Music possess a unique culture or a “scene” in which many factors become contributors such as fan to musician interaction and the over-all life style that the unshakable loyalty (that many young adults exemplify) to this world requires.
But is it different from how it “used to be?” Has a new generation ushered in a new era with the rapidly changing and fast pace world in which fans and musicians co-exist – letters, life stories, tears and promises made alongside intense “relationships” and dedication spanning many more miles than it ever seemed to before; all this and more comes to mind when we picture the music scene of the present time.
However, reaching back to the early 2000s a different picture begins to paint itself for us.Meets and greets were hardly heard of much less were they expected, shows rarely sold out in less than a minute, kids weren’t sharing their most personal thoughts and struggles with the adults they watched from the floor with unfiltered trust and little reserve. The intensity and competition of it all just didn’t seem to exist at the level it does today.
Today I would bet that if a fan were to meet a musician and simply offer a, ‘Hey! Great show; I loved every second of it!’ instead of a five page letter, tear filled story and intimate embrace, that musician would think they missed something.
Is that what’s changed? Is it impossible to casually interact anymore? Have the new age fans lost that ability? If so… Why? Why has everything become so intense and serious? Why have musicians been elevated to the role of “hero” and “life saver?”
Social media and networking certainly play a bigger role in every aspect of life and the music scene, as well as those involved in it, are no different.
Fans are able to stay in constant “contact” with their favorite bands, tweet them at all hours (hoping for a reply), track their lives through status updates and photos and spend hours scrolling through photo after photo and story after story as they sit in front of a computer screen and feed a flame that can only get bigger.
With such open access to those they admire and “love” kids who may feel as though they have no one else to turn to at home or school or even at work may find it increasingly easy to search for solace and comfort in those who cannot physically be there for them; the few times that a fan may happen to meet their “hero” may turn into a coping mechanism- something they’re constantly waiting and depending on even if it only happened once and may never happen again.
Dependence is definitely something that has changed in the scene today. Kids no longer depend on the music- they depend on the person. Which is something no musician could ever live up to; they’ll fail even if they tried because it is impossible to be there for every fan that needs them. Ironically, this is something that music could never fail at… or at least it never used to.
While social media has undoubtedly benefited the music scene and how it has grown and changed I would also say some negative impacts have been felt as well. Can anyone even remember the last time they didn’t see a phone out during a show; hoping to record a magical moment which can later be posted to Instagram? Can anyone even remember when they heard someone just say ‘Hi’ to a musician they meet?
I can’t and it’s hard to say if this change has been for the better or not.
Tell us what you think in the comments below!