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In a Nov. 3 interview in Classic Rock magazine, producer and Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson suggested that rock has become the cult music of the 21st century.
His comments caused something of a social-media storm. Those who continue to cling to the notion that the genre retains any of the cultural importance it carried from the night Elvis first gyrated on TV to the final notes were wrung out of Kurt Cobain’s guitar were beside themselves.
The truth is, Wilson was probably spot-on.
Various reports on top-selling/streaming music genres in 2023 all arrive at pretty much the same conclusions. Pop is tops followed by Hip-hop, EDM and electronic music, Latin, K-pop and then rock.
What isn’t as regularly stated is how much of the rock market is back catalogue sales from classic acts, including specially packaged anniversary sets from names like Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and others.
Don’t even start on Taylor Swift’s re-recorded versions, which sparked an industry-wide trend among artists doing the same thing. Country music often is lumped in with pop and rock, which is both unfair and probably hides the fact that new country artists are probably outselling new rock artists quite often these days.
With this in mind, here are five music trends to watch for in 2024:
Beyoncé’s Renaissance: A Film By Beyonce topped North American movie theatre box office earnings in its opening weekend with $21 million in proceeds. That put it in the top-five all time concert movie openings.
Then Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour extended version concert film hit theatres and took in $250 million.
Both films are also racking up points on streaming services and more and more major artist tours are being made available for viewing in the comfort of your own home.
With megastar tours favouring multi-night runs at one arena that are often impossible to get tickets for, the concert film is the solution. Add in the fact that you usually get better-than-the-best-VIP seats for the filming and it makes complete sense to watch ‘n’ roll.
The past few years has seen more female/female-presenting musicians blowing up globally than ever before.
The indie supergroup boygenius, featuring the combined talents of solo artists Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, sells out large theatres.
Rising stars such as the dramatic glam act the Last Dinner Party and heavy rocking duo Nova Twins are gracing major festival main stages plus many, many more.
Much of the most-interesting music being made right now isn’t where the boys are, and the kids are all right with that.
Latin and K-pop are contemporary music movements that long ago crossed any cultural or language barriers. The genres are just two of the global music genres blowing up.
Recent local gigs by Afrobeat acts such as Burna Boy and Wizkid have packed people in, and Indian star Diljit Dosanjh plays B.C. Place on the Diluminati Tour in April.
Expect more tours by these global acts to roll into local arenas in 2024. Among the ones we would love to see next year are Rosalía, Tems and BLACKPINK.
Back in the long ago, it wasn’t uncommon for instrumental singles to be in regular rotation alongside lyrical ones. From Walk Don’t Run by the Ventures to the Theme from Miami Vice or Rockit, you could be on the charts without any singing.
From Polyphia’s mind-boggling math metal to award-winning crews such as Ezra Collective and the Comet is Coming, more purely instrumental acts have been popping up across multiple genres.
Andre 3000’s New Blue Sun, a collection of ambient flute pieces, broke Billboard chart records when the 12:20-long I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make A ‘Rap’ Album, But This is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time debuted at No. 90 on the Hot 100 chart.
If there is one genre that just won’t quit growing, it’s the country music scene.
Whether it’s the southern rock stylings of artists like Sturgill Simpson and Turnpike Troubadours, or the pop-twang of artists such as Shania Twain and Tim McGraw, the demand for more shows is being matched by more large-scale tours.
Next year sees the first Coast City Country festival coming to both B.C. Place and the Commodore Ballroom on April 18-21, plus arena announcements for Tyler Childers, Lainey Wilson and others.
And you don’t need to worry about owning a big hat or cowboy boots to fit in with the crowd. Modern country is all about ball caps and comfy kicks, which may be a contributing factor to its increasing appeal.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film available to rent through Prime Video this week
Review: Giggling, winking Taylor Swift serves up red-hot entertainment (with video)
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