Here’s an interesting idea for all of you music fans. Get off your ass and go see a band—live. First of all, you’re helping them financially. Secondly, you’re providing emotional support in the dysfunctional, brave new world of music. Last, you’ll likely have an awesome time, if you like music. You do like music, don’t you?
I checked out one of my favorite bands, Franz Ferdinand the other day. A couple of years ago, they pretty much sold out the “Enormo Dome” when they came through town. This time, they played at First Avenue, the legendary club once owned by Prince. It was a packed house, and the Scotsmen didn’t disappoint. Despite the busted foot of guitarist Nick McCarthy, which kept him in a chair for the whole show, they brought their A game. You can always tell which bands have got mad talent by their live shows. Especially when they play the intimate setting of a smaller club. Franz Ferdinand exemplifies this. Their back-line was simply amazing, keeping the back beat going all night while the guitars, keys and vocals provided the flavor.
Franz Ferdinand has made it big. They’ve sold a bunch of records, played sold out shows, won awards and have lived up to their critical tag of being the “next big thing.” Yet being the next big thing these days means something entirely different. Consider this, Jimmy Page may have been the smartest musician who ever lived. As a studio guitarist who worked with some of the most influential rock acts in England prior to starting Led Zeppelin, he understood the industry. He understood the value of publishing rights. He financed all of Led Zeppelin’s albums and maintained the publishing rights for the band, allowing them to keep nearly all of their royalties. Last year, the band cleared over $500 million dollar in royalties—for just one of their songs. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Stairway to Heaven is still the highest played song on the radio every year.
Since Led Zeppelin is not going to rev up a reunion tour, ever (let it rest, people), I suggest you go out and see bands that need your support. Especially when you can get their music for free from Qtrax (like Franz Ferdinand).