“Can vacuous, pre-fabricated teen pop bereft of any substantial musical merit really fill up seventy-nine thousand seats?” an anonymous scribe filling a slot in the “Goings On About Town” section of The New Yorker (June 4, 2001) asks in what is undoubtedly an arch rhetorical tone. The author is referring to ‘Nsync playing at Giants Stadium, which is described as “a venue normally reserved for rock royalty.” The answer to the question: “Just ask your little sister.” Implying, of course, that ‘Nsync appeals only to prepubescent girls. Which is undoubtedly the case. But why is this any different than damn near any exceedingly popular band, vacuous or not?
While “rock royalty” is not defined, I’d like to suggest that regardless of which band it is that is thought to be capable of filling those 79K seats (New Jersey’s own Bon Jovi comes to mind; what else?), many of those seats will be filled by young girls—OK, those seats won’t be filled because they’ll spend the time during the show standing. Has it ever been different? Have stadia ever been filled by people other than young teens (with the exception of the Three Tenors)?
Perhaps “rock royalty” is a band like the Rolling Stones. Comparatively speaking, if the same answer was put forth (“Just ask your little sister”), your “little sister” would be 42-years old, working on her second divorce, with three kids in tow (some of whom would be ‘Nsync fans).