According to Pollstar, a trade publication for the concert industry, a top 20 list of mostly older performers are capturing the lion’s share of concert revenues. Acts such as U2, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Roger Waters, Billy Joel, and Metallica and even Tom Petty, while he was alive, generated $2.64 billion in 2017, up $241 million from the previous year. Gone are the days of big record sales, even for the new acts, but the concert experience is strong and getting stronger.
But it is not just the concert scene that is seeing this as even the great majority, 61 percent of streamed music in 2017, is considered catalog.
As an example think about Christmas music. Every year we still hear, and I think for the most part, enjoy some songs that are 50 or 60 years old. You probably even recognize the artist names, Burl Ives, Brenda Lee, Bring Cosby. They are long gone but the memories and the music remain.
So what does this say about popular music? Well, the songs we grew up with are the ones that move us. So much so, that we are willing to pay to hear them over and over again. So it stands to reason that at age mixed functions such as weddings, birthday parties and yes, even karaoke, nostalgic music should be a part of those events.
As a DJ, I often talk to some young engaged couples who feel songs from such artists are old and worn. I would be the last to ever go against a client’s wishes at their celebration, but to their parents, aunts and uncles and even some of their friends, there is a lot of emotion and dancing tied up in those songs. I don’t know how many times I have heard screams of delight from old and young when Dancing Queen hits the airwaves and we do still have a lot of moonwalk attempts when Billie Jean is played.
Each generation has its’ own favorite music. Whether it be the Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys or Prince, nostalgia brings back those memories of good times, great loves and perceived simpler times. Since most events are about having a celebration, why not consider combining the great nostalgic memories with the new the ones that are being created as guests attend a new festivity.
Being a DJ, I always feel that any celebration is about sharing, and what better way to share with your friends, family, and even acquaintances, than music that is part of them and the new music that is part of you. Knowing that your music will one day be nostalgic for you, I am sure you can see my point.
So don’t be too hard on the oldies and what you might consider “cheesy” music. There is a reason it is still being played. It appeals to the good memories and that is surely a positive when it comes to creating great vibes your celebration.