Tuesday, April 15, 2008


There are lots of things not to like about large scale concerts these days - the mallification of the venues, the ridiculously high prices of tickets/parking/everything at the concert to name a few things. But for me, there is something to be said about artists who can rock a crowd of thousands, or tens of thousands, of people. Yes, I'd rather see my favorite artists in a club or small theater than in an arena or stadium, but I like the fact that, after all this time, The Rolling Stones or Bruce Springsteen or U2 or Pearl Jam can still rock a huge show.

But in fifteen or twenty years, who will be rocking the huge shows? There's an article in The American about that: in the past two years, the only touring acts under 30 years old to make the top ten touring acts were Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera (both of whom I believe have potential for longevity). The other younger acts include some country performers - Kenny Chesney, Rascall Flatts, and the Tim McGraw/Faith Hill team, plus The Dave Matthews Band. Everyone else is older - people like The Rolling Stones, The Police, U2, Genesis, Aerosmith, Rod Stewart, Roger Waters, Madonna and Bon Jovi.

Maybe as music genres splinter off more and more, it is inevitable that fewer acts will be able to command large crowds, but there's something sad about the prospect of that. On the other hand, there's always exciting new artists starting up, I just hope that continues. Despite the fact that No Expiration covers more, uh, "heritage" acts, music really lives in the clubs and bars, not the stadiums.

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