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Rock is dead, or at least dying

Over the past year or so, I’ve come to an unfortunate realisation. In the not so distant future, there will be no more concerts that I’m really dying (excuse the pun) to see, as the artists I listen to will be either dead or incapable of touring any longer.

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By Kayla St. Louis (Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: January 16, 2013

Over the past year or so, I’ve come to an unfortunate realisation. In the not so distant future, there will be no more concerts that I’m really dying (excuse the pun) to see, as the artists I listen to will be either dead or incapable of touring any longer. Anyone who knows me will know how much I love concerts—not for the party-hardy atmosphere that often gets associated with them, but for seeing live musical performances by the original artists—so it’s no wonder I’m feeling down in the dumps about this. I was raised on classic rock; my parents were always listening to cassettes by Pink Floyd, Elton John, Heart, Queen, the list goes on on. I have a much harder time remembering “Baby Beluga” than I do Eric Clapton’s “Layla” or the Rolling Stone’s “Tumbling Dice.” But such is life.

That’s not to say that I don’t listen to anything new-ish, but they are certainly few and far between. For one thing, the bands I consider “newer” are actually from the ‘90s or so – think of bands like Hootie and the Blowfish or The Wallflowers. And what’s more, I keep noticing that bands from the same era, like the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Nirvana, are being played more and more on classic rock radio stations. Wait, what? I suppose I’m not the most “hip” and “with-it.” Truth be told, I’m perfectly okay with that, since most of the music from the last five years all sounds the same to me anyway.

Needless to say, the artists and bands I listen to the most are getting up there in age, if they’re not already dead. Most of them had their heyday in the ‘60s or ‘70s, so they’re largely senior citizens now. So even if I am fortunate enough to see them in concert, it’s not quite the same as when they were in their prime – when I saw Roger Waters, Lyndsey Buckingham and The Who, for example, they really were old. They still put on a hell of a show, but they were definitely old. Plus a host of them, who I would have loved to see in concert, are already dead: Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Freddie Mercury, George Harrison and John Lennon, to name a few. That being said, I have been very fortunate in that I’ve seen a number of artists I’ve listened to all my life. I’ve had to pass on a few because tickets were too outrageous for me to justify, though. I mean sure, it would have been cool to see Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney, but when a ticket could go for $1000 or more, we’re suddenly nearing the cost of tuition for a semester. And the older they get, the more likely it is they’ll die, so the higher the cost with “final” this and “farewell tour” that.

Thus, inevitably, a day will come when either my finances have run dry or the artists I’d like to see will all be dead, and so my concert-going shall cease, along with the music that brought us there. What remains to be seen is which will come first.

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