Top Ten Inevitable Reunions in 2005
o it looks like Cream and Slint will be kicking off next year's round of reunions, following this year's triumphant returns of the Pixies, Mission of Burma, Camper Van Beethoven, etc. So who's up next for a victory lap on the gravy train? Stylus speculates...
Think the timing of the Luna breakup and the DVD release is a coincidence? This one's so obvious it might as well have already happened. Their fan base has been snowballing since about five minutes after they broke up (having their records go out of print didn't hurt). There's vast audience out there just waiting to pay top dollar for the privilege of being put to sleep. You win, Dean Wareham. Time to claim your prize.
New album? Probably several. Wareham's music doesn't seem to require much effort.
Opening act: Snow Patrol
Could sell out: The Orpheum, easily
A Tribe Called Quest
They parted on good terms after countless farewell gigs, and everyone knew their solo records were gonna tank, so this one was kind of inevitable even before the break-up was final. These shows could be textbook examples of what a great reunion show oughtta be: good vibes a-plenty, spirited sing-alongs, a parade of cool surprise guests. Hell, I'd go. Would also draw crowds with the potential to shatter any existing records for backpack-to-audience member ratio at a live event.
New album? Rarities collection: b-sides, outtakes, etc.
Opening act: Atmosphere
Could sell out: S.O.B's
Remember them? Did you know they broke up? Okay, did you know Nash Kato has a solo album? This has the potential to claim the title of "Most Depressing Reunion Tour of All Time", and could warrant a Behind the Music all its own. Just think: the tale of a handful of deluded also-rans who discover the hard way that no one really cared that much about them in the first place. Of course, they'd do it with a lot of ironic winking, as in, "Look, we're doing a 'reunion tour', because that's what us 'rock bands' do! Funny, right? Is this thing on?" This would be one of those tours where you keep reading one-sentence blurbs at the bottom of a news-and-notes-type page in the front section of SPIN about shows moving to smaller venues ("All tickets will be honored"), then dates getting cancelled, then opening acts dropping out, then managers quitting, and finally somebody OD-ing in a desperate last-ditch attempt to generate a little ink.
New album? You bet. Grim listenin', I'd wager.
Opening act: The Hives are way too famous to take such a shitty gig, so it'd have to be some lesser-known dress-up band. Expect matching ties, whoever it is. Is Hagfish still around?
Could sell out: My living room, maybe. Maybe not.
For all I know the Feelies may not have actually broken up; they never really seemed to get around to fully existing in the first place. They didn't tour much, didn't even play much, and their infrequent album releases featured constantly shifting lineups. Still, they're one of those acts I just wouldn't be at all surprised to read was getting back together for a few shows. Frontmen Mercer and Million haven't been heard from recently, but they're probably around. I think one of the drummers was in Luna, so he's free. They probably wouldn't bother with a new album, and wouldn't play any shows more than a day's drive from Hoboken. Still, they'd make somebody's week. Expect a pleasant, low-key set of old favorites, a few surprising covers for the encore, and a room full of sweaters, receding hairlines and polite manners.
New album? Doubt it
Opening act: Yo La Tengo, playing an acoustic "all-covers-you've-never-heard-of" set
Could sell out: Maxwell's, almost
A tour inspired primarily by bitterness and steadily-mounting bills. The Replacements are one of those classic pre-Nirvana American indie acts who unfortunately didn't stick around long enough to cash in when "influence" suddenly, and briefly, became a lucrative commodity. All of them had solo albums and they all went tin, even Westerberg's. He's still churning out solo releases on some micro-indie somewhere, but who's to say he wouldn't reluctantly jump at the chance to bask in a little long-overdue adulation? Bob may have moved on to the next world, but he was already out of the band for the last couple records anyway, so bring back Slim and we're ready to roll. All of this, of course, hinges on Tommy getting time off from his busy Guns N' Roses schedule.
New album? Plans announced for after the tour, but they break up again before getting within a mile of a studio.
Opening act: Dashboard Confessional
Could sell out: First Avenue
You just know Corgan had plans for this before their first record came out, so it's really just a question of when, not if. They'll hold a lavish press conference to announce it, play every major festival in Europe and North America, then mount a triumphant sold-out arena tour. The reviews will be universally ecstatic. And of course they'll have yet another highly acrimonious, very public breakup, which will lead to another one of Corgan's emotional breakdowns, followed by a few intimate acoustic shows at which he introduces about a half-dozen new songs filled with thinly-veiled digs at his once-and-former bandmates. Let the rumors begin about the Zwan reunion. Next.
New album? Let's go with a live retrospective box set. With an expensive limited-edition version in, I don't know, a bigger box.
Opening act: Evanescence
Could sell out: Soldier Field in four minutes flat
My Bloody Valentine
Technically, MBV never really broke up, but let's face it: Loveless was 15 years ago. It's over. Or is it? Word leaks out that Shields has been rehearsing with the old lineup; they're announced as the headliners at Coachella; a few select dates get booked in Europe, maybe Japan; word gets around that they've pulled out the old abandoned tapes from "the follow-up" and gone back into the studio! Then the North American dates are postponed; they abandon the old tapes and start over on a new album; Kevin's got the sniffles, gone back into seclusion; more word on those box sets expected sometime early next year; and we're back where we started. Ah well.
New album? Yeah, right. Maybe they'll call it "Dinese Chemocracy".
Opening act: Any one of those crappy Radiohead knockoffs like Keane or Muse
Could sell out: Barbican Hall, natch
Guns N' Roses
Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But let's face it, Axl's nest egg can't be infinite; the guy's gotta eat (and does, judging from recent appearances). So let's say it starts like this: Axl and Slash are spotted having a drink together at the Viper Room. They stay well past closing time. MTV News begins nervously speculating. MTV's viewers wonder who Guns N' Roses are. A week later, Axl jumps on stage at a Snakepit and/or VelvRev gig at the Whiskey... no wait, the House of Blues. They run through a couple old ones. The crowd goes nuts. Rolling Stone devotes half an issue to the event. Next thing you know, the Guns are back, badder than ever. Original lineup. Fuck it, even Steven Adler. They appear on the cover of every magazine in the world (including four issues of Hit Parader in a row). An 18 month world tour is booked, kicking off with the headlining slot at Rock in Rio. Word on the street is they've been popping up around town, playing secret gigs under fake names, rolling out some new material. Somebody manages to tape one of these shows and several peer-to-peer file-sharing networks crash within 48 hours. The new material is widely considered to be on par with their finest work. The swagger, the stagger, the balls-out rock n' roll, just like you remember it. I give 'em two weeks. Three, tops.
New album? Sure, sure, hang on a sec, right after Rutgers wins the Orange Bowl. Seriously, one new song on the soundtrack to some shitty Jerry Bruckheimer movie to raise false hopes, followed by another decade of silence.
Opening act: One of those semi-literate Fred Durst protege bands, like Pudlle of Mmudd or whatever. And at select dates, Talk Show.
Could sell out: The Grand Canyon
The Stone Roses
A fanciful collection of NME headlines:
"What the World Is Waiting For"
(the initial rumors surface)
(the editors begin writing op-ed pieces openly lobbying the band to make it happen)
"They Are the Resurrection"
(the Reading appearance is announced)
(the first few tour dates, rumors of a studio session or two)
"We Wanna Be Adored"
(exclusive interview with John Squire, as well as a full listing of tour dates; this becomes NME's biggest-selling issue of all time)
"This Is the One"
(the Reading preview issue)
"They Banged the Drums"
(the post-Reading report; reviews are mixed, but all are enthusiastic and hopeful about the upcoming tour)
(rumors of disharmony within the band begin surfacing; shows are reportedly plagued by late starts, erratic performances, bad sound, worse vocals)
"Bye Bye Badman"
(Squire quits/is booted off the tour, depending upon whom you believe; enters rehab for "exhaustion"; the band finish out the tour with the guy who replaced Bernard Butler in Suede on guitar; reviews are unequivocally negative)
"The Time Has Come To Shoot You Down"
(Ian Brown gives an exclusive interview criticizing Squire for his drug use and poor work ethic; vows never to work with him again; a nation grieves anew)
New album? Double live (the Reading appearance); the verdict: Brown still can't sing
Opening act: Liam Gallagher's new band
Could sell out: Old Trafford, every night for a year straight
Duh. I mean really, how long do you give 'em before they start jamming again, like six months? Six weeks?
New album? Did they have old ones?
Opening act: I don't suppose Dude of Life is busy.
Could sell out: The entire northern half of Vermont. For one show. And it'd be nine days long.
By: Bjorn Randolph
Published on: 2004-12-24