Apparently, according to Rolling Stone, Roger Waters is going to trot out “The Wall” for an arena tour this year. The performance is even coming to Atlanta, to our very own Phillips Arena, which is an enormous echo chamber .
I saw U2 there on their Weird Alien Crab Stage tour, and despite familiarity with most of U2’s catalog I found it challenging to guess what song was currently playing with the echoes of the previous one crashing over it. I did enjoy a helpful proximity to a row of booze vendors behind wheeled plastic carts, however, so all was not lost.
Holding a musical performance in an arena is like showing a movie in the weird mirror room at the climax of famous Bruce Lee classic “Enter the Dragon”.
Personally, I’ve never understood why touring shows don’t just do two nights at a smaller venue. That way they get just as many seats and everyone who attends gets a better experience.
Having said that, I saw Metallica at Phillips last year, and it was awesome. I was about 3 rows from the lip of the stage and bellowing wordlessly. This is behavior unfit for a U2 fan who seem to favor swaying back and forth, lifting their arms over their heads, and occasionally covering their mouths in wonder.
Perhaps there is something to be said for the oft-lampooned smugness that seems to permeate hipster culture and its attendant music scene. Now that every band in the world has global distribution thanks to the Interplops, everyone can have twenty bands that they love that no one’s ever heard of.
This behavior is not to be confused with brands, however. You want to be associated with brands that everyone has heard of, but bands that no one has heard of. Well, I do, anyway, but I’m obsessively concerned with my self image. So much so, in fact, that I’ve constructed a mirror room in Manland where I prance around for an hour a day clapping and telling myself I’m handsome.
If any of the twenty bands that you currently like should come to town, they will have to play smaller venues because hardly anyone’s heard of them. As a result, music fans get smaller shows that are more fun to watch and easier to attend, and more bands get to be heard and sell their CDs and merchandise without need of a major label. Everyone wins!
And yet, somehow, the pervading sense is that the music business is in trouble.
Mind you, I ‘m certainly not an expert, and I would like to see Roger Waters show, but I wonder what the ticket prices will be like. Lately whenever I check into the cost to see a show I wonder if, like the Wall itself, they need to be so high.