anyone else who would give him a chance, but no one would hire him. So Scott asked six friends to provide them with every email contact they had and he began blasting everyone they knew until he had hundreds of people attending his parties and concerts in the Bay Area.
His solo company Mystery Machine Presents was doing roughly 100 shows a year when he was approached by Another Planet’s Gregg Perloff with an offer to merge.
“When I was running Mystery Machine Productions, I was doing it all myself in terms of learning. I would have to touch the stove, so to speak, to learn that that was not the right way to do things,” Scott said. “I was doing really well, but when I joined forces with Gregg Perloff and Sherry Wasserman at Another Planet it accelerated that learning curve.”
Now, as the head of concerts and festivals at Another Planet, Scott is among the staff excited to watch the Life is Beautiful in Las Vegas take on its fifth year that sold out at onsale. Amplify caught up with Scott just days before the company’s Outside Lands celebrates is 10th year to talk about five of the greatest shows he has experienced.
U2 at Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia
Dec. 11, 1987
I believe that show changed the course of my life. I was 14 years old and somehow one of my friend’s parents knew the mayor of Hampton and was able to get us tickets in the 12th row. Prior to this I had always sat in the upper deck of any arena I had seen concert in. So my two best friends and I thought we had won the lottery. This was the Joshua Tree tour and the band was phenomenal. I will never forget the final encore when they closed with “40.” The band left the stage one by one until they were all gone. The entire crowd kept singing “I will sing, sing a new song” over and over for what seemed like five minutes with no one on stage. It was that night that I discovered the power and communal effect of live music.
Grateful Dead at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina
July 10, 1990
I saw the Grateful Dead (with Jerry Garcia) maybe four or five times between 1987 and 1994. This was my second time seeing them and when I discovered the scene that surrounded the show. A Grateful Dead show was not just a concert, it was a social affair. Traveling to the show from out of state with friends, the lot scene, set break, etc. I believe it was those social aspects of that band (and later with Phish) that seemed to be a precursor to today’s US festivals.
Dave Matthews Band at Trax Nightclub in Charlottesville, Virginia
Sept. 29, 1992
I knew the first time that I saw Dave Matthews Band at Trax in the fall of 1992 that they were special. I had never seen anything like it. And I became addicted. They would play every Tuesday night at Trax and then they traveled around the Southeast playing fraternity houses and small clubs the rest of the week. Although they did not release their first album (which was self-released) until November 1993, they were selling out 1,000 cap clubs and the entire audience would sing along the entire show. It was amazing. Every person who saw them in the early 90s became a disciple and spread the word by trading tapes. I would travel and see them any chance I could get and I have seen this band more times than I can count. But what also came out of this, was a close look in real time of how a band grew from playing in front of 200 people to playing in front of tens of thousands. It was through DMB and their manager, Coran Capshaw, that made me realize that I wanted to be in the music business.
Daft Punk at Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California
July 27, 2007
This is probably the best show I have ever seen at the Greek Theatre and certainly the most legendary. Daft Punk, the pyramid and subsequently this tour changed the course of music both live and recorded. I don’t know if I have ever seen the Greek go off as hard as it did that night. The venue was sold out, but no one was on the lawn. The entire venue was general admission, and everyone had to be as close to the stage as possible. They were jammed onto the floor and in the stands. Every person in attendance that night left feeling they experienced something extraordinary.
LCD Soundsystem at Madison Square Garden in New York
April 2, 2011
This was to be LCD Soundsystem’s farewell show. I had fallen in love with the band some years prior, and I had the fortunate opportunity to promote them several times beginning in 2004. I was not planning on going to the show, but as the show approached and I learned of how many friends were going, I got serious FOMO. So the night prior to the show, Bryan Duquette and I bought plane tickets to NYC leaving the next morning. Amazingly John Moore at Bowery Presents, who was promoting the show, was able to pull two tickets out of his arse for us. This show had sold out in seconds and the scalping situation had been out of control. We arrived in NYC around 4pm, dropped our bags and headed right out to the show. And what a show it was. It was a truly epic, three set show that lasted nearly four hours. The energy in MSG was over the top with everyone up to the rafters furiously dancing. It was that one show where I run into people all the time, who are like “yeah, I was there.” Historic.