When I was younger and my dad was in his 60s, I noticed he didn’t go out of the house much any more. I asked him about it. “Bruce,” he replied, “when you get to be my age, you really don’t want to suffer fools.” Translation: “When you get older, you really want to minimize your contact with jagoffs, jerks and cretins. And believe me, boy, they’re out there.”
This attitude has spread and fostered a booming new trend in modern life, that of the home theater. It’s pretty darn easy these days for those with 60-inch plasmas to say about a new movie in theaters, “Uh, no. I’m quite happy to wait until it comes out on video.” Translation—“people sending texts and coughing up their popcorn are buggin’ me to point where I went ahead and bought this enormous television. Theaters? Later.”
And why not? With movies like The Campaign and Cosmopolis and Arbitrage, why NOT wait for the vid? What are you missing by not seeing it on the big screen? For many, especially those comfortably north of 40, the answer is an emphatic, “Nada!”
The next field of entertainment that will head in this direction, I boldly predict, will be live concerts. I say this as a new convert to the experience, as delivered by my boys Phish.
What these shrewd fellers are doing these days is pretty simple and quite terrific. When they go out on tour, they’ll make a handful of concerts available for download at a cost of 15 bucks per. The feed comes into your computer from that evening’s performance in, say, St. Louis, via internet. Once it’s streaming into your laptop, it’s a simple one cord patch job into your big screen system, and voila, you’re now doing the show live in your living room on your bodacious tube—watching in your undies, enjoying beers that are considerably better than those ridiculous $8 PBRs at the sports arena, going to the restroom at your convenience, setting the sound at your perfect level, watching the band via the superior closeups of onstage cameras, and not being jostled by carefree too-highs stumbling into your personal space via dervish dance frenzies.
Damn, I’m starting to sound like the old man.
But why Green Day and Aerosmith and Toby Keith and Neil Young and Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift wouldn’t all be offering these very cool and very lucrative “couch tours” right now is something I can’t answer. Maybe they are, and I’m just unaware. But if they’re not, they will. Get your patch cords ready. These home shows are gonna be hotter than holograms.