I read a piece the other day that really irritated the holy crap out of me. An acquaintance had posted a link to this article proclaiming the "implosion of the concert business". The examples he cites - Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, U2 - are all apparently seeing a downturn in their ticket sales for their most recent runs. This is not surprising to me and I assumed that it wouldn't be surprising to anyone, but according to Mr. Lefsetz it's a cause of concern for many a concert promoting Dinosaur.
This is the section that really kills me :
Maybe no one cares to the equivalent of a multiplatinum level anymore. Maybe the live business has to give that paradigm up. At least for a decade, until new acts are grown. We want music that resonates. And we want music. Lady GaGa is outfits. Katy Perry is so second rate she’s third rate. The future looks more like the Kings Of Leon. A band that’s been around for years that finally breaks through. And doesn’t break the bank when it sets ticket prices.
Now, ignoring the casual inattention to building proper sentences, he does make a salient point. If'n there is a decline in the overall concert business, it's obviously a parallel to the decline in the record business. I do believe that P2P sharing played a part in killing the record business of yore, but no more than the CD-R, no more than the laptop computer, and certainly not as much as the overall disposable quality of pop music over the last 15 years. People don't want to see those acts live. And the Kings of Leon? They're the future? So, the future looks exactly like the past - young, pretty kids that sound and act like the Rolling Stones that have a sugar-coated and easily swallowed press story. Kill yourself.
The reason that this depresses me is that the entire music business still views itself through the same lens that it has for the last 20 years - huge amounts of money to be made from relatively little effort, and if it doesn't pay off there are a hundred other candidates waiting to get in line for their shot. Not a single thought is paid to building a business (act) in the time tested manner that every other business has to go through in order to turn a long-term profit. The Police didn't do much on their first two albums, but 2 years after that they were the biggest act in the world. Luckily their label didn't dump them, or who would headline Bonnaroo 25 years on?
Just a side question - Who's gonna play the Super Bowl Half Time show in 10 years? Death Cab for Cutie?