Back in April, I won two tickets to a Capital Cities concert in Buenos Aires that came with a chance to meet the band and a cocktail reception for only 6,000 SPG Starpoints through an SPG Moments auction.
I went to the concert on Thursday and had a blast. #spglife did a good job putting the show on, Capital Cities were great performers, and I met some fun people.
Play their hit song Safe & Sound while you read the rest of the post.
- How was the concert?
- How well was the experience run?
- Why is Capital Cities wearing leis?
- Are Moments a good use of Starpoints?
- What current Moments offers catch my eye?
The concert and experience was well worth the 6,000 points I spent, which I value at $150. Those 6,000 points were enough for two nights in a bottom-tier SPG property, but I’m happy with how I spent them.
I won my auction in April, and I didn’t hear from SPG for quite a while, but the show was so far away I wasn’t worried. I got first contact from SPG about six weeks after winning the auction and the schedule for the show about a week before the big day.
I arrived right at 6:30 PM and found the event’s check-in desk. They commented that I was the first person to check in, and I made a joke that “yanquis” respect schedules.
An American SPG Life employee was running the event for the five winners of the Meet & Greet package. She let me know that the Meet & Greet would be about 15 minutes late, and to make myself comfortable upstairs where the cocktail party would be.
The food was already spread across two large tables. There was one with mostly sweets and fruit (diced in shot glasses.)
The other table featured heartier dishes including sushi.
The food was available immediately, though the bar told me they couldn’t serve me until 7:30 PM. I had an hour to just hang out before I could get a drink, which I found rather odd.
I looked through the bag I’d gotten at check in.
It featured a lanyard signed by the band, a CD signed by the band, an iPhone 4 (?) case, an some info on #spglife.
Pretty soon my friend showed up along with more and more fans who had purchased two tickets (without Meet & Greet) for 5,000 points. The drinks started flowing, and waiters passed through the crowd with shrimp, pork-and-pineapple skewers, and empanadas.
We were taken in to meet the band at 7:15 and each pair got to take a picture with the guys. I had brought some leis and Hawaiian hats since Capital Cities had a show in Hawaii cancelled in October for a phantom hurricane.
The guys were super friendly, and put on their leis without hesitation. After the pictures, we all stood around in a circle. Most people didn’t say much because what exactly does one say at a Meet & Greet? I filled the silence with the same questions I would ask any Americans I met at a bar (we all had champagne for the next #spglife promotional photo.)
- Did you bring down your crisp $100 bills or did you get pesos from an ATM? (ATM)
- Will you have a chance to travel elsewhere in the country after Buenos Aires? (no)
After 10-15 minutes, the band took off, and we all headed back to the cocktail party. Two of the other Meet & Greet participants were Delta employees from Atlanta, who had taken advantage of free employee flights to come down for a long weekend. They had won their Meet & Greet tickets for only 5,000 points. They were cool guys, so we stuck with them and filled up on the trays of delicious food that kept coming.
Also passing through the crowd was a photographer with a digital Polaroid camera to print out pictures for you. There was even a separate photo booth, so everyone had plenty of chances to take home some recuerdos.
At ten till 9, someone grabbed all the Meet & Greet participants to led us into the concert room first, so we could get the best seats. The four of us grabbed a front row couch.
About two songs in, Capital Cities implored everyone to get up and dance, so we joined that crowd.
The band put on a great show, and walked through the crowd for the last few songs, posing for pictures while they sang.
The show ended at 10 PM, which is basically dinner time in Argentina, so with the whole night in front of us, I steered the crowd toward a friend’s wine-tasting event in another part of town.
Generally the only good use of points and miles is for flights and lodging, but exceptions exist including, I believe, SPG Moments. Spending 6,000 points for all that fun, food, and drinks was a great deal.
Check out SPG Moments to see if any current offers appeal to you. I learned at the event that there are nine concerts per year put on by #spglife all over the world. The ones outside the United States are likely to be very few points. Right now, none of the offers appeal to me, but there are some interesting sports, music, and culture packages.
American Express issues the Starwood Preferred Guest personal and business credit cards. Both come with 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5,000 in the first six months. You can get both at the same time.