Two of rock's legendary bands released video footage today (October 1) of their upcoming projects: Queen released a webisode for a Rolling Stone exclusive today, chronicling their history and launching the American tour dates of their musical theatre venture: We Will Rock You. Rolling Stone also reported that Greenday, is getting ready to release their documentary about their Broadway recording experience entitled Broadway Idiot (October 11).
Similar news about Sting's new Broadway adventures have also penetrated the headlines and it is very clear that rock has found a new home. Perhaps many years ago it would have been frowned upon to imagine certain 'cutting edge' artists to segue into the mainstream musical theatre stage but ever since the major success of Rent and Spring Awakening -- with earlier hints from Jesus Christ Superstar among others -- original rock musicals are remarkably successful as they meet a new audience demographic that is hungry for change. Especially from exhaustive Broadway revivals.
Broadway gatekeepers are still a bit reluctant to show the green light to original rock musicals but Greenday certainly proved them wrong with their assiduous 2010 debut; not to mention the successful run of Queen's We Will Rock You in London's West End.
It is axiomatic that the rock catalogue, along with new generations of rock songwriters, not only have the opportunity to express the theatrical aspects of the genre (perhaps best exemplified by Queen) and amidst the turmoils of the recording industry, this can certainly be a healthy creative refuge for rockers.
Although Kanye West believes that hip-hop is the new rock, there is no credible evidence that the rock genre has dissolved into oblivion. On the contrary, it's older, more diversified and finds different avenues of expression. The touring circuit is still lead by longtime rockers and judging by the ticket sales, no other genre even comes close to what rock generates in revenue. So perhaps (in a widely trending interview with BBC Radio 1) what hip-hop's dyspeptic Kanye West meant to say was : Fashion is HIS new rock. Which, of course, makes no sense at all but that hasn't stopped him from entertaining us before. The rock legends, however, can rightfully claim that Broadway can be the new rock, and vice versa.
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