7/26: THE CONCERT BIZ TODAY

Posted by Eddie Category: TRUNK REPORT

Concerts out there are hurting. Sure no artist is ever going to tell you this, but it is the truth. I get the calls everyday from promoters and agents looking for help selling shows big, medium and small. It’s a real issue out there right now. You may even go to a show and think it’s full, but in reality it’s not. That’s called “papering the house”, meaning giving tickets away in mass amounts just to have people in the room to make it look good, sell a T shirt or a beer. Now many have said sales are rough because “rock is dead”. However I do not believe that to be the case. In my view two words sums up the live music industry right now; OVER SATURATION. Simply put, bands are over touring to make up for the fact that almost nobody is making money on album sales. Used to be you toured to sell the album, which is where the money was made. Now it’s reverse. The album is almost the giveaway to promote a tour. But WAY too many bands are out there WAY too long, some hitting major markets three times in a year. I get they need to make money and don’t fault them, but it makes it less special when you can see a favorite band twice a year VS once every two. People simply can’t afford to pay to see all these shows and see a band so many times. As a result everyone is being more selective, and you are seeing more and more bands downsize venues, but still staying on the road. I also think peoples attention is in way too many places to make all these shows a priority. You can see in a second set lists online, audio, video, the mystique is gone. Of course the mega bands will always do okay, but don’t be fooled, the business is not what you think it is or what they project even for them. The days of a 50 city non stop US tour are rare. Bands find special events or festivals or co-headline because they can’t draw enough as a headline in arenas on their own, and those that can are charging way too much. Not sure where the solution lies but it’s something I see and hear about often. I truly do not think rock is dead, but I do think the touring world and peoples attention are so overwhelmed right now with too many options its hard to know what’s going on? Hope it works itself out because the live stage is where this music is best served, but it is an issue I hear about all the time behind the scenes. Look forward to reading your thoughts.

92 thoughts on “7/26: THE CONCERT BIZ TODAY

  1. I don’t think rock is dead, but it’s certainly not mainstream like it was until the mid-90s on the radio. Top 40 stations no longer play rock music, so you have to find a rock-formated station if you wish to hear rock on terrestrial radio. I attend a lot of concerts and most of the shows I attend are packed or close to it. I saw Billy Idol at a sold out Tabernacle in Atlanta in June. The following night, I saw Fleetwood Mac at a packed Philips Arena in Atlanta. I saw the Counting Crows at an almost sold out Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, New Hamphsire, in June as well. I saw Geoff Tate’s Queensryche at a packed Ace of Spades in Sacramento in April. I saw The Who at a sold out Staples Center in Los Angeles in January. I’m seeing The Cult, Iron Maiden, and Pearl Jam later this year. Then in October, I’m going to the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Ausin to see bands such as The Cure, Depeche Mode, Wilco, and many, many others. ACL has sold out already. So, from my personal standpoint, I’ve been going to a lot of popular shows as of late. The big music festivals are very popular and sell tickets (or writstbands) out at events such as ACL, Coachella, and Bonnaroo. Worth noting, from my perspective, is that I don’t buy the most expensive seats; I settle for the $40.00 or $50.00 tickets in the upper level when the show is at a large arena. I saw Van Halen from the rafters at the New Orleans Arena last summer, but I’m fine with that because I just want to get into the house and have no desire to be front and center down on the floor. But, I go to my fair share of club and theatre shows where I can obviously be right in the middle of the action.

  2. I was so saddened to see the attendance at Gignatour in Camden, NJ last week. I was looking forward to seeing Newsted, BLS, and Megadeth and even got the Newsted Experience VIP which was so worth $114 but when Newsted came on at around 4:30 there WAS NO ONE FOR THEM TO PLAY TO! I mean there may have been about 100 people in an entire ampitheater!. It didn’t get much better until Megadeth came on around 9 o’clock when the pavillion filled in but no lawn seats at all….I really felt horrible for the bands despite the kick ass performance of Newsted, BLS, and Megadeth. David Draiman and Device even signed free posters and took pics with everyone in attendance! To me this is the best music alive and I CANNOT STAND THIS CRAP IN THE TOP 40 AND ON THE RADIO!!!!!!!!!! I only hope that rock does not die out because this music that the producers, promoters, MTV, and radio is playing now is so sanitized, without passion or a true message, and without EVEN MUSICAL TALENT! Most can’t even write their own music, nor play an instrument! They are selling image, not talent and it is KILLING ROCK! (P.S. I don’t consider bands like “Asking Alexandra” a REAL rock band!….Look at them for Chrissakes!

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