Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Concert Slump

Do we care about live concerts anymore?  Especially when even "live" performing can be as much a reflection of computer and software tools rather than musical heart and soul.

Remember when a concert felt like a divine intervention?  A time when the audience melted into the experience?  Audiences would talk about a powerful performance for weeks if not months and years.  Remember a concert where you dissected all of the elements of the music, playing, and overall experience?  Does that kind of experience exist anymore?

A serious question for the music industry is whether live music can regain its prominent place in American popular culture in an era of YouTube, iTunes, MySpace, Podcasting, Blogging, Facebook, and well... any Internet entertainment.  We can hear, see, and feel music in so many different ways.

We also face a music business where the costs of tours are atmospheric and that most large venues are not fan friendly.  Why would you go?  In fact, given that you can wait until after the tour and buy a DVD or watch the tour on a premium cable or satellite channel, why go? 

The top 20 tours generated $996 million, down 15.6 percent from the year before, according to preliminary data issued on Friday by Pollstar, which covers the concert business. The previous low was $951.1 million in 2004, when Prince and Madonna topped the box office, it said.

So, why go?  What concerts did you attend in 2007?  Did anyone go to the "Big Tours" of 07?  What kind of experience did you have at the show?

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