Just a few weeks ago, it seemed like live music was finally back on track more than a year after the COVID-19 outbreak caused the withdrawal of hundreds of artists around the world. Now, it looks like the celebration of the return of live music has been a bit premature as artists postpone and cancel entire dates and tours across the board.
“These are tough times with tough decisions that need to be made,” Stevie Nicks tweeted this week as she revealed her scheduled tour would be canceled. “I want everyone to be safe and healthy and the increase in COVID cases should be of concern to all of us. “
After a triumphant return to the masses at Lollapalooza two weekends ago, nu metal boys Limp Bizkit also scuttled their tour, “out of caution and concern for the safety of the band, the team and especially the fans. “.
“In short, the system is still very flawed,” Bizkit frontman Fred Durst told Billboard. “Even though artists, crews, staff and promoters do their best to ensure safety on and behind the stage, this does not guarantee the safety of the public as a whole. We’re all in the same boat, and we all – individually and as a whole – need to do our best to be as responsible and proactive as possible to move forward to combat and stop the spread of COVID. “
Instead of interrupting a full tour, some bands are forced to postpone dates here and there. Counting Crows, the day after a successful launch concert at Hard Rock in Atlantic City, canceled a show in Boston just three hours before it was supposed to start last Saturday as a member of the band’s touring group called off a show in Boston. tested positive for COVID. At the time of going to press, the trek was scheduled to resume Thursday night in Nashville.
Boston seems to have their fingertips when it comes to this sort of thing. Part of the Hella Mega Tour package with Green Day and Weezer, Fall Out Boy was forced to miss the show at Fenway Park as well as stops in New York and Washington DC for the same reason as Counting Crows. They returned to Detroit on Wednesday and plan to play regional saves at Hersheypark Stadium on Friday and a week later at Citizens Bank Park.
Lynyrd Skynyrd was forced to cancel three shows and reschedule one this week when guitarist Rickey Medlocke tested positive for COVID. Next weekend the band will perform at the Barefoot Country Music Fest in Wildwood. Meanwhile, Tesla, joining the opening Skynyrd tour from the end of this month, postponed three concerts to just two dates after it was revealed that guitarist Frank Hannon had Covid. They are looking to return on stage Saturday in Dubuque, Iowa.
The new wave of the pandemic is not just affecting tours in the United States; Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson recently postponed the remaining dates for his spoken word tour in England due to a member of his ‘immediate house’ contracted Covid.
Upcoming festivals also cast a weary eye on the wave. The organizers of the New Orleans Jazz Fest, originally scheduled for mid-October, have announced that they will cancel this year’s edition. The Philadelphia Folk Festival has done the same, but only with the in-person portion of the event taking place next weekend in the Spring Mountain area.
It’s unclear what the coming weeks and fall hold for so many shows and festivals. Bonnaroo is usually a highlight of festival season, and organizers require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test to enter. However, few precautions can be taken, and at the very least it looks like a chaotic, haphazard time for live music in the future.
VINYL OF THE WEEK
Keep an eye out for this place as each week we will be reviewing new or forthcoming vinyls from a variety of artists. It could be a repress of a historical recording, a special edition or a new collection of a legendary act. This week is the 40th anniversary edition of the debut of a group specializing in the fusion of punk and blues.
THE GUN CLUB: ‘FIRE OF LOVE’
With a screaming and godless mix of punk rock and blues, the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce and The Gun Club exploded onto the Los Angeles club scene in the early 1980s. They recorded their first classic, “Fire of Love” by 1981, for local label Slash / Ruby Records. Now this legendary album has been unearthed and brought back to life as a deluxe 2CD and 2LP box set.
The record captures the Gun Club at its rawest on originals such as the unforgettable album opening “Sex Beat”, the addicting “She’s Live Heroin to Me” and the psychobilly stomp of “For the Love of Ivy” , an ode to the Cramps guitarist. and the future member of the Kid Congo group, Poison Ivy Rorschach. The band also looked into their influences on set, digging up Tommy Johnson’s “Cool Drink of Water” and Robert Johnson’s “Preaching the Blues” and rocking them with jumper cables via Pierce’s new arrangements and the Howl. patented “Elvis from Hell”.
The double disc and double vinyl editions feature a digitally remastered version of the original 11-track album, produced by fellow LA actors Chris D. of the Flesh Eaters and Tito Larriva of the Plugz. The CD version includes 10 demos of four unreleased tracks and alternate versions, while the LP has a download card for the digital version of the 10 bonus tracks. CD and vinyl versions include a second record, “Live at Club 88 – March 6, 1981”, an incendiary concert recording that captures the band’s incendiary live at the legendary West LA dive bar.
The double vinyl version of ‘Fire of Love’ is available as a two-LP set packaged in a gatefold sleeve with plenty of sleeve notes from drummer Terry Graham and memorabilia from producer Tito Larriva and co-producer Chris D., as well as rare photos and ephemera. The CD version has a booklet with sleeve notes, photos and ephemera.
The Deluxe Edition of “Fire of Love” can be found online and in the stores of all respectable retailers that sell vinyl.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com