A fairly cultured friend of mine once suggested that the riotous response to Stravinsky’s 1913 ballet, The Rite of Spring, was the most profound reaction to a musical performance in history. He said something along the lines of, “Nothing like that had ever happened during a live performance of music, either before or since.” It took me a few seconds to realize just how preposterous his idea was, and pointed out that a profound reaction to music is more the norm and less the exception with hardcore, hip-hop, metal, and punk. Moshing, a rough form of dance, is an expected audience reaction at many live shows. I further relayed to my well-read friend a personal story: when my younger brother and I were teenagers, we went to see Green Day play a free concert at the Boston Hatch Shell and, after only a few songs, the ecstatic audience breached the metal gates and stormed the stage. Frontman Billie Joe quickly unplugged his electric guitar mid-song and fled to the emergency exits with his bandmates. This singular event became a sort of rite of passage for my brother and me during the burgeoning grunge scene of the early '90s. My somewhat cultured friend responded to this by saying something like, “Well, that is pop music, where that sort of thing is to be expected.” This always struck me as a profoundly elitist position: that deep responses to popular forms of art do not merit attention. But when the avant-garde ruffles some feathers, causing a “sensation,” this is somehow an important cultural moment. It would appear that my moderately sophisticated friend is of the same mind as Theodor W. Adorno, the German philosopher, sociologist, and composer, known for his theory of the "culture industry." Although I actually agree with some of Adorno’s finer points, I am not so sure that his solution of “Not popular music but artistic music…” works. Why does Adorno think this? Why is “artistic music” the only possible solution? Why would my adequately intelligent friend think the audience reaction to The Rite of Spring is more important than that of the Green Day show my brother and I went to?