How Nostalgia Took Over the Concert Industry

Speaking of nostalgia, this Rolling Stone article from Zach Schonfeld is about a year old (see: I'm qualifying the timeliness of the share!), but if anything perhaps even more relevant:

Until semi-recently, it was uncommon for bands to perform classic albums in sequence. David Bowie did Low, and Pink Floyd played all of Dark Side of the Moon as early as 1994, but those were exceptions. Now the format is ubiquitous. At the Chicago festival Riot Fest next month, the Wu-Tang Clan will play debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in full. What’s more daring—and arguably more fun—is when bands attempt to play other artists’ albums. In 2016, I saw Beach Slang barrel through the Replacements’ Pleased to Meet Me with wild-eyed fervor. And at a recent Northside Festival showcase, hardcore rocker Tony Molina nailed Dinosaur Jr.’s You’re Living All Over Me, followed by Lower Dens sparking a karaoke party by covering ABBA’s Gold.”
The classic-band-plays-classic-album tour format is so simple, it’s remarkable U2 hasn’t done it before. In a wild alternate universe, the band would lug a gigantic lemon out of the closet to mark the 20th anniversary of 1997’s heady Pop. “If the Replacements did Let It Be,” says Sprocket’s Phillips, “I would definitely be there.” If Kurt Cobain had survived into middle age, Nirvana might be wrapping up its Nevermind 25th anniversary victory lap now. Can you imagine the alternate reality where the Ramones lived long enough to tour behind the 40th anniversary of their 1976 debut? (Fine, neither can I. That doesn’t sound like something the Ramones would have done.)”

In a way, this is almost like the music version of the aforementioned re-run on television. But imagine if a re-run were re-done by much older, wiser, and as a result, perhaps better (or perhaps worse!) actors? This concept in music is so obvious that I'm just shocked this trend didn't happen sooner.

I also liked this bit from the band Teagan and Sara:

Quin and her bandmate sister are now rehearsing songs from The Con, a turbulent, emotionally fraught album that influenced a generation of indie rockers. The “Con X: Tour” kicks off in October. “Maybe a tour is like a play,” Quin says, “and refreshing and staging it every 10 years allows the music and lyrics to be influenced and placed in a new context?”

That's a nice way to think about it.


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