I remember when I used to get surprised, and likely excited at the news of a great band getting back together. Now, not only is it not surprising, it’s almost expected. Many consider the Pixies playing Coachella as the official launch of the major reunion, but since that moment in 2004, I could probably name at least 60 bands that have either entirely reunited or returned after long hiatuses and call it a “reunion.” Like most entertainment this can go very well, or very badly. As you’ll see going forward, there’s ample examples of both. I hope you enjoy, and I encourage comments below, thanks for reading.
YEARS REFORMED: 2016- Current
Now that enough time has passed, I think I can be a little more honest. I’m still of two minds regarding this reunion. Now, they went out on top, huge in the influential world of indie rock, and they did it in style. It also seemed as though it was genuine, which I believe it was at the time, The finale, which I wasn't fortunate enough to attend, was incredible to watch nonetheless, even though it was on my computer. I was bummed but I really thought it was over. They seemed to have become my white whale. But the reunion came, and for once I wished they had actually stuck to their guns and just let it behind. The new album was great, and I finally got to see them several times, but honestly I felt like it was a long between album break, and not a break-up, which is what it is. I also think about how much was made off of fans going to a :last ever show” and doing whatever they had to do to get there, only for them to come back less than five years later and headline all these enormous festivals for everyone to see.
YEARS REFORMED: 2005- Current
The funniest thing about the second incarnation of Dinosaur Jr. is either how much better they are now as a band, or the fact they've actually been a band longer now then when they first formed and broke up. Since disbanding in 1997 and coming back with “Beyond” in 2007, the band has melded better than initially, and the albums are arguably better and more polished. The playing of Murph, Barlow & Mascis has also been elevated, with recent albums like “I Bet On Sky” really building on that thuddingly powerful guitar they're known so well for. I loved them momentarily as a boy of ten and eleven, but they’ve really elevated themselves to one of the great rock bands of the alternative world. They’re loud, raunchy and deliver consistently great albums.
YEARS REFORMED: 2014 only
I mean, man what a mixed bag. I’m just talking for myself here, but it almost feels like the reunion of 2014 never happened. The band didn’t get back together, Andre never really ended up doing anything, and Big Boi essentially kept on the path he was on the first time OK split. Instead what we got was a reunion nearly completely done for the money and the chance to just say they did it, but more than a few shows weren’t fondly remembered by artists or fans. Andree recalled during the first Coachella show he was essentially already over it before it even started, and the results were obvious. Plenty of people at the time complained on the complete ambivalence among the band during the huge return everyone was talking about. Even the show that I’m happy i at least attended in New Orleans for that October's Voodoo Fest was plagued by serious speaker issues, not to mention extreme bass and feedback. It wasn’t a good look, and i don’t recall walking away thinking it was anything special. But, its not as though the older albums aren’t still incredible, which they are, it’s just a sad reminder that sometimes its over, and it deserves to just be left alone.
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979
YEARS REFORMED: 2011- Current
Another one that i was initially excited for, but as time went on the spark fizzled, at least for me. When they broke up I was devastated. I had only recently gotten into them maybe a year before, and it had been an instant love. But when they reunited, I was ecstatic and definitely made it a point to see them again when they chance came, which happened to be that same Voodoo Fest that Outkast headlined. That show was tremendous, and the recently released reunion album was way better than most reunion albums. All three times I saw them after the reunion was with a very close friend, and we both felt the same about all of them. First was great, but the second at Shaky Knees was maybe one of the worst sets I;ve ever seen. The final opening for Deftones & Incubus was much better than the Shaky set, but I think it worked so well because of the shortened set. Even at 35 its an intense set. Sadly the third album was mostly forgettable, and who knows what's up with the next album. I’m hoping we see the type of frenetic energy that made them so special in the first place, but we’ll have to wait and see.
GUNS N ROSES
YEARS REFORMED: 2016- Current
Let's get this out of the way: Who would have EVER thought this was going to work so well, last, and honestly, be as critically praised as it ended up being. It’s not as if they were known for being the most reliable, but they fucking pulled it off man. Because of who I am, even though I'm not a huge fan, I read most reviews of the tour I saw, and plenty, I'd say eight percent were well regarded. Maybe some of the venues weren’t completely full, but they also headlined a ton of huge festivals with even bigger crowds. The shows started on time, a first for the band. And they sounded incredible from mostly everyone I know who attended the shows. Lately the band has been recording, and before Covid hit plans were being set in motion. News of tours followed, and well, now their fans just wait for when they can see the legends again.
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Landon Murray is a music connooisseur who craves sounds of all shapes and textures. He's seen over 2000 bands and looks forward to welcoming you into his world of sound,
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