music just doesn’t tie into fan’s identities anymore, beyond fashion at best. At its worst it’s just wallpaper people listen to on Spotify while they’re cleaning their houses or working out.
It used to be a different situation where a musician who was doing something legendary meant something to people, had a resonance to their lives. That same kind of small community of louder-level fans are still important to the process, the level where it’s artists watching other artists still plays a role in tiny clubs and new trends—but by the time an act has had any real level of fame they’ve jettisoned, or been abandoned by, the artistic tastemakers. And so ultimately the audience that matters are these half-interested people who find out about music via commercial outlets, don’t seek obscurity, buy show tickets online after reading reviews online