As Metallica headlines KROQ's summer concert I am reminded that there is nothing alternative about alternative rock radio in 2008. While KROQ didn't invent the Modern Rock format Spinner notes that "the station shunned the band for years in favor of alternative bands like Depeche Mode, U2 and the Cure" marking an end of an era. Exactly when that era ended is up to debate, some might argue that was when Metallica headlined Lollapalooza in 1996 almost killing off the travelling festival, but KROQ's reputation and the way it's playlist is shamelessly copied by other alternative stations across the country give this moment a sting.
In the Bay Area we have Live 105 which has had it's own flavor and they downsized their summer concert this year dropping ticket prices to $10.50 (see what they did there?). If they didn't play Red Hot Chili Peppers every hour on the hour I might still listen to the radio.