Nothing will ever replace the live concert. There’s nothing like being in the same room as your favorite artist, breathing the same air, singing the same song with the band and the people around you.
Live concerts are somewhat like the movement of the 8-track to the cassette tape to the CD-ROM to the MP3. This movement of the 8-track to the MP3 is an adaptive evolution. Although live concerts will never dwindle and lose their popularity like the 8-track or the cassette tape, they will adapt and change.
House shows are the next stage in the evolution process of live concerts. With artists like Derek Webb playing house shows more frequently and organizations like Slowbizz and Concerts In Your Home encouraging them, house shows are growing in popularity. House shows are much more intimate than the big venue atmosphere. House shows have a limited capacity, therefore allowing real conversation before, during and after the concert. This is a positive for both the artist and the fan.
I still don’t believe the big venue concert will ever leave, or even become less popular. Some bands are just meant for those types of venues (and other bands are not). But house concerts will continue gaining popularity.