A pattern I notice in both of your comments is the move to niche audiences.
In my experience with internet socializing, online communities that I spend any amount of time with end up forming a real-world equivalent. In New York and LA I have gone to meetups for the Pho list. I have permanent friends from the FoRK list. A friendnet I’m in has deepened the relatively shallow friendships that it started with.
With something like this, you get together with your internet friends here and there, and the real-world meeting cements the cyber relationship as well. And a gig that you went to in the real world as a result of meeting an act on the net would feel like this as well — the two spaces would complement one another.
Pribek, I love your anecdote about local shows sponsored by local businesses. That seems completely natural. I could see similar events sponsored by internet advertisers, so somebody who advertised on Myspace music would also get inventory at real-world concerts of acts who are big on Myspace.
I also worry about the recursive nature of big-venue shows. If pop music culture is splintering in a million niche cultures, how is a band going to reach that size?