When we think of the greatest bands of all time, who comes to mind? The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin — without a doubt, some of the most reputable music acts of our time. It seems everyone born before the year 2000 has some connection to those artists, even if it was listening to your dad's old vinyl in the living room after he told you a million times to not touch them. Maybe this connection began at your first concert on a school night that you weren’t supposed to see, or singing along to the greats on the radio, decades after their peak.
We as humans have a deep-rooted passion for music in all forms, yet for the most part, the kinds of music that shape our day-to-day are the ballads and songs of days gone by. We are so satiated by what we already consider to be "good" that we have not given modern music a fair chance.
Let's be honest, which modern pop act truly has the staying power to tell our grandchildren about? Who do you hear on the radio today that you would do next to anything for concert tickets to see? If I had to guess, it isn’t many.
This leads me to the main issue within the state of popular music in America today: The artists selling out the biggest venues in the country, also with the most expensive ticket prices, are the ones we already know are great. Just two recent examples are Elton John selling out nose-bleeds at the Pepsi Center in Denver for $500 and more or The Rolling Stones selling out Mile High Stadium in less than a day at similar prices.
So why are we not giving the next wave of artists a chance? I think it is because we are too comfortable. We don't like change and anything that is popular with which we don't agree, we simply brush off and play the same 20 songs we have heard a million times.
Some of the largest music acts in the world right now are likely ones that you have never heard. They are selling out arenas, headlining some of the most prestigious festivals around the globe and have cult-like fan bases reminiscent of the Grateful Dead — and they're all DJs. No longer are the days of dance DJs being forced underground to play illegal warehouse "raves" or secret parties. DJs have taken center stage around the world, dominating the nightlife capital of America, Las Vegas, and regularly drawing crowds of tens of thousands from across the planet.
It is now time for a change. It is time to acknowledge the fact that Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is here to stay. Not all kids these days want to listen to what was popular when our parents were our age.
From Madison Square Garden to Belly Up, Electronic Dance Music truly has the staying power to be considered a modern classic. It has been the first genre of music to break barriers from underground to the main stage, from being outlawed in various places around the world to a money-making machine — more so than hip-hop, punk and even rock ’n’ roll. DJs of today are the modern rock stars, and it’s high time to give credit where credit is due.
Logan Garrison, who may better be known locally as djlo_g, is giving the sound board a break for a minute to try his hand at words. He can be reached at @djlo_g.