Taking both McLachlan and U2 out of the equation for a minute though, the current woes of the concert business run far deeper. While there's no Coldplay, Radiohead or Springsteen level sure-fire ticket selling bet out there this summer, what's left has been strangely hit and miss.
Some acts — like Roger Waters and Neil Young — have been doing surprisingly well.
In the case of Waters, a chance to see The Wall performed in it's entirety, complete with all the props of the original show (which only played a few cities during its original 1980 run) comes as close to a Pink Floyd reunion as its likely to ever get. Neil Young's Twisted Road shows offer a rare opportunity to see a living legend in an intimate setting where he's been dividing the sets between the acoustic folky-favorites, full-on electric solo shreds with Old Black, and premiering brand new songs like "Love And War."
Meanwhile, normally solid summer tour warhorses like the Eagles and the American Idol franchise are seeing empty seats and canceled shows.
The Eagles inflated ticket prices are most likely finally catching up to them, and quite frankly it's about damn time. Hell froze over long ago gentlemen, as did the price for a nostalgic evening at the Hotel California.
Similarly over-priced acts (and I'm talking to you, Neil Young) might want to take note. As for American Idol? Well, a season whose brightest light was Crystal Bowersox will only carry you so far, right?
Getting back to Prince, there is one other comment he made in that London Daily Mirror interview that I think bares repeating here:
"The Internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated."
Like the psychedelic sixties before it, today we think of the eighties/MTV era as a time of great new artistic breakthroughs and possibilities. Some of those who pioneered them — like David Bowie, U2, or even Prince himself — remain either active or influential today.
Others — like Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper and Boy George — have lingered on as reminders of a simpler time every bit as rooted in nostalgia as the love beads, tie-die, and patchouli incense of the sixties.
It's time for the next New Paradigm.