Last night, my dad and I went to the Dallas Symphony. The pianist was ill, so the planned piano concerto was swapped out, making the program Beethoven's Fifth Symphony followed by Beethoven's Third Symphony.
Our seats were where the chorus sits for performances that have a chorus, behind the stage. The seats themselves were a bit uncomfortable (I wouldn't have wanted to sit in one for an hour straight) and we were significantly closer to the timpani than the audience on the normal side of the stage, making it louder than it should have been, but they were the cheapest seats in the house and the view was amazing—I was able to read the text and see that each performer's music stand had a copy of The Star-Spangled Banner permanently attached.
The conductor (Jaap van Zweden) didn't even use a score for the Fifth Symphony. He clearly knows it by heart—as, it turns out, do I. It was an incredible performance. After that, the Third Symphony was nice, but a bit of a let down—although I think just about anything would have been. I thought (and my dad also suggested this without my mentioning it to him) that they should have reversed the order of the pieces, even though it would have been a larger alteration to the program, because the Fifth was impossible to follow.