The Development of Arena Rock - 1960's-1980's

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The Development of Arena Rock: 1960’s-1980’s Sex, drugs, and rock & roll. This is a typical view for an aspiring rock musician to have in their eyes as they dreamed of playing in front of hundreds of thousands of fans. Through the years, these fans have flocked to concerts to see these musicians and bands, but they also were being presented to an increasingly changing environment that brought mainstream rock into a category all its own. This mainstream became known as Arena Rock and it defied the conventional average concert by adding more appeal as the years increased. In a 20 year span, we have witnessed major changes that some would consider a change for the better or a change for the worse. Arena rock changed through the years from the 1960’s to the 1980’s due to increased technology, commercial appeal, and mainstream acceptance. Technology played a part in arena rock throughout the years and back in the 1960’s, they were considered experimental on the stages as the musician’s played. When rock became more commercially accepted, smoke, fireworks, and sophisticated lighting shows became more regular at arena rock concerts and complimented well with the music being played. Ambient lighting that transcended across the stages gave a warm and translucent appeal to the listeners as the musicians played. In the 1980’s, the technology had become much of a light show mixed with a higher stage of pyrotechnics that sometimes drowned out the musicians ability to be heard. At times, the lighting would cast high intensity lights into the crowd and cause temporary blindness that was then followed by stage explosions and fireworks that ran in sequence with the rhythm played on the stage. This of course caused a higher need for better amplification and sound systems. Unlike the 1960’s when an acoustical guitar and a small amplifier hooked to a P.A. system was

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