The crowd in the arena is buzzing with energy. The anticipation has built to a palpable pulse. They chant the band’s name as the systematic clapping begins. The crowd in their fervor is doing their best to bring the band out. The lights dim, the people roar and the arena fills with cheers and smoke. In one single flash the lights go up and your favorite iconic rock band breaks the silence of the night with a piercing guitar rift. This was the setting of many a rock venue in the 70′s, 80′s and early 90′s. The mega rock bands like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and Queen have long faded into the night of rock history. While the staying power of lead men like Axl, Freddie and Jimmy will always be remembered, it is now more than ever evident that a hole has been left in the industry.
That hole in the circle of rock ‘n roll has been filled with great bands that have one aspect that the iconic rock bands never had. The bands of today are more interchangeable than ever. There are several advantages to that. If a band member leaves the band or gets sick it’s easier to replace them. If something should ever happen it is easier for the band to morph around new talent and move on. The ability for a band to do this also helps bring new and fresh ideas. This sounds great and like the “new age” of rock but, it also has its downfalls.
Long gone are the days where fans of mega rock bands can count on a band staying together for the entirety of their career. You might say I am wrong but, name the last mega band that stayed together after replacing a key member. Not mid-level rock band, not fan-favorite rock band but, the band that could make Al Capone sellout. Kind of hard, isn’t it? That is because those bands no longer exist or at least aren’t showing up any more.
Part of that responsibility can fall directly on the internet and YouTube. Essentially the internet has allowed lower level rock bands to reach an audience that in the 90′s and before was never accessible to them. While that is not terrible, it isn’t the best thing either. Many say, “Well that just increases the talent pool.” People who say that may be right but, if you are handed too many mediocre choices the ones that standout aren’t always standing out for the right reasons. That being said, the pool grows bigger and the water tends to get muddy. Face it, the days of bands like Led Zeppelin rising above the crowded arena floor are gone.
The days of Plant and Page are gone. Freddie has exited stage left and the silence from the iconic rock band section of the stage is deafening. The only place they live on is in our memories and our hearts. Maybe the future has one of these bands right in it, but for now the turn back towards center stage is nowhere to be seen.