As the music business changes, more top acts are choosing smaller venues

If you’re a fan of a big-time band or musician, you’ve probably rhapsodized about it at some point: Wouldn’t it be great to catch them in a small venue?

Your chance might be coming.

The rough economy and ongoing overhaul of the music business could carry a silver lining for music lovers, as a growing number of artists head to the cozier confines of theaters, clubs and other small venues.

Tonight finds Sting at Detroit’s Fox Theatre, the 5,000-seat hall that will also host a show from Paul Simon on Nov. 18. They follow this summer’s Fox performance by Janet Jackson, whose Up Close and Personal Tour marked a considerable downsizing for an artist who helped revolutionize arena productions in the ’90s.

Detroit dynamo Kid Rock — who has averaged crowds of 12,086 during his past three years of touring — is set to kick off a monthlong club tour as he winds down a busy year of arena and amphitheater dates.

For audiences, such shows promise intimacy and acoustical richness; for artists, they’re a chance to get closer to fans while trimming tour costs.

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