A spectacular data visualization by The Pudding shows how difficult it is for a band to break out and make it big:
The vast majority of bands never do make it. Acts break up, give up or decide they have other things they want to do with their lives.
For every Chance the Rapper there are thousands of rappers that never play a show with more than a couple hundred people. For every Lake Street Dive, there are hundreds of promising bands that break up because they lost on their members.
To see the NYC concert trajectory of different bands, below you can search for any of the 3,000 bands that played a show in 2013, and at least one more show from 2014 to 2016. Perhaps some of them are on their way to making it, and it just hasn’t happened yet.