Author Topic: Young fans  (Read 1357 times)

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Offline laoghaire

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Young fans
« on: March 23, 2018, 03:53:09 PM »
Have you seen any evidence of any young fans - or are you one?

I have seen a fair number of YouTube comments from people saying they are teen (and in a couple of cases, preteen) fans. The idea is rather mind-blowing.

I have a 12 year old daughter. Now, you would think I raised her on a steady diet of U2, but no, never played a single song or even mentioned them for 12 years. Then I played The Miracle and Raised by Wolves about 6 weeks ago. A week or so later I sang a line or two from something or other and she asked me what I was singing. I said, nobody you know. She pressed, and I replied "U2 - ever heard of them?"

"No," she said, "What songs do they sing?"

"Well, I played a couple last week."

"Oh, THEM. I like them."

"Wait, what? You've heard them before?"

"Yup, (Best Friend) has that album."

"Ohhh. Yeah, I guess everybody has that album since it apparently got foisted on the world against our will. I'm surprised she listened to it though."

"No, she bought it. I like your music." Exit stage left, leaving me to wonder, is it true? Are they making new fans? I know it's nothing compared to Beyonce or Bruno Mars, but are they leaving some kind of mark on some small number of American post-Millennials?



Offline wons

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2018, 04:38:53 PM »
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Have you seen any evidence of any young fans - or are you one?

I have seen a fair number of YouTube comments from people saying they are teen (and in a couple of cases, preteen) fans. The idea is rather mind-blowing.

I have a 12 year old daughter. Now, you would think I raised her on a steady diet of U2, but no, never played a single song or even mentioned them for 12 years. Then I played The Miracle and Raised by Wolves about 6 weeks ago. A week or so later I sang a line or two from something or other and she asked me what I was singing. I said, nobody you know. She pressed, and I replied "U2 - ever heard of them?"

"No," she said, "What songs do they sing?"

"Well, I played a couple last week."

"Oh, THEM. I like them."

"Wait, what? You've heard them before?"

"Yup, (Best Friend) has that album."

"Ohhh. Yeah, I guess everybody has that album since it apparently got foisted on the world against our will. I'm surprised she listened to it though."

"No, she bought it. I like your music." Exit stage left, leaving me to wonder, is it true? Are they making new fans? I know it's nothing compared to Beyonce or Bruno Mars, but are they leaving some kind of mark on some small number of American post-Millennials?

I'm sure there are some, but I doubt it is a significant amount. We know this because of the album sales level both digital and physical as well as the fact that few people purchase individual digital tracks from U2's albums and the bands streaming numbers are very small compared to young popular artist today. The band still had reach, far and wide, to include young people back in 2004/2005, maybe even a little bit in 2009-2011. But since that time the bands appeal has closed back up to the original hard core fan base that stayed with them even through the Pop/Popmart years. For the most part I would say that 80% of U2's current fans(meaning they have SOE and will or want to attend the tour this year) are between the ages of 41 and 55. These were the fans that made the Unforgettable Fire Tour, Joshua Tree Tour, and ZOO TV Tour so huge. Many left after ZOO TV but came back in the 00s. But now they have left again, so were left with primarily this aging fanbase that was there back in the late 80s and early 90s and remained with the band even through the Pop/Popmart years and continued on to now.

To get significant numbers of young people into the band, U2 will need another hit like Beautiful Day or Vertigo. Its and uphill battle for them in an industry that favors artist that are in their 20s and often ignores anything age 40 or above.

But my hope is that U2 will keep pushing and trying to be the best they have ever been as well as keep on promoting their music to the masses. Who knows, they might get lucky and have one more hit. Even if they don't, we get to enjoy all the new music and live shows.

Offline laoghaire

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2018, 05:42:24 PM »
Of course they don't have a significant young fan base, but I was amazed to find that they apparently may have a (very) few. Comments I read suggest their converts specifically don't care for contemporary pop/hip hop music, so the kids who would have been attracted to rock if they grew up in a different time are converted if they happen to stumble on them.

Seems rock and roll has died, contrary to the Boomers' predictions. The only contemporary band I can think of that comes.close is Imagine Dragons.

Offline wons

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2018, 06:44:56 PM »
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Of course they don't have a significant young fan base, but I was amazed to find that they apparently may have a (very) few. Comments I read suggest their converts specifically don't care for contemporary pop/hip hop music, so the kids who would have been attracted to rock if they grew up in a different time are converted if they happen to stumble on them.

Seems rock and roll has died, contrary to the Boomers' predictions. The only contemporary band I can think of that comes.close is Imagine Dragons.

True, but the thing is, although Imagine Dragons is labeled rock, a lot of their music does not really sound like rock and more like the different brands of pop and hip hop that are popular. The song SHOTS sounds like a rock song, but so many of their other hits sound very similar or incorporate a lot of elements of what is popular on the radio. Coldplay is a rock band, although Coldplay would be considered old by many of the 15-25 age crowd. Ironically their considered old in the way U2 were sometimes considered old back in the year 2000.

Its not just rock music that is having difficulty getting heard and noticed, its also bands and groups from any genre. With less money coming in, its easier for the solo artist to thrive while the group or band has to split the earnings 4 or 5 ways.

Offline Allhorizonbomb

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2018, 08:00:10 PM »
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Have you seen any evidence of any young fans - or are you one?

I have seen a fair number of YouTube comments from people saying they are teen (and in a couple of cases, preteen) fans. The idea is rather mind-blowing.

I have a 12 year old daughter. Now, you would think I raised her on a steady diet of U2, but no, never played a single song or even mentioned them for 12 years. Then I played The Miracle and Raised by Wolves about 6 weeks ago. A week or so later I sang a line or two from something or other and she asked me what I was singing. I said, nobody you know. She pressed, and I replied "U2 - ever heard of them?"

"No," she said, "What songs do they sing?"

"Well, I played a couple last week."

"Oh, THEM. I like them."

"Wait, what? You've heard them before?"

"Yup, (Best Friend) has that album."

"Ohhh. Yeah, I guess everybody has that album since it apparently got foisted on the world against our will. I'm surprised she listened to it though."

"No, she bought it. I like your music." Exit stage left, leaving me to wonder, is it true? Are they making new fans? I know it's nothing compared to Beyonce or Bruno Mars, but are they leaving some kind of mark on some small number of American post-Millennials?

I'm sure there are some, but I doubt it is a significant amount. We know this because of the album sales level both digital and physical as well as the fact that few people purchase individual digital tracks from U2's albums and the bands streaming numbers are very small compared to young popular artist today. The band still had reach, far and wide, to include young people back in 2004/2005, maybe even a little bit in 2009-2011. But since that time the bands appeal has closed back up to the original hard core fan base that stayed with them even through the Pop/Popmart years. For the most part I would say that 80% of U2's current fans(meaning they have SOE and will or want to attend the tour this year) are between the ages of 41 and 55. These were the fans that made the Unforgettable Fire Tour, Joshua Tree Tour, and ZOO TV Tour so huge. Many left after ZOO TV but came back in the 00s. But now they have left again, so were left with primarily this aging fanbase that was there back in the late 80s and early 90s and remained with the band even through the Pop/Popmart years and continued on to now.

To get significant numbers of young people into the band, U2 will need another hit like Beautiful Day or Vertigo. Its and uphill battle for them in an industry that favors artist that are in their 20s and often ignores anything age 40 or above.

But my hope is that U2 will keep pushing and trying to be the best they have ever been as well as keep on promoting their music to the masses. Who knows, they might get lucky and have one more hit. Even if they don't, we get to enjoy all the new music and live shows.

yeah I'm a fan starting since 2010 and I will say I don't find many younger fans.

Offline laoghaire

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2018, 08:10:39 PM »
2010? That makes you a recent convert, relatively speaking. May I ask what turned you on to them?

Offline cocamojoe

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2018, 08:47:20 PM »
Most solo artists have backing musicians, at least on tour, who also need to be paid.

Offline cocamojoe

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2018, 08:49:28 PM »
Also, Im 35, which puts me right at the edge of my being either a younger or older fan. Thing is, Ive been a fan ever since I got a copy of Zooropa way back in the 90s. I was legit my only friend who liked their Pop album (wed have been around 16, my classmates and I), but they all quite dug their Best Of 1980-1990 when it came out.

Offline u2dc

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2018, 09:38:21 PM »
I'm a teenage U2 fan. I've gotten a few of my friends into them too. I know they have young fans out there, but most are only into the hits. It's interesting because when I play them for my friends they usually like the music, but as soon as they see a picture and how old the band is they're turned off.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 09:47:14 PM by u2dc »

Offline summerholly

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2018, 09:52:22 PM »
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I'm a teenage U2 fan. I've gotten a few of my friends into them too. I know they have young fans out there, but most are only into the hits. It's interesting because when I play them for my friends they usually like the music, but as soon as they see a picture and how old the band is they're turned off.

Yes my nieces are the same, they think they are ancient lol.  Us oldies remember when they were young and very gorgeous lol

Offline Argo

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2018, 10:53:56 PM »
Hope this link works. Not tried this before. Was a great thread on this topic that I recall. There are more young fans out there than you probably think but obviously not a core part of the fan base.

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Offline laoghaire

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2018, 08:09:20 AM »
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Also, Im 35, which puts me right at the edge of my being either a younger or older fan. Thing is, Ive been a fan ever since I got a copy of Zooropa way back in the 90s. I was legit my only friend who liked their Pop album (wed have been around 16, my classmates and I), but they all quite dug their Best Of 1980-1990 when it came out.

Wow, that is interesting. You're just a bit younger than me but 6 years makes a big difference in the timing of these things. I was out of school and had a (very cool) job by the time Best Of came out, so I didn't know it was even a blip on the young folks' (at the time) radar. I love Zooropa but it was never considered a significant album, more like the afterbirth of Achtung Baby. So that must have been a different experience. I started on Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum. I was 11 years old.

There is something about age 11, sometimes 12. I think we humans are hard wired to find our mentors at that exact age. In times previous, we would have admired a man or woman (perhaps just an older teen) from our community. With mass media, our heros are nationalized or internationalized and we share them.

Offline wons

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2018, 08:17:34 AM »
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Most solo artists have backing musicians, at least on tour, who also need to be paid.

True, but they get paid a tiny fraction of what the artist does and its only for the tour. Studio technology is such these days that you actually don't need musicians to record an album or the solo artist if their a musician can play all the instruments. The solo artist makes more on each album, single, and ticket sold than a group or band. Times are tough for everyone in the music industry and that makes being in a 4 or 5 piece band really difficult. There are bands out there that just scrape by earning only enough to tour and record and pay basic living expenses. In many ways its easier to be in a band that only plays in the local area where the band members live. It allows them to have a day job while earning extra money sometimes at night playing in the band.

Offline wons

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2018, 08:20:41 AM »
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I'm a teenage U2 fan. I've gotten a few of my friends into them too. I know they have young fans out there, but most are only into the hits. It's interesting because when I play them for my friends they usually like the music, but as soon as they see a picture and how old the band is they're turned off.

But its music. How does the way the band currently looks effect whether you enjoy the music or not?

Offline laoghaire

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Re: Young fans
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2018, 08:25:44 AM »
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I'm a teenage U2 fan. I've gotten a few of my friends into them too. I know they have young fans out there, but most are only into the hits. It's interesting because when I play them for my friends they usually like the music, but as soon as they see a picture and how old the band is they're turned off.

What hits in particular would a young person like if they liked any?

We do seem to have a bias against age. Honestly, I think even here in the land of fans most people feel like they can't possibly be that good anymore. I feel like I'm swimming against the tide when I think, no, they are better than ever.

But I understand about teens - these old guys can't possibly have anything relevant to say to you, right? And they indeed are on a different phase of life. They have a body of work from their youth but it is no longer relevant. For us geezers they are memories we explore, but not fresh new ideas anymore.

But it's possible - rare, but possible - to find resonance in a band from an older generation. I'm not from the Beatles' time but they do have things to say. Otis Redding was before my time, but I can find things to feel in his voice.