We all know that the music industry is in absolute turmoil, and there are plenty of opinion pieces out there for you to read from fans, bands, and through to industry insiders, all of which all blame one thing or another.
Of course everyone points to P2P sharing (best referred to as illegal downloading) as the reason, but really it's no different than tape swapping in the playground, which was commonplace when I grew up.
No one could have ever predicted a tech company would change the course of economics in the industry by syphoning off a cool 30%, without putting any investment back into talent development.
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And then there's the age old argument that nothing sounds like it was intended to unless it's on vinyl, calling for the death of CDs and digital formats.
But these are all about musical formats, which will continue to change as we evolve technologically.
The live scene shouldn't be too affected by these key issues in the decline. It's easy to find new music these days, far easier than it's ever been. Technology is a real enabler for that and the internet is the easiest way for you to find out what's going on in your local area when it comes to new bands.
So why are most people choosing to ignore new bands when they play? They're not even covering their costs of recording music by CD sales, so they have to be given support when out on the road. But the decline in attendance is evident these days at gigs.
Which leads me on to what I can only describe as the biggest scam I've ever witnessed in the history of music: The Rolling Stone 2012 mini tour.
In their 50 years together The Rolling Stones have been lucky enough to have lived through a time where music cut through and made a difference to people's lives. A band that were able to be part of writing the history of rock and roll. I wonder if the same would be said if they were just starting out now?
But they're not starting out now, and they don't have to work three jobs just to be able to afford to play music. Quite the opposite and I imagine they all have healthy bank balances and investments from the money they've made over five decades. So why do they feel compelled to charge extortionate prices for tickets to their shows. And more importantly, how can everyone afford them?
We all know that tickets were up on legal and illegal resell sites before they'd even gone on general sale, and those prices are phenomenal (I'm sure there are loads of us who can afford over £2,000 EACH!). That's not the issue at hand here.
The issue is the face value for tickets which started at £90 for the two shows at London's O2 Arena next month. That's for you to sit up in the Gods, with no view and awful sound given you're seated above the speakers. And as for £375 for the top tier tickets, I'm aghast as to how these could sell out, let alone instantly. Does everyone really have that kind of money lying around to spend on music? But spare a thought for our friends across the pond as it's even MORE, with prices ranging from $172 to an astronomical $650.
I thought the Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and Guns 'n Roses O2 ticket prices, in excess of £100 for top tier sitting, was daylight robbery so what on earth can you call what The Rolling Stones have charged? It's insulting their fans and there's no rhyme nor reason, but sadly with them selling out they've set a very dangerous precedent.
A call for price capping should definitely be made, as there can be no justification that a concert for The Rolling Stones costs so much more to put on than anyone else.
So for all you music lovers who missed out on getting a ticket, here are a few bands we've compiled at MetalTalk for you to spend that money on instead, with videos and links to find out more about them. Just imagine how much £375 will help a smaller band? Now if only the other 60,000 people heading to the O2 had thought like that, maybe the music industry would stand a chance of some form of resurrection.
Aliases (Tech Metal)
Collapse (Metal & lovers of pork pies)