This year’s Super Bowl halftime show — with its tag team composition of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent and Eminem — was easily one of the most engaging and entertaining ever. recent memory. It was also one of the most overtly nostalgic.
With the exception of 21st century latecomer Kendrick Lamar, all of these artists have been active in hip-hop since the mid-’80s (or, in 50 Cent’s case, the mid-’90s). By comparison, former Super Bowl performers like The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and even Coldplay seem like fresh-faced newcomers. Factor in this year’s sample-heavy arrangements, and you’ve pretty much covered the last six decades.
Admittedly, the Super Bowl has rarely been an indicator of contemporary musical trends. But this year, it’s a strong indicator of what’s to come in 2022 when it comes to music festivals, tours and record releases.
Take, for example, the When We Were Young festival, which will bring virtually every 2000s emo-pop band to Las Vegas next October.
In addition to My Chemical Romance and Paramore reunions, WWWY’s lineup will include Bright Eyes, AFI, Bring Me the Horizon, Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional, A Day to Remember, We the Kings, Alkaline Trio, Jimmy Eat World and a few two dozen other acts, all crammed into a single day.
For many of these acts, this will be their first festival appearance since the glory days of the Vans Warped Tour – which presciently ended the summer before COVID hit.
Shortly after its announcement, the Live Nation-sponsored event was derided by Riot Fest organizers on social media. “A day is not a festival,” the rival promoters lambasted, “it’s just a long . . . concert.”
Either way, the When We Were Young festival sold out the day tickets first went on sale. A second and third date were soon added and sold out just as quickly. All three days feature exactly the same programming.
Riot Fest, meanwhile, has yet to reveal its own roster, aside from announcing two of the three-day headliners: A misfits reunited – featuring Glen Danzig, Jerry Only and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein – will perform their 1982 debut album “Walk Among Us”. in its entirety, while the aforementioned My Chemical Romance will build on the multi-platinum back catalog that carried them through the 2000s, after which the band decided to go on a decade-long hiatus.
In a 9/12 Facebook post, the group got philosophical about the 20th anniversaries of 9/11 and My Chemical Romance.
“The world changed that day, and the next day we set out to try to change the world,” they said. “Today we are collectively older and wiser, but still here to carry on when we hear the call. The past 20 years have been about healing, dusting off and recovering, and living in our highest potential.
Meanwhile, AARP Magazine, Rolling Stone and other outlets continue to praise the seemingly endless procession of reunion and/or album tours that will make 2022 a year to remember.
This list would include ABBA, The Black Crowes, Blondie (who will be touring to promote their “Blondie 1974-1982: Against the Odds” collection) The Chameleons, The Cure, Daft Punk, the Michael McDonald version of the Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, Faces (with original members Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood and Kenny Jones), Guns N’ Roses, Jethro Tull, Journey, Mission UK , Pavement, Porcupine Tree, Rage Against the Machine, Tears for Fears, Urge Overkill, A Flock of Seagulls, Backstreet Boys, Kid ‘n Play, Men Without Hats, Missing Persons, Wang Chung, Phish and, as always, Kiss.
Liam Gallagher, meanwhile, recently started teasing the possibility of an Oasis reunion, to which his estranged brother Noel offered a somewhat ambiguous response. “We go 8-1 on the group that re-forms in 2022, which means we give it an implied probability of around 10 per cent.” Given the long animosity between the two brothers, a reunion this year seems about as likely as Ye and Kim get back together (something West recently insisted will be arrive).
Meanwhile, veteran artists who haven’t gone pay tribute to artists who, in some cases, have gone.
Singer-songwriter Cat Powers has released “Covers,” an album that reveals its contents in the title. In addition to renditions of relatively recent songs by Frank Ocean and Lana Del Ray, it features original renditions of songs made famous by Nico, Jackson Browne, Bob Seger, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, The Pogues and Billie Holiday.
Not to be outdone, Cowboy Junkies offer their own trip down memory lane with “Song of the Recollection.” As befits a band that has been recording slow, sad songs for nearly four decades, the album opens with a somewhat downbeat rendition of David Bowie’s apocalyptic “Five Years,” one of the band’s personal favorites. band.
“Bowie comes into the listener’s life,” Cowboy Junkie Michael Timmins explained in the accompanying press release. “It was the kind of moment that rocked our innocent minds when we were young and hungrily wandered around the turntable. When we play it live today, 50 years after it was written, it seems have more power and relevance than ever; climate change, the pandemic, the collapse of democracies… choose your crisis… David predicted them all.
The album also includes renditions of Neil Young’s “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”, Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Way I Feel”, The Cure’s “17 Seconds” and other no less upbeat songs by Vic Chesnutt. , Bob Dylan and Gram. Let’s go.
So why is 2022 shaping up to be the year nostalgia took over the music industry? Part of that can be attributed to the fact that a number of these reunions were originally scheduled for 2020 or 2021, two years that few of us are nostalgic about.
Another possibility is that people are convinced that all music has gone bad after their personal favorite band – The Beatles, Radiohead, My Chemical Romance, etc. – decided to stop there.
It’s a kind of nostalgia that may ultimately be less about the music than about the person they remember being when they first listened to it. And as we enter the third year of a pandemic, it’s more than understandable.