Last Summer my wife and I decided to see as many rock concerts as we could. And last Summer was a great Summer for music. We saw Nine Inch Nails, Alice Cooper, Boston, Journey, Fleetwood Mac, U2 and more.
Seeing live music is good for you. Literally good for you. Music extends your life. But there lies the conundrum. Two separate articles that appeared in the past few days illuminate the issue...
A story in the British newspaper The Independent cites a study commissioned by the cellphone network O2 which claims its research shows that going to concerts regularly can actually help extend your life by up to nine years and increase your feeling of well-being by 21 percent. Although all music listening tends to increase people's happiness, the study shows that the live concert experience, as opposed to simply listening to music, that creates by far the greatest positive increases. Which is great to know, right?
But then there's a piece in Rolling Stone titled As Boomer Musicians Retire From Touring, Concert Industry Faces Uncertain Future that puts a damper on that news. It quotes many business insiders worried about who will take the place of the many-huge drawing classic rock acts as they begin to retire over the next decade. Says one concert promoter, "I don't think people have thought it through a lot. You're about to lose that generation of classic arena bands." Another counters, "I wouldn't say the sky is falling, but it may be cloudy for awhile." After all, there are plenty of well-known bands that got their starts in the 1980s and 1990s who can also fill seats in arenas.
Whether there are enough younger musicians to fill all the boomer musicians shoes, as well as the money-making venues that keep the concert business healthy, is uncertain, but it's also a little too soon to give up on extending your life and well-being by not seeing live music.