In a time where bands mic drums in the smallest of rooms,
This is such a great observation. I love seeing bands come in to a small room and mic everything up. The guitar players have a huge stack. Savannah is a fair size city but there is no bar in this town big enough to crank up a 100 watt Marshall Stack much less mic one.
I took my wife with a large group of friends out to a busy club on Saturday.
I have spoken with the club owner before about doing a Saturday gig, and he told me he absolutely does not host live bands on Saturday nights, because his DJ gig is filling the place. I found what he said to be absolutely true.
He has a large room with house sound, and TV monitors playing the videos of the re-mixes. The bass was booming, you could feel the air moving, and the large dance floor was packed, elbow to elbow. You were basically almost screaming to communicate.
We are primarily a dance band, playing rock cover tunes, with 4 L1 systems for 4 players. After seeing the crowd on Saturday, I would be hesitant to try to play that venue, knowing that the "regular" crowd of young people is used to the sonic bombardment that we experienced.
If a venue is that successful with that setup, it is obviously a little tough to sway the establishment. It seems to be the way of things to come with the younger crowds.
I don't see live music being the draw it was "back in the day". The house band and live shows have been replaced with house music and djs and the video with subwoofers shaking the place...similar to what other have stated. I could be wrong...
I'm wondering if live music is even high on the list of things to do for the college age crowd? What about learning to play an instrument for high school or college age people these days...is it something that many (or similar percentage) do as in decades past? I dunno?
The shrinking number of places that offer live music may have more to do with the interests of the crowds in seeing and hearing live music, than the volume, IMO. Some of those dance clubs are every bit as loud as the small clubs with the mic'd Marshall 100W stacks.