Thursday, July 19, 2012
The Show Everyone Wanted to See
There are two points that need to be made here.
One, I think this proves that Roger Waters is one of the great frontmen in Rock and Roll history. He's been on the road, he's gone out and played for the fans, and he has never half-assed anything in his long and storied career. If you want a template for how to do things, you could do a lot worse than Roger Waters, creatively or otherwise.
Two, the music business is in serious trouble. Serious trouble. If the top grossing concert tour is based on touring behind an album released 33 years ago featuring exactly one original member from the band that recorded it, then what will actually sustain the music business past the moment when Waters and everyone from his music generation decides to hang it up and move on to retirement?
The answer is, nothing. There isn't anything like The Wall being made right now (there are three new Green Day albums coming out soon; I hope they're good) and that means there won't be a top-grossing farewell tour for it thirty years from now.
That's not the fault of Roger Waters and it's not the fault of anyone making music today. His show, as presented, was what the fans wanted to pay to see. No one cares what some kid is going to do in comparison to Waters, unless that kid is Justin Bieber and, quite frankly, what is the artistic value of bubblegum kiddie pop.
What sustained the recording, promotion, and exposure that brought The Wall to the masses is gone. No one will be paying for, supporting, or taking a risk on anything like it again.
The music business is, essentially, marking time.