Arena Acts

In a somewhat related note… I was idly wondering how some “Arena acts” ever got their start. Like I have a hard time imagining Taylor Swift starting out playing small clubs before becoming a “star”. Or any of the hair bands where the guys run around in crazy spandex. Trying to imagine them showing up at the local dive bar for a gig like that.

I can only assume someone somewhere decided this is what everyone is going to listen to. Just so weird. Then looking at someone like Billie Eilish and wondering where/how she falls on this spectrum. Seems like she and her brother did it themselves at home recording but was/is there a gate keeper somewhere who nodded and said yes? and now she’s a grammy winner?


Marketing and the illusion of choice. The gatekeepers rely on people being passive and/or lazy. A percentage will seek out what they want, while the majority are content to be led and fed.


I know that there are other ways I mean the punk scene is not the only music genre with that DIY ethic. Would be nice to see that shit go away entirely the internets kind of made me optimistic back in the day.

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Me, too. Once I believed it would lead people to read more. :roll_eyes:
What bothers me is some gatekeepers aren’t satisfied with selecting who succeeds. Not sure what percentage of the music scene is DIY, but when corporations are involved in an industry, if they can’t own it, control it, and/or profit from it, they might try to kill it.

Steve Albini is more optimistic about music today than when he was producing Nirvana.

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The path to getting noticed might involve busking, posting videos, getting gigs like conventions/social events, or contests, just to name a few options. Some artists build a reputation playing or singing for others before earning success as a solo act. The larger the audience, the better the chances of getting the attention of a label.

I wonder how difficult it is for artists who avoid arenas and rely on other ways to reach fans/generate sales. :thinking:

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