There’s No Stopping a Band on Tour
March 1, 2013
Pop music has long been understood to be the canary in technology's coalmine: a robust industry of worldwide scope suddenly weakened by downloading, streaming, and sampling. For acts attempting full-time musicianship in an iTunes world, challenges are many: how to develop an audience? How to get the music into fans' hands? And how to make them pay for it? Optimists side with the internet, though for every Justin Bieber and "Gangnam Style," 10,000 hopefuls wilt in YouTube's basement. One thing is clear: CD sales can't cut it on their own. "The record thing has gone in the dumper," local agent Bruce Allen told the Province last fall. "The big money comes from touring." So-called legacy bands from the Rolling Stones to Neil Young are pinballing from stadium to stadium at an impressive rate; neither failing memories nor stamina nor health will slow them down. Paul Revere and the Raiders (Mar. 8, Red Robinson Show Theatre), an Americana response to the British Invasion, began as a TV novelty act in the '60s; lead singer Revere has been on the road ever since. Among new bands, Imagine Dragons (Mar. 14, Commodore Ballroom)-an indie rock quartet living in Las Vegas-exemplifies the grit and savvy required today. They update Instagram and Twitter at every turn, license their songs in commercials for Xbox and Apple, and their handclapping, foot-stomping anthem "It's Time" was covered on Glee. The best sign for their longevity? They've played constantly since their first EP in 2010, and their first major-label tour is mostly sold out–the future seems, as it does in their songs, unexpectedly cheery and bright.