The August 10, 2009 edition of the New Yorker includes a wonderfully written article chronicling the live music industry over the last 40 years. It does so while intertwining the story of a New Jersey woman who tries desperately to score very close seats at a Bruce Springsteen show this past May at the Izod Center in the New Jersey Meadowlands. An abstract of the story can be found here.
The author does a great job presenting all sides of the issues, and briefly succeeds at vilifying the artists, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, ticket scalpers and agencies, and pretty much all parties involved in the concert business. He then pulls back and suggests that the live music industry is ailing and that the unscrupulous practices of all of these players may simply be necessary evils needed to keep the concert business afloat.
By the end of the article, I was practically cheering for the main character, who did in fact score her dream Springsteen seats through a convoluted series of events. Then I took a step back and realized that it's hard to characterize as "victims" people willing and able to pay $100 per seat to see a live music performance. I also realized that Senator Schumer from New York (who got involved in this issue after the Ticketmaster controversy relating to the Meadowlands Springsteen shows) will never lose for re-election due to his ability to identify issues that transcend party politics and matter to a lot of people who vote, regardless of how absurd the "issue" is when compared to other pressing matters of our day.