A Nation Divided

Denver's concert scene is suddenly much livelier.

"These things, in my opinion, are always beneficial to the consumer," he goes on. "We, as a promoter, recognize that the consumer has more choices than before. Therefore, we must make our choices as appealing as possible."

AEG Live isn't just investing in the fans, either. The company is committed to developing acts and being much more than "promoters and a bank," according to a statement on its website. "We are strategic investors in an artist's career."

If only the same could be said for the rest of the industry. Although Denver's been relatively unaffected by recent downturns, even here you can't ignore the fact that a handful of classic-rock relics -- Rolling Stones, Springsteen, Steely Dan -- have been keeping the concert business in business. What's going to happen when they finally become extinct? In this singles-driven, iTunes-friendly era, career artists are a thing of the past. Frankly, if the recording industry doesn't get a handle on things and start developing artists again, it won't matter which promoter's name is stamped on your ticket.

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