14 Rare Tours That Hopefully Get Rescheduled (or Won’t Get Canceled)
There is no shortage of live music in good times, and while this COVID-19 situation sucks for everybody involved in more ways than one, we know that even if we all take two years off, we’ll probably get to see (almost) everybody on that Coachella lineup again. We’re bummed as fans and for the struggling artists (and venues and venue workers) that we won’t get to see songs from some of our favorite new albums performed live any time soon, but we’ve had many chances to see most of these artists and will hopefully again soon.
But then there are the long-awaited and rare events that nobody saw coming in the first place that were suddenly cut short — most notably reunions — and those fall into their own special subcategory of “this sucks.” Here are 14 of those:
Though it seemed like the riot grrrl legends would never reunite, Bikini Kill have been back together since last year, having played shows in NYC, LA, London and at Chicago’s Riot Fest — but were set to actually tour starting this month. They canceled their Northwest March tour dates — which were to have hit Olympia, Seattle, Victoria, BC and Portland this month — but the rest of the tour is currently still on, including dates in May, June, August, September and October. The May shows (DC area, Philly, Boston, Cleveland, Burlington, Toronto, Montreal, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee) feel very iffy now, as do the EU shows in June.
New Orleans sludge metal supergroup Down haven’t played live in four years and Crowbar’s Kirk Windstein (who recently released a solo album and made us a playlist) hasn’t been with the band since 2013, but Kirk is back and Down are finally set to play shows again to celebrate the 25th anniversary of NOLA. So far, they announced a few Europe festivals and one US appearance at Psycho Las Vegas, and they also said they had plans for a New Orleans show. The latest update from Psycho (3/20) is that they have no plans to postpone… our fingers are crossed.
Another band set to play Psycho Las Vegas is the legendary Mercyful Fate, who are scheduled to play their first shows in over 20 years this year, also beginning in Europe. Frontman King Diamond recently had to cancel a festival appearance in Mexico because he was recovering from surgery and was advised by a doctor to wait until “additional risks are minimized.” He didn’t flat out say it, but presumably those “additional risks” included the coronavirus outbreak, and we’re hoping that both the King’s own health and the state of this pandemic will not force Mercyful Fate to break their oath of returning to the stage.
Long-running and prolific “Hallucinatory Patripassianist rock group” Current 93, led by David Tibet, were set to play their first NYC shows in two decades in April, supporting their 2018 album The Light is Leaving Us All. They were previously scheduled to tour in 2011, but those dates were postponed and ultimately never happened. Now these shows have been postponed till March 2021.
House of Love
UK alt-rock/indie vets House of Love, known for such singles as “Shine On,” “Christine,” and “I Don’t Know Why I Love You,” were gearing up for their first North American tour in nearly 30 years. Those May dates have now been postponed. “With heavy hearts, we regret to inform you we will have to postpone the tour to a time where it will be safe for all to attend,” wrote frontman Guy Chadwick. “We appreciate all efforts to make this tour a reality and hope to continue on with the plan when the virus is contained.”
After playing a surprise acoustic reunion show in February, The Format officially announced their first shows in 12 years, set to take place in NYC, Chicago, and Phoenix this spring. Those shows have all all been rescheduled for July, but with things happening as far as late June (like Glastonbury) being postponed already, who knows what will happen.
Damo Suzuki (Can)
Onetime Can vocalist Damo Suzuki was supposed to tour in 2019 but ran afoul of visa issues and now his rescheduled tour, where he was going to play an improvised set with different notable collaborators in each stop of the tour, has been postponed. (At Big Ears Festival he was to have been backed by Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog.) “I just wished only I had this nightmare, hard to believe now this is reality,” wrote Damo.
UK group Madness, who got their start as part of the 2 Tone ska scene but quickly developed their own unique “nutty” sound and became ’80s superstars in their homeland, were set to tour U.S. for the first time in forever this May, with dates around the 2020 edition of Punk Rock Bowling. That festival has been postponed but the rest of the tour is currently still on…but it’s seeming more unlikely with every day.
Britpop vets Supergrass reunited last year after 10 years apart and just wrapped up a UK tour and were getting ready to head to the US for shows in NYC and Los Angeles in April, and had a full summer of festival appearances lined up. The NYC shows (Brooklyn Steel and Webster Hall) are definitely not happening and while the L.A. show at The Wiltern on April 1 has yet to be postponed/canceled, all the dates around it have. One can hope they’ll be back later this year and maybe play more than just those cities while here.
Having released Agora, one of our favorite records of 2019, we were very excited for Christian Fennesz’s first North American tour in 10 years, especially the NYC shows were were part of the Ambient Church series. Unfortunately he only made it a few dates into the tour before having to cancel the remainder of the shows (including NYC) due to COVID-19.
Like Supergrass and Fennesz, UK band Tindersticks were set to head to the US at the end of March to play the 2020 edition of Big Ears and two Brooklyn shows at Murmrr Theatre. Big Ears has been canceled while the Brooklyn shows are listed as “postponed.” We’ll just have to listen to their new album, No Treasure but Hope, while we wait for details.
’80s synthpop duo Heaven 17 — led by former Human League member Martyn Ware — were set to begin their first-ever “proper tour” of North America on May 8 in Chicago, a trek that included shows in San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, NYC, Boston and more. The group have also had to cancel their UK/EU tours where they were going to play The Human League’s first two (decidedly more experimental) albums, Reproduction and Travelogue, in full. Sadly all H17’s upcoming dates are off. “We have spent months organising these shows. At the last count we had more than 20 people involved and to have to cancel the day before we begin production rehearsals is soul-destroying. But we have to put our fans’ safety first. In addition, many fans have been forbidden from travelling from all corners of the world for these unique gigs.” The band are planning to reschedule, dates TBA. The world could use a little more “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” in 2020.
My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance played their first show in seven years in LA in December, and they had a zillion other reunion tour dates scheduled for this year, but coronavirus has already caused them to postpone the Australia, New Zealand, and Japan dates they were supposed to play this month. As of now, their Europe dates and lengthy North American tour (including three NYC-area shows and four LA shows) are still on, but it presumably remains to be seen if the black parade will carry on.
Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine’s reunion trek, which pairs them with Run the Jewels, is one of 2020’s most anticipated tours and was set to start next week in Texas, before heading west to Coachella and beyond. After Coachella was postponed, RATM postponed the first part of their tour — dates through May 20. Run The Jewels’ El-P just commented on the postponement, saying: “There are disappointments, obviously. That’s obvious, but at the end of the day, man, what the fuck can you do? We’re just adapting and trying to be cool about it- and it’s ridiculous for people like us to really complain about the situation.” Fingers crossed the rest of the tour happens as scheduled.
Keep up with updates on tours, festivals, and other shows here.