The Arena Concert


‘’A Messianic aspiration to the Sermon on the Mount with visions of totalitarian uniformity’: the editors characterize what was once mass entertainment, but is now mass-produced entertainment. Intricately and insightfully interlacing analysis, commentary, evaluations and interviews, the editors offer the definitive text on perhaps the most spectacular and (literally) awesome form of musical entertainment ever conceived. They take us from to Shea Stadium, New York in the 1960s to the O2 Arena Dublin today; we are with Coldplay one chapter, Iron Maiden the next; Dylan in Manchester, England, Beyoncé in Rosemont, Illinois. My ears are still ringing. A stunning text.”

Ellis Cashmore, author of Elizabeth Taylor: A Private Life for Public Consumption and Beyond Black: Celebrity and Race in Obama’s America.



“The strange beast we call “music video” has long since overflowed the contexts and aesthetics first set for it in the era of 1980s MTV. This superbly edited collection expands our understandings of both music and video, and brings to our attention the multiplicity and complexity of their combinations in 20th and 21st century audiovisual cultures.”

Adrian Martin, author of Mise en scène and Film Style: From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art (2014) and Professor, Monash University, Australia

“Music video may well be a promotional device for the music industry, reproducing hegemonic representations of identity, but as this collection of engaging essays shows, alternative visions proliferate in the multiple spaces between high art, low culture, and viral video. Bookended by a historical view on the music video aesthetic, and an assessment of contemporary digital and online music video, the collection offers welcome examples of female self-representation that attempt to reach beyond objectification, as well as of experimental approaches to the art of music video.”

Hillegonda C Rietveld, Professor of Sonic Culture, London South Bank University, UK

“Music video has been a key cultural driver and remains beloved by audiences all over the globe, but there’s much we don’t understand about its history and poetics. This book is required reading for aficionados of the genre, scholars engaged with popular culture, and anyone thinking about audiovisual media in our historical moment. Full of startling connections and deep insights, the essays in Music/Video show how rich the genre has been–and how much we can learn from it.”

Carol Vernallis, Affiliated Researcher, Stanford University, USA